Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly TD has called on the Government to secure the Brexit backstop on the Northern Ireland border at this month’s EU council meeting following the findings of a UK committee that technical solutions would not avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.
The report published by the UK’s Northern Ireland Affairs Committee found that so-called technical solutions to avoid a hard border were not in place anywhere in the world, nor was there evidence that they would be possible to implement. The report also ruled out a customs border in the Irish Sea.
Deputy Donnelly commented, “It is imperative that agreement is reached on the backstop solution for the border next week. We now have a situation where the Common’s own committee says that it has no evidence that an invisible border is possible without the backstop and alignment that the UK signed up to in December. And yet, Prime Minister May has said that no Prime Minister could ever agree to it. Something has to give.
“In December, we were told that the agreement was “cast iron” by the Taoiseach. It has become abundantly clear that this was oversold following the UK’s reaction to the draft legal text. The upcoming council meeting must be used to go back and finish the job. People and businesses are being hurt by this uncertainty.
“In the last few months, senior UK Government Ministers have made a concerted effort to normalise some sort of border by talking up the Canada border and the Smart Border 2.0 document. The EU and Ireland must stand firm. The backstop must be secured. If no other solution is in place come December 2020, both the UK and EU must have a workable solution agreed and in place.”