22:52 GMT20 June 2021
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    A recent report commissioned by the German Green Party and seen by The Guardian suggests that the Irish backstop could potentially frustrate the EU’s green and social standards, while retaining British access to the European single market.

    The report warns that the flawed wording of the withdrawal agreement means that the EU would fail to prevent any future, possibly more rash, UK government from breaking with these standards.

    Sputnik discussed the report with Wyn Grant, professor of international politics at Warwick University. 

    Sputnik: How significant is it that such a report was commissioned now?

    Wyn Grant: Clearly we are at a very sensitive stage in the Brexit withdrawal process, so it is important to detect any hidden traps in the prospective agreement. 

    Sputnik: What impact could it have on the upcoming EU elections?

    Wyn Grant: I think it would have a relatively marginal impact on the elections given that they are defined in Brexit versus Remain terms, although the Green Party will no doubt try to make something of it.

    READ MORE: New Report Reignites Concerns Around Irish Backstop Plan 

    Sputnik: The report warns that the EU may find it difficult, if not impossible, to force Britain to keep to European environmental or social protection standards. Who could be the referee in this game?

    Wyn Grant: It is difficult to see who the referee could be. It could not be an EU agency, but nor could an international body be brought in. One might try and constitute a special body, but that in itself would be contentious.

    Sputnik: Under what circumstances could EU standards be upheld under the current deadlock in Brexit negotiations?  

    Wyn Grant: EU standards apply as long as Britain is a member and during any transition process. The Labour Party is insistent that they should be maintained and the government appears to have accepted this in current talks.      

    The views and opinions expressed by Wyn Grant are those of the expert and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.    


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