Wednesday 19 December 2018

Trade deal will make Border problem easier to fix, says Davis

Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis (Leon Neal/PA)
Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis (Leon Neal/PA)

The UK's Brexit secretary, David Davis, has insisted that a solution will be found to the Border issue after Brexit and a trade deal with Brussels is now "incredibly probable".

Mr Davis said a trade deal - "the most comprehensive one ever" - would make the Border problem much easier to solve. He said the British government was committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement "at all costs".

It comes just days after a summit of European leaders in Brussels at which Taoiseach Leo Varadkar called for "real engagement" from the UK in the negotiations, after signalling that the Border issue may not be resolved until October.

Mr Davis told the BBC yesterday: "There is a risk in trying to focus just on the downsides because the real likely outcome, the overwhelmingly likely outcome, is option A.

"Option A is that we get a free-trade agreement, we get a customs agreement - all of those make the Northern Ireland issue much, much easier to solve."

The EU withdrawal deal includes a fallback option of Northern Ireland effectively continuing to remain in the customs union, but Mr Davis said either the UK-EU trade deal or new technology could prevent that. When challenged that there were no other borders of that kind in the world, Mr Davis told the BBC's 'Andrew Marr Show': "We have got a whole load of new technology now." He added: "You can't just say 'we haven't done it anywhere else', we haven't attempted to do it anywhere else."

Irish Independent

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