Border infrastructure not needed: Campbell

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has said the report published by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster reinforces that there will not be infrastructure at the border with the Republic of Ireland when the UK leaves the EU.

Saturday, 17th March 2018, 9:42 am
Updated Saturday, 17th March 2018, 9:55 am
A truck passes a Brexit billboard in Jonesborough, Co. Armagh, on the northern side of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Photo by Niall Carson/PA Wire

Commenting on the report today Mr Campbell, who is a member of the committee, said: “There is obviously a need for continued work as we move towards the UK’s exit from the European Union on 29th March 2019.

“There is also a need for ongoing work, particularly by the European Union on the ways in which business and goods will move across the border.

“It is noted that a no-deal scenario would have negative consequences. These would of course be most severe for the Republic of Ireland and it highlights why this should be focused upon by all sides.

“The committee’s report also notes that the recent EU legal text does not faithfully replicate December’s Joint Report and supports the Prime Minister’s clear rejection of the current proposals.

“The importance of the internal UK market is once again reinforced and a rejection of any border in the Irish Sea.

“It is pointed out that infrastructure on the border not only fails to have political support but on its own would not be effective.

“Work must continue to develop the kind of “flexible and imaginative solutions” that both the European Union and our own government have referred to in this area.

“As ever, there will be some who will continue to focus solely on the challenges which exist and will pretend that no solutions can be found.

“The irresponsible scaremongering over the mythical ‘hard border’ should cease and both the EU and our own Government need to move on to establishing a deal from which we all benefit.”

The EU says the UK cannot get a legally watertight transition deal until it resolves the status of the Irish border as part of a wider divorce settlement.

Senior UK and EU officials were due to meet this weekend in Brussels, ahead of an EU27 Brexit summit on Friday, when Prime Minister Theresa May hopes to bag the transition deal that British business demands.

British negotiators will be told they need to move closer to the EU’s insurance option for avoiding a hard border in Ireland.