The backstop and Brexit


You will be aware of “Brexit”, the name given to the process of Great Britain´s exit (salida) from the EU. Now the EU and the British government have a “draft agreement” (borrador de acuerdo o proyecto de acuerdo), which includes a “backstop”. So what is a backstop?

If you play baseball you may know that a backstop (receptor) is a type of player.

In the context of Brexit, “backstop” is being used differently – figuratively (figuradamente), and the focus is on Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Mrs. May, the British Prime Minister, wants to avoid (evitar) a “hard” border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. A “hard border” (borde duro) is a border where all movements of goods are physically checked at the border to ensure that taxes and rules are followed. The view is that, if there is a hard border, there is a possibility of conflict between the two parts of Ireland – as there was many moons ago.

The hope is to have computer systems and random checks at factories to solve the problem, and hence (por lo tanto) no “hard border”.

The EU/GB agreement has a provision (estipulación, provisión) that says that if there is no agreement (= no systems) on how to avoid a hard border, Northern Ireland (and therefore Great Britain) will remain in the EU. So a backstop in this context is “una malla de protección”, or a “position of last resort” (posición de ultimo recurso).

So the controversy is that, if the EU and Great Britain cannot organise the control systems for the movement of goods, Great Britain is stuck in the EU.

That is not what they voted for – they want out and a specific departure date. They do not like the “backstop”.

What do you opine (¿que opina?).


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