Farry encouraged by Customs Union and Single Market reports

Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said he is encouraged by reports suggested the EU draft withdrawal agreement will see Northern Ireland remain in the Customs Union and Single Market after Brexit.

The reports suggest the UK is expected by the EU to sign-off on the text, which will see Northern Ireland continue to participate in both after the transition period. Dr Farry said it was “the logical outworking” of the commitments made in the first phase of negotiations.

“It would be better in every respect if the UK as a whole remained within both the Customs Union and the Single Market. The UK Government’s own economic analysis reinforces the catastrophic economic consequences of a hard Brexit or no deal situation.

“However, if necessary, a Northern Ireland-only approach would be the next best alternative. This is important not just to defend the current economic situation but to allow Northern Ireland to grow and flourish. Alliance has set out our own proposals and rationale for this in the paper entitled ‘Bridges not Borders’.

“It is important to stress this would be compatible with Northern Ireland continuing to play a full part in the UK’s internal market. The EU Single Market and UK internal market are not mutually exclusive. Crucially, this approach is also entirely consistent with Northern Ireland’s current constitutional position and the principle of consent. Indeed, a satisfactory compromise around this type of approach could bring much needed political stability and cohesion to Northern Ireland.”

Alliance’s Brexit document ‘Bridges Not Borders’ is available by clicking here.
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