In this View from Brussels we discuss how EU law could be used by the UK to improve the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration along the lines recently requested by the UK Parliament.

The backstop, if triggered, starts to apply only once the transition period has expired and has no end date. As such, it relates to the UK/EU future relations. However, the EU has argued that Article 50 only allows the conclusion of an agreement that deals with separation issues, not agreements setting out a future relationship. The backstop therefore exposes a major inconsistency in the position of the EU on what is legally allowed under Article 50, meaning that the backstop in its present from is illegal as a matter of EU law.

We elaborate further in our briefing here.