Use Of Backstop Comes Down To Trust, Says Brexit Secretary

22 January 2019, 09:57 | Updated: 22 January 2019, 10:10

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay admits that use of the backstop arrangement will "come down to trust" between the UK and EU, but insists both sides want to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, the Brexit Secretary said that it was not in the interest of the EU for the UK to leave without a deal, noting that the majority of Theresa May's withdrawal deal has been agreed by figures in Parliament.

"There's a lot in the deal on which people agree, the issue therefore is how we can address this outstanding matter of the backstop," he said.

But Nick told him it 'wasn't a great start' to hear the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier saying "there's absolutely no chance of revisiting the backstop".

Stephen Barclay is the third Brexit Secretary, after resignations of David Davis and Dominic Raab
Stephen Barclay is the third Brexit Secretary, after resignations of David Davis and Dominic Raab. Picture: Getty

"It does start from a shared objective," Mr Barclay replied.

"There's a legitimate issue for the Irish government in terms of avoiding a hard border, but it's one we share.

"So both sides want to avoid a hard border and really this comes down to trust.

"There's a question of trust whether the backstop would be used by the EU side.

"But there's goodwill on both sides because we both want to avoid a hard border, we both want to get a deal over the line, so we've got to engage on how we deliver that so that we respect what both sides are looking for."

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