December 11, 2018
Latest News
European Union

Brexit legal advice: Irish border backstop could trap UK in indefinite talks

 A road sign reading 'Road Ahead Closed' on Westminster Bridge in London, the United Kingdom, Dec. 5, 2018. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

A road sign reading 'Road Ahead Closed' on Westminster Bridge in London, the United Kingdom, Dec. 5, 2018. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

London, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's government on Wednesday reluctantly published the full legal advice it had received from the attorney general on Brexit, which warns that the government could be trapped indefinitely by negotiations on the terms of the so-called Irish backstop.

The legal advice was released only after an unprecedented alliance of opposition parties in the House of Commons on Tuesday found the minority executive of Prime Minster Theresa May in contempt of parliament for refusing to disclose the full document.

"In the absence of a right of termination, there is a legal risk that the UK might become subject to protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations," Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said in his initially-redacted advice.

According to Cox's six-page document, the proposed backstop deal with the European Union – intended to prevent a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and the UK's constituent country of Northern Ireland – would endure even if Brexit negotiations between the two parties were to break down.

"In international law, the protocol would endure indefinitely until a superseding arrangement took its place," the document added.

The backstop is a precautionary measure that would allow the entire UK to temporarily remain in a single customs territory with the EU, allowing both sides more time to sort out their post-withdrawal relationship.

Pro-Brexit Conservative members of Parliament have expressed their skepticism on the arrangement because they say it could leave the UK trapped indefinitely – as Cox's advice suggests – in a cycle of negotiations, without allowing for the country's unilateral withdrawal from the protocol.

News history
France's Macron offers wage hike, tax cuts to appease protesters

Paris, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced that he will raise the monthly minimum wage by 100 euros ($113) and lower...

UK's main industry group slams Brexit vote delay, warns of national crisis

London, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's biggest business organization on Monday harshly criticized the government's decision to postpone a crucial...

UK's PM May postpones crucial vote on Brexit deal due to lack of support

London, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The British prime minister has on Monday deferred a parliamentary vote on her draft deal on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from...

Antisemitic harassment, rhetoric rising according to EU Report

Vienna, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- European Jews are increasingly worried about the risk of harassment and hate crimes according to a report published by the...

French president meets trade union deals in talks over yellow vests crisis

Paris, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The French president on Monday met with key trade union leaders, businessmen and senior ministers to address rising discontent in...

Over 150 UN member states back global migration pact in Morocco

Marrakesh (Morocco), Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Over 150 countries on Monday adopted a global pact to better handle migrant flows as part of a supranational...

German railway service severely disrupted in pay dispute strike action

Berlin, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- German railway workers went on strike Monday, industrial action that is to severely disrupted the national train service...

EU top court rules UK can unilaterally stop Brexit process

Brussels, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom can unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the European Union, the European Court of Justice has ruled on...

Belgian PM reshuffles cabinet after Flemish coalition partner withdraws

Brussels, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- The prime minister of Belgium on Sunday reorganized his cabinet by replacing the members of a nationalist Flemish party that has...

Timmermans chosen as Socialist candidate to head European Commission

Lisbon, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- Dutch politician Frans Timmermans was on Saturday proclaimed the candidate of the Party of European Socialists to head the...

France in turmoil as at least 30 injured, over 600 arrested in Paris protests

Paris, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- At least 30 people have been injured and more than 600 have been arrested in the mass social protests sweeping over the French...

French police clash with protesters in central Paris, use tear gas

Paris, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- Tensions flared in the French capital's downtown area on Saturday morning as police clashed with so-called "yellow vest"...

31st Party Congress of the CDU

Hamburg (Germany), Dec 7 (efe-epa).- Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union on Friday chose its secretary-general Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as...

'Bollocks to Brexit' campaign bus appears before British parliament

London, Dec 7 (efe-epa).- A yellow bus carrying an unequivocal anti-Brexit message appeared Friday in downtown London, as documented by an epa-efe reporter.

Spain celebrates 40th anniversary of its constitution amid political division

Madrid, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Spain on Thursday marked 40 years since the adoption of its current constitution – a landmark document that saw the transition...

Students protest against reform plans

Montpellier (France), Dec 6 (efe-epa).- High school students in the southern French city of Montpellier on Thursday protested for the second day in a row...

Irish lower house to vote on bill boycotting goods from Israeli settlements

Dublin, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- The lower house of the Irish parliament is set to hold a vote on a draft bill imposing a boycott on all goods and services...

Left-wing parties announce no-confidence motion against French government

Paris, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Left-leaning political parties in the French National Assembly on Thursday announced they were set to subject the government to a...

Scottish parliament rejects Brexit draft deal in non-binding, symbolic vote

Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Dec 5 (efe-epa).- Scotland's devolved parliament on Wednesday voted against the proposed Brexit deal put forward by the United...

PM May's parliamentary partner DUP says Brexit border deal unacceptable

London, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- A Northern Irish regional party that props up the United Kingdom's minority Conservative government on Wednesday said the legal...

Putin: Russia not in breach of INF Treaty, if US break treaty Russia will too

Moscow, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- Russia's president on Wednesday said that if the United States were developing weapons in violation of a 1987 arms agreement aimed...

Brexit legal advice: Irish border backstop could trap UK in indefinite talks

London, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's government on Wednesday reluctantly published the full legal advice it had received from the attorney general...

Ryanair confident in face of UK regulatory action over compensation

Madrid, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- Ryanair Holdings said Wednesday that it is confident UK courts will back its decision not to pay compensation for flight...

International strike on Italian criminal gang: Europe-wide raids, 90 arrests

Pulheim (Germany), Dec 5 (efe-epa).- An international crackdown on a European criminal organization on Wednesday resulted in 90 arrests after various raids...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.