It is EU, not UK, that seeks ‘hard border’

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-

“In stressing that “customs controls were part of EU border management” it is clear from Mr Barnier that any hard border will be the result of EU insistence, not British insistence. Remoaners need to face up to this reality.

“In consequence, those who want to ameliorate the impact of the border should recognise that it is the Republic, not Northern Ireland, which needs “special status” within the EU.

“Under Brexit it is the Republic that is going to feel the draught, especially if the EU cuts off its nose to spite its face by insisting on tariffs. Then, the Republic’s trade – which is predominantly with the UK, especially for its all important agri-food business – will be devastated as its goods are priced out of the UK market (with Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry standing to gain by filling the GB void).

“So, a “special status” for the Republic of Ireland within the EU would make sense, allowing it – unlike the rest of the EU – to trade tariff-free with the UK. At a stroke the economic downturn for the Republic is avoided and the hard border issue is resolved. This is what the Dublin government should be seeking.

“As the EU negotiations unfold Northern Ireland’s interests lie in ensuring the advantages of leaving are not blunted by keeping even one toe inside the EU tent. Our leaving must be no less emphatic and obvious than that of the rest of the Kingdom. We joined as one nation; we must leave as one nation.”

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