Listen to Boris Johnson contradicting his own Brexit deal in rambling speech in NI last night

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is under pressure to explain himself after he directly contradicted evidence presented by Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, in a Brexit select committee hearing last month.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 12:45 pm
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Northern Ireland on Thursday evening. (Photo?Video courtesy of Manufacturing NI)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Northern Ireland on Thursday evening. (Photo?Video courtesy of Manufacturing NI)

Mr. Johnson was in Northern Ireland for a one night visit on Thursday during which time he visited home of Tayto (NI) crisps in 'Tayto Castle' in Tandragee.

Members of the NI Conservatives had the opportunity to meet, listen and talk to Mr. Johnson on Thursday evening.

It was during the engagement with the NI Conservatives that Mr. Johnson was recorded contradicting Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay.

Last month, Mr. Barclay told a Brexit select committee hearing that businesses in NI would have to complete export declaration documentation when moving goods from NI to mainland Great Britain.

On Thursday evening Mr. Johnson told the NI Conservatives he would not "implement" or "enact" checks on goods moving between NI and mainland GB.

"There will not be checks, and I speak as the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and a passionate unionist," said Mr. Johnson.

"There will not be checks on goods going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain because we’re the government of the United Kingdom and we will not institute or implement or enact such checks.

“The idea that Tayto crisps from Tandragee are going be vetted by some process is just nonsense.”

Customs expert Anna Jerzewska said what Mr. Johnson was proposing was not practical because if the UK want to negotiate free trade arrangements with other countries it must have "customs formalities and checks".

Mr. Johnson also came under fire when he told the gathering that NI remaining in the single market and maintaining freedom of movement was a good thing.

The reason why Mr. Johnson has been heavily criticised for this is because the rest of the UK will not remain inside the single market and freedom of movement will end.

The Labour Party's shadow Brexit secretary, Kier Starmer, said the video was proof Mr. Johnson "doesn't understand" his own withdrawal agreement.

"Boris Johnson either doesn’t understand the deal he has negotiated or he isn’t telling the truth. Probably both," Tweeted Mr. Starmer.

The Chairman of NI Conservatives Neil Johnston described the Prime Minister's visit as "fantastic".

"With the election well underway Boris was full of energy and enthusiastic for the campaign ahead as he looks to gain a much needed majority to get Brexit Done, move our country forward and get parliament working again for the people of our great country.

"It is fantastic to have the Prime Minister here, Boris shares our commitment to change politics in Northern Ireland and giving the people here a real alternative that will deliver prosperity, aspiration and hope.

"This can only be delivered through the Conservative Party, as proven in England, Scotland and Wales."