In the Telegraph:
Our man in Brussels James Crisp says that Nathalie Loiseau, France’s Europe minister, has had this to say:
[Question asked of Loiseau:] Is there a new way you could prove to MPs you don’t want to use the backstop?
If they don’t intend to ever use it it in any circumstance it wouldn’t be there. You don’t include something in a contract unless you intend to use in the appropriate situation.
And it’s the wrong question anyway, because it’s not about whether the EU ‘wants’ to use it, but whether it will use it.
[Loiseau:] “We have said it repeatedly. The president said it at the end of the previous European council. The backstop is just a last resort.
There you go. It will be used if necessary.