Iain Duncan Smith: If EU want UK to have an 'orderly' Brexit, the ball is in their court

Iain Duncan Smith: ‘The ball will be back in the EU’s court’ after UK rejects Irish backstop proposals

A lorry crosses the border past a Border Communities Against Brexit billboard in Northern Ireland.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has said that the “ball will be back in the EU’s court” if they want the UK to leave the EU in an “orderly” way.

Mr Smith is part of a working group meeting with the Prime Minister to find a working solution to replace the Irish backstop.

MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nicky Morgan and Mr Smith have backed the Malthouse Compromise – which sees the backstop issue resolved using technology to ensure there are no checks at the border.



The MP for Chingford and Woodford Green told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “We sat down with Michel Barnier in October and he expressed certain interests in what we were proposing but then the government signed the original backstop.

“They have not since then ever asked to reopen it. If the EU and the Irish are not prepared to be in any way flexible on this, which has been the case up until now, then the thing that they most want – an orderly process and departure – becomes at very high risk. The ball will be back in the EU’s court in due course.”



The Conservative MP added that he felt the Malthouse Compromise would allow the Northern Irish border to be “unhindered” after the UK leaves the EU.

“Our proposals are to do with keeping the Northern Irish border open with no checks at the border, and doing it in a way that does not separate Northern Ireland from the UK but it does guarantee that border flow is unhindered. I think that is wholly feasible,” he said.



He described the current EU Withdrawal Agreement as leaving the UK “semi-trapped” in the EU.

“It is a very one-side, one-direction deal that leaves the UK semi-trapped or bootstrapped to the EU without the ability to change anything but accept EU law and EU judgements, regardless of what the problem is with the border of Northern Ireland,” he said.