Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Lisa Chambers TD says it is imperative that there is a legally binding guarantee in place to prevent the emergence of a hard border on the island of Ireland, irrespective of the debate around the status of ‘time-limits’ as set out by the UK Government.

Deputy Chambers made the comments following the publication of proposals by the UK Government on the proposed ‘backstop’ arrangement. Deputy Chambers added that such a backstop arrangement cannot, by definition, be time limited.

Deputy Chambers said, “The UK Government has today put forward proposals setting out a temporary customs arrangement to be put in place for the whole of the UK until such a time as a future customs arrangement can be introduced. They state their view that they expect such a new arrangement to be in place by the end of December 2021.

“Whilst I acknowledge the attempt to move this issue forward it is critical that, irrespective of the shape, scope or type of future trading relationship agreed between the EU and the UK, that there is a guarantee in place specifying that there will be no hard border on the Island of Ireland in the event of failure to reach agreement.

“The issue of the border can no longer be fudged. Whilst today’s proposals have to be examined in full we cannot continue to kick this issue down the road.

“We were told by the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach in December that the commitments given in the December agreement in relation to the border were ‘cast-iron’ and ‘bullet-proof’. The time has come to see if those statements will actually ring true,” concluded Deputy Chambers.