Umunna – Only way to avoid a hard border is to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union

Brexit Secretary David Davis and his shadow Sir Kier Starmer both answered questions on the Irish border in television interviews this morning.  Sir Kier repeated his intention – revealed in the Observer this morning – to table amendments to government legislation in an attempt to rule out a hard border in Ireland.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said: 

“The only way to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland is to fight to keep the UK in both the Single Market and the Customs Union. No diplomat, ambassador or EU official I have spoken to believes there is likely to be any other solution. 

“And given that Brexit is turning into a costly and complicated mess, we should keep all options on the table. It is not right to suggest that Brexit is a done deal and that we must simply make the best of what we know can only be a bad deal for those we represent.

“Labour Party policy, as approved by conference in 2016, is that the Brexit deal should be subject to approval by Parliament and the public and that, if the terms are unacceptable, we should retain the option of staying in the EU.

“The public are keeping an open mind on the whole issue of Brexit. All political parties should have the confidence to do the same, and not be afraid to let the people have a say on the Brexit deal.

“With regard to any amendments to EU legislation, only cross-party ones have any hope of commanding support across the House of Commons and being carried. It is vital we all put the usual ‘Punch and Judy’ politics to one side and instead work together in the national interest on this crucial issue.”