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Deal or No Deal?

With time running out to finalise a Brexit deal the Alternative Arrangements Working Group will meet today to discuss alternative arrangements for the Irish Backstop. The Working Group, consisting of a mix of leave and remain MP's are tasked with finding an acceptable solution to the Irish border question. 

Under the current Brexit deal, the 310 mile Irish border would become the only land border between the UK and the EU. The backstop 'insurance policy' will kick in if the two sides are unable to reach a a comprehensive trade deal with one another that avoids the need for physical border checks. It would keep the UK in a 'single customs territory' with the EU and leave Northern Ireland effectively in the UK's single market for goods.

A number of MP's fear the UK could be 'trapped' in such an arrangement for years leaving it unable to strike it's own trade deals in goods with the rest of the world. Unionists also fear that it would drive a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The UK is due to leave the EU at 11 pm on Friday 29th March 2019 when the 2 year time limit on withdrawal negotiations enforced by the Article 50 process expires. What will be in the final deal or no deal box only time will tell.