McFadden – Government must ensure Brexit does not cause hard border in Ireland

The Government’s decision to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union after Brexit will “inevitably” create a customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the cross-party Exiting the European Union Select Committee says today in a new report. 

Commenting, Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of Open Britain and member of the Exiting the EU Select Committee, said:

“Our Committee concludes that we do not see how the Government can reconcile its stated policies of pulling out of the Customs Union and Single Market with having no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“A huge amount of progress has been made in recent years in terms of normalising cross border relations, trade and economic activity. 

“It is pretty clear that the leaders of the Leave campaign and their champions in Government gave little thought to the border issue during the referendum or before adopting policies to leave the Single Market and Customs Union. But this is hugely important. It cannot be treated as an afterthought.

“The obvious answer is to revisit the red lines the Government has set down on the Customs Union and Single Market to ensure that Brexit does not result in a hard border, does not damage growing trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and does not act as a rewind button on the enormous progress made over the past 20 years.”

/ends

Notes to editors:

The Committee says: “We do not currently see how it will be possible to reconcile there being no border with the Government’s policy of leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union, which will inevitably make the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the EU’s customs border with the UK.”

The Select Committee’s report is here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmexeu/372/372.pdf