Farry cautiously welcomes Brexit deal reports

Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has given a cautious welcome to reports a deal on the Irish dimension of Brexit negotiations has been reached.

The reports suggested the UK Government was prepared to accept Northern Ireland remaining in the EU Customs Union and Single Market. Dr Farry said it would be consistent with the UK’s current constitutional position but would also provide a major economic opportunity to be a bridge to different markets.

He added the concept was consistent with proposals tabled by Alliance on Northern Ireland remaining part of the Single Market.

“We are really encouraged by the reported direction of travel on the principles of how the Irish dimension to the Brexit process can be managed. We are awaiting fuller detail but the concept of continued regulatory alignment seems a strong platform on which to proceed to more detailed negotiations.

“Regulatory alignment is about economics. This is about recognising the interdependent nature of the economy on the island of Ireland but also with the rest of the UK. This is not an either/or choice. Operating fully in the UK and EU Single Markets are not mutually exclusive. This process should not lead to impediments to east-west trade. Northern Ireland operating in line with EU standards does not exclude us from the UK market. Rather it allows Northern Ireland to be a bridge to both the Europe and the rest of the UK. This could be a massive opportunity – a real economic game-changer for us.

“Politically, this is entirely in line with the principle of consent and devolution. Brexit is a real threat to the stability of this region, and a sensible, pragmatic way forward is essential. I would hope people from across the political spectrum would recognise this.

“If realised, this platform would in itself not yet amount to Northern Ireland remaining within the Single Market, but that would be the logical conclusion. This is the position of Alliance and reflects the proposals we published last week.”

You can see Alliance’s Bridges Not Borders document on our Brexit proposals here.
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