Wednesday 15 August 2018

Border issue being used as an excuse to thwart Brexit, says DUP deputy leader

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds speaking to the media outside Stormont. Photo: PA
DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds speaking to the media outside Stormont. Photo: PA

Steven Swinford

The Irish Border issue is being used as an "excuse" to thwart Brexit, the DUP's Westminster leader has warned.

Nigel Dodds said critics who claim that Britain must stay in the customs union to retain an open Border are "misconceived".

He told 'Peston on Sunday' on ITV1: "Some people who are now using the excuse that because of the Northern Ireland open Border situation, because of the need to avoid a hard Border, because of the protection of the Belfast agreement, that somehow this all demands certain things like membership of the customs union. That is totally misconceived, they're actually using the Belfast agreement to advance their own version of Brexit, or indeed in some cases to actually thwart Brexit.

"The issue of Northern Ireland where we want an open Border with the Irish Republic but we're also very clear that there can be no Border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom economically or politically and I think in terms of a customs union it is very clear... that you do not require membership of the customs union to preserve a frictionless Border in Ireland."

Mr Dodds, the DUP deputy leader, highlighted the fact there are already different currencies and tax regimes operating on either side of the Border.

He said: "We already have currency differences, a different currency in Northern Ireland to the Republic, there are different tax regimes, VAT regimes. The idea somehow that this will provide such a massive barrier, that it will not allow trade to continue is nonsense, it can be done." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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