No-deal Brexit would result in 'backstop 2' - McGuinness
'No-deal tariffs would inflict horror on agri-businesses on both sides of the border'
Vice-president of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness has said she believes a 'backstop 2' situation would emerge for Northern Ireland even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The Fine Gael MEP, who represents the Republic's border counties in Europe, said the EU's chief negotiatior Michel Barnier is committed to ensuring no border infrastructure in a no-deal scenario. But she said Mr Barnier is facing "a clash of objectives" over the issue, with strong concern around Europe that Northern Ireland could become a back door to the EU single market.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Ms McGuinness, who had a career as an agriculture journalist before turning to politics in 2004, said the UK's no-deal proposals for tariffs on goods reflected the "horror" it could inflict on agri-businesses on both sides of the border.
The scenario would permit goods travelling north to cross the border tariff-free, but it's anticipated that Northern Ireland firms would face tariffs in the other direction.
"The first thing I thought when I saw the proposals on the tariffs from the British Government, was that they are treating Northern Ireland differently and this is something that the DUP and others said they would never allow happen," said the MEP.
"In a sense it was rather strange. I'm not sure how workable it is, but it does point to the horror that a no-deal Brexit would unveil for the UK.
"For agriculture the consequences are really serious," she added.
On Tuesday, Mr Barnier told MEPs in Strasbourg that the Good Friday Agreement would continue to apply in all Brexit scenarios.