December 3, 2018 / 5:12 PM / 12 days ago

EU, UK can't end Northern Irish backstop unilaterally after Brexit - government lawyer

Britain's Attorney General Geoffrey Cox makes a statement in the House of Commons, in London, Britain, December 3, 2018. Parliament TV handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - The agreement on Britain’s exit from the EU provided no unilateral right for the bloc or Britain to end a so-called backstop arrangement on the Northern Irish border after Brexit, the government’s Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said on Monday.

“There is (...) no unilateral right for either party to terminate this arrangement,” Cox told parliament.

“This means that if no superseding agreement can be reached within the implementation period, the protocol would be activated and in international law would subsist even if negotiations had broken down,” Cox said, explaining the legal structure of the deal which faces a vote in parliament next week.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and William James; writing by Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by William Schomberg

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