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PM Statement on the Irish Border
Following two rounds of negotiations with the Irish Taoiseach, he and Prime Minister William Croft emerge from their meeting location to shake hands for the cameras, smiling and nodding at the assembled reporters. "I told you, Leo is a man I can do business with!" William says while shaking Varadkar's hand. As the Irish delegation walk to their cars and drive to the airport, Croft is joined by Foreign Secretary Henry Russell as the two men approach a set of podiums to deliver a prepared statement to the press. 

Good afternoon. When I first became Prime Minister, I made it very clear that I believed a new deal on our departure from the European Union was possible. That the Withdrawal Agreement could be revised, that an alternative could be found to the undemocratic backstop, and that The United Kingdom could leave the EU on March 29 with a deal that respects the will of the British people. It has always been my belief that with commitment, nerve, and faith in our purposes, we could get this done and honor our promise to the British people. Today, I am proud to announce that we have taken a critical first step in achieving a deal and honoring that promise. 

This afternoon, the Irish Taoiseach and I have jointly agreed to the Strabane Solution, an agreement to an alternative to the backstop that is backed by the British and Irish Governments. The core of the challenges with the previous Withdrawal Agreement had always been with the Irish backstop. It trapped the United Kingdom in a customs union with no end in sight. It forced a proposal upon the people of Northern Ireland, without the people having any say in the matter. At it's core, it did not represent a true Brexit, and therefor did not reflect the will of the British people. It was because of the backstop that my Government was not able to accept the previous deal. Fortunately, this agreement has changed that. 

The agreement we have reached dissolves the backstop, and in its place puts a new solution that the Government calls the "Two Borders, Four Years," plan. The proposal will see a customs "border" created between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and a regulatory border established between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK for the entirety of the transition period as provided in the original Withdrawal Agreement. The customs border will not be a traditional border, but will instead consist of a series of check points stationed well away from the actual border, where checks on good will be performed to ensure the right taxes and tariffs are being paid. To ease the regulatory burden on business, larger corporations will be able to apply for pre-clearence on these checks via the Authorized Economic Operator Scheme. The regulatory border between the UK and the rest of Ireland will require goods being moved between the UK and Northern Ireland be checked at the border, and will require Northern Ireland to remain aligned with EU rules on industrial and agricultural goods for a 4 year trial period. 

Critically, the people of Northern Ireland will be empowered to determine their fate and have their say on whether or not they support this arrangement. At the end of the two year transition period, Stormont will be able to vote on whether or not to continue the arrangement with the customs borders, and will be able to re-vote every 4 years. The same will be true for the regulatory border; at the end of the four year transition period, the Northern Irish Assembly will be able to vote if they wish to continue the arrangement, and will have the right to re-vote every four years. 

This agreement represents a massive victory for the British people, the people of Ireland, and people across the European Union. It ensures that come March 29, the United Kingdom will leave the EU as one nation, whole and perfect. It removes the undemocratic backstop, and ensure that Britain will not be stuck in any EU customs union for an indeterminate amount of time. It guarantees that we will be free to negotiate free trade agreements, that we will take back control of our borders, and that we will finally be able to move on to the everyday issues that matter to working people here in Britain. And critically, it ensures that the hard earned peace in Ireland is preserved, and that the conditions of the Good Friday Agreement are met. I want to thank my friend Leo, and the people of Ireland, for their faith in this process and valiant work in achieving this commitment. We have shown the whole of Europe what is possible, and serve as an example of the positive and strong relations that awaits Britain and our European friends after we leave on March 29. 

Now, it is the task of myself and the Government to make the case to the European Commission that the Withdrawal Agreement should be altered to reflect the changes made by the historic agreement reached by the Irish and British Governments. Over the coming days, my team and I will head to Europe to begin negotiations with the Commission and others to ensure this new deal is accepted. To my European friends, I say this: I implore you, seize this moment to make a deal that will ensure the best possible outcome for both your countries and the United Kingdom, as this will be our final chance to do so. Make no mistake, the agreement reached between Britain and Ireland represents a compromise from the Government's original position. We intend to work with our European friends, to be understanding when possible while honoring our promises to the British people. All I ask is that you show the same level of flexibility in return. 

Tonight I return to London, ever busy and ever prepared to ensure the people's work is done. I return more confident than ever that a deal can be reached, and that one is on the horizon. Propelled forward by my belief in the power and spirit of the British people, and by my desire to honor the promise I've made to them, I and my Government will get this better deal done, see to it that the United Kingdom leaves the EU on March 29, and move our country forward in order to tackle the issues that matter to you. 

Thank you, and God Save the Queen.
William Grey MP - Conservative Party 

MP for Romford (2015 - )

Backbench Favorite, Campaigning Guru, Socially Unaware 
The final speech of the Croft Trilogy came to us from the Irish border at the announcement of the Strabane Solution. The Strabane Solution/Setback/Surrender is basically a Northern Ireland only backstop with votes for Stormont to allow them to leave the various aspects when they want to. The "Two Borders, Four Years" plan is well received in a lot of Brexit circles (a lot of Brexiteers legitimately believe that giving Northern Ireland back to Ireland is a price worth paying for Brexit so this is a step up for them) and supported by the UUP in Northern Ireland. Statements like 'this agreement dissolves the backstop' are very well received by the press and public and the idea of Northern Ireland being able to determine their own fate is warmly received as well. This is a high point in the Croft Premiership, I sure hope nobody will come along and absolutely savage this deal in say, the Brexit Press Cycle.

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