Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz | John Thys/AFP via Getty Images
5-year backstop would resolve Brexit crisis, says Polish foreign minister
Jacek Czaputowicz says a time-limited backstop is ‘much more favorable than a no-deal Brexit.’
Updated 1/21/19, 7:13 PM CET
The Brexit impasse could be resolved if Ireland were prepared to accept a time-limited backstop of five years, according to Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.
Thus far, EU27 leaders have stood steadfastly behind the European Commission’s and Dublin’s insistence that the Northern Ireland backstop written into the Withdrawal Agreement must apply indefinitely if no other solution can be found to prevent the need for a hard border. So Czaputowicz’s suggestion that a time-limited backstop would be acceptable to reach an agreement represents a significant departure from the unity EU capitals have so far displayed on Brexit.
The Brexit deal was rejected by a record 230-vote margin in the House of Commons last week, with many Brexiteer Tories voting against it because they feared the U.K. would be locked in to the backstop.
Czaputowicz told the Rzeczpospolita newspaper that “courageous actions” are now needed to find an agreement to avoid no deal. “If Ireland turned to the EU about changing the agreement with Britain with regard to the provisions on the backstop so that it would only apply temporarily — let’s say five years — the matter would be resolved.”
“It would obviously be less favorable for Ireland than an unlimited backstop, but much more favorable than a no-deal Brexit,