Alliance Party Deputy Leader and Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has responded to proposals from the European Research Group (ERG) by terming them “delusional”.
Dr Farry added that not only did the proposals avoid dealing with the core questions; they only served as a distraction when it comes to finding a resolution to the border issue.
“There are two options to avoid a hard border. Either the UK as a whole stays in the Single Market and Customs Union, or special arrangements are put in place for Northern Ireland, built on the foundation of the backstop,” he said.
“Anything else is the equivalent of trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole. The ERG proposals are simply delusional and a re-hash of previous suggestions. Technical and administrative approaches can only take us so far and what has been suggested here would only add additional bureaucracy, fundamentally failing to respect the basic mechanisms of the European Union.
“Time is running out if a withdrawal agreement and transition deal are to be concluded within the coming weeks. All roads flow through finalising a way forward on the proposed backstop, but even if there is credence within the ERG proposals, this relates more to future relations, meaning the backstop still has to be agreed as part of any withdrawal agreement.
“Anything different than this reality is simply a delusional distraction.”