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Brexit and the Irish Backstop: The Fear that Dare Not Speak its Name
British Prime Minister Theresa May on December 10 decided not to call a long-expected vote on her plan to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union (EU). The underlying reason is continued controversy over the so-called Irish backstop a fall-back plan that would maintain an open border on the island of Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without securing a deal. But while there is a mountain of controversy over the backstop mechanism itself, and whether it might lock the UK, against its will, into a near-permanent customs union with the EU, there is virtually no discussion of the underlying political and security rationale for the backstop.
JOHN M. ROBERTS
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