Doughty – Customs Union is not enough in Northern Ireland

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made a speech in Belfast today in which he claimed joining a customs union with the EU would be enough to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Commenting, Stephen Doughty MP, a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:

“It is good to hear a clear view from the Labour leadership on the vital importance, for peace and prosperity, of avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland. But while the Customs Union is necessary to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, it is not sufficient. 

“If the UK leaves Europe’s economic area and the Single Market, then controls on the Irish border for reasons of food safety, quality of goods and for rules of origin of imported goods may become unavoidable.

“We need to listen clearly over the coming weeks to the voices of people in Northern Ireland, the TUC, ICTU and trade union colleagues, as well as the Irish Government and cross-community voices who are stating clearly why both the Customs Union and Single Market are so crucial.

“It cannot be right that a minority Government can impose a hard Brexit and a hard border on the people of Northern Ireland and Ireland.

“Brexit, and its impact on the peace process in Northern Ireland, is too big just to be left to politicians in London.

“With such crucial questions unanswered it is absolutely essential we have a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”