A former Ulster Unionist Party member has drawn up a potential solution that could solve the Irish backstop and provide Britain with a way to leave the EU with a deal.
The Irish Times reports on the idea that the solution could involve the setup of a regulatory body between the republic and Northern Ireland in order to facilitate cross border trade. This would essentially mean that goods on the island of Ireland could transition across borders without the requirement of physical checks at the border – and keep the Good Friday Agreement intact.
The former UUP member, Lord Empey suggested that the UK could create legislation to make it an offence to knowingly transport goods into the European Union, helping to protect Ireland’s integrity and ensuring that the UK and the EU would preserve both their internal markets.
While there have been many ideas put forward to replace the backstop including the use of technological solutions, it has proven to be a sticking point in the negotiations between Britain and the EU. Michel Barnier has so far categorically refused any discussion of the backstop being removed, however a custom solution in Ireland with broad political support could facilitate a new alternative that would be acceptable to all parties.