Warrington South MP says Government must come clean on Irish border

Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, has called on the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, to urgently confirm whether or not there will be a hard border on the Island of Ireland.


The calls come following comments from the Foreign Secretary in a leaked memo to the Prime Minister, which admitted the Government’s main challenge was to “stop this border becoming significantly harder” and that “Even if a hard border is reintroduced, we would expect to see 95% + of goods pass the border [without] checks.” These words were written despite the fact that commitments had previously been made by the Government at the end of the last year that there would be no hard border on the island of Ireland.


This prompted Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, to ask an Urgent Question in the House of Commons this afternoon.


Faisal said:

The Government’s divisions and incompetence are putting jobs and the economy at risk. Ministers have not offered any viable way to ensure frictionless trade with Europe, protect our manufacturing industry or prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.

Labour’s commitment to a negotiate a new comprehensive UK-EU customs union would achieve this. The Prime Minister must start to prioritise negotiating a future relationship with the European Union that puts jobs and the economy first. Businesses need certainty and stability from the Government, not more instability and chaos.


The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, made clear at the end of the last year that there would be no hard border on the island of Ireland. It is therefore deeply concerning to now hear his comments to the Prime Minister in a leaked letter about Northern Ireland, that he appears to be backtracking on this issue. Quite frankly his comments were reckless and completely irresponsible.


His failure to stay in the House of Commons this afternoon to answer Emily Thornberry’s question, shows nothing but utter contempt for our Parliament and leaves little doubt that he will continue to run away from his responsibilities.


The Foreign  Secretary appears to be saying one thing in public and another in private. So what is the truth? Either there will be a hard border or not. The British public deserve urgent clarification on this issue


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