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And this is what Hilary Benn, the chair of the Commons Brexit committee, told reporters after his committee’s meeings with Martin Selmayr. (See 12.57pm.) He said the proposals in the so-called Malthouse compromise for alternatives to the backstop (see 9.20am) would not work. He explained:

A lot of it to me, I have to say, personally, looks very familiar if you go back to last summer when people looked at technology and trusted traders and all of that, and a great deal of effort was put into examining those as a possible way forward.

The conclusion that was reached I think on behalf of the British government and the European Union was that well, it’s not going to work.


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These are from the BBC’s Adam Fleming on the meeting the Commons Brexit committee had this morning with Martin Selmayr, the European commission’s secretary general.

After a 90-minute meeting with @MartinSelmayr in Brussels this morning MPs from @CommonsEUexit say the EU would consider legally-binding assurances on the Withdrawal Agreement if it helped get the deal through Parliament., (1)

One idea floated in the meeting was turning the letter to the PM in January from Presidents Tusk and Juncker into a legally-binding attachment to the Withdrawal Agreement. (2)

The chair @hilarybennmp made a personal suggestion that Article 50 be extended to allow details of the future UK/EU relationship to be negotiated so that the backstop was less likely to be needed. (3)

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