David Davis looks to have secured a small victory over Theresa May by forcing her to agree to a strictly time-limited customs arrangement with the EU regarding the Northern Ireland border.
Davis was reportedly threatening to resign over the issue, as May’s government was seemingly happy for Brexit Britain to enter into an indefinite customs arrangement that would keep it shackled to Brussels, potentially, forever.
The Government has published its Brexit 'backstop' proposal to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland and Ireland which includes a clause that it should be time-limited and not continue beyond December 2021
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) June 7, 2018
But May has apparently backed down.
The FT reports: “After a frantic series of meetings with the prime minister on Thursday morning, Mr Davis’s allies claimed victory, suggesting that Mrs May had amended the proposal for a “temporary customs arrangement” until a longer term trade deal is in place. They said the Brexit secretary would now not be resigning.”
But there may be a catch:
Lots of talk that para 26 isn’t a time limit but just an expectation of one. True- but remember to read paragraph 6 too. That explicitly says that the backstop would be time limited. Number 10 has written one paragraph for brexiteers one for Brussels and hoping neither notices. pic.twitter.com/HVMBY5Nxsm
— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) June 7, 2018