Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-
“It is EU intransigence and idealogical insistence on the sanctity of its single market and customs union which threatens a hard border on the island of Ireland. The UK seeks free trade, but Brussels insists on preserving its tariffs: hence the prospect of a customs border. So, let the responsibility for any resulting hard border be clear.
“It is nonsense to talk about preserving the rules of the EU single market and customs union, either for Northern Ireland or the UK as a whole, for such equates to staying in the EU. The UK is leaving, like it or not, so it is time the EU came to terms with that reality.
“There is a way to protect against a hard border and if the EU cared anything for the economy of the Republic of Ireland it would be rolling out such a proposal, namely, Special Status for the Republic within the EU, whereby it could continue to trade tariff free with its neighbour the UK. At a stroke the hard border issue would be largely resolved and the devastating risk to the Republic’s economy removed.
“However, it seems the EU’s ideology is more important to it than the Republic’s economy. One day, the Republic may realise that its economic interests are best protected by itself leaving the EU and thereby preserving its access to its key UK market, but that is a matter for the people of the Republic. We in Northern Ireland, like the rest of our nation, are leaving, with or without a deal.”