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Northern Ireland does not have to rely on the Irish government or the European Union to prevent a return to borders of the past. The UK government will not let that happen. I will not let that happen.
At the same time, we must continue to support all efforts that can lead towards the restoration of Northern Ireland's political institutions. And the UK government is absolutely committed to ensuring that when an executive is restored it will have real influence to speak for all the people of Northern Ireland as we shape the UK's future relationship with the European Union.
There is no suggestion that we are not going to ensure that in the future there is provision for this, as its been called called an insurance policy, the backstop, that ensures that if there is... the future relationship is not in place by the end of the implementation period, there will be arrangements in place to ensure that we deliver no hard border. Our commitment to that remains.
What parliament has said and what the House of Commons has said is that they want to see changes to the backstop as it currently exists within the protocol as part of the withdrawal agreement. The issue that has always been one that parliament has raised, it's been raised across all sides of the House of Commons, is the potential indefinite nature of the backstop. That's the issue we look to address.
There are a number of ways to do it. Looking at alternative arrangements, discussing with MPs, we've put forward proposals on that, looking at the legal changes that will be necessary to give the legal certainty. But the commitment to no hard border absolutely remains. And as the amendment, Sir Graham Brady's amendment, when it passed the House of Commons made clear, commitment to avoid a hard border and to leave the European Union with a deal.