Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, today challenged the Government to explain plans for customs regulations between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr. Carmichael asked what steps the Government has taken to ensure that customs regulations are the same in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the UK.
Mr. Carmichael said:
“It’s one of the defining characteristics of a nation state that goods moving into the territory are subject to regulations that are not there for goods that move within that territory.
“That is why the Withdrawal Agreement is a threat to the future of the United Kingdom and why the former Prime Minister was right to discount the idea of a customs border down the Irish Sea. Why has the Conservative and Unionist Party changed their mind?”
Responding in the House, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said:
“As the Right Honourable Gentleman knows, the key priority was to maintain no hard border on the island of Ireland. As outlined in the Protocol, we will deliver unfettered access to the GB market.”
Speaking after the exchange, Mr. Carmichael said:
“The Minister ties himself in knots trying to justify Boris Johnson’s divisive proposals for Northern Ireland. Driving a new customs border down the Irish Sea is a dangerous step, however the Government spins it.
“David Mundell and Ruth Davidson were both clear last year that such a plan was unacceptable, as it risks undermining the integrity of the United Kingdom. The Government must listen to those of us who want to bring our country back together.”