Anne Main calls for any assurances on backstop in Brexit deal to be legally binding

10th December 2018

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on the Brexit withdrawal agreement and the decision to delay the vote, Anne Main tells the PM that any new reassurances or assurances will not make a difference to her position on the withdrawal agreement if they are not legally binding and not at risk of future legal challenges.

The Prime Minister cannot fail to have noticed that there are plenty of challenges—legal challenges—surrounding Brexit, including whether or not the referendum was legally binding and whether or not we could take article 50 off the table. My concern is that any reassurances or assurances given will only be subject to legal challenges down the road if they are not legally binding. Therefore, assurances and reassurances will not make a difference to how I feel about the flaws in this particular withdrawal.

I entirely recognise the point that my hon. Friend is making about the legal position in relation to any assurances that are achieved. Obviously, we are at the beginning of the discussions with the European Union on this matter, but what I want to ensure is that Members like my hon. Friend are able to have the confidence in those assurances when they come back from the European Union.

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