Farry: UK Government must take realistic approach to proposed backstop

Alliance Party Brexit Spokesperson and Deputy Leader, Stephen Farry MLA, has said he’s “not surprised” at the latest comments from the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, adding the UK Government needs to take “a much more realistic approach” to dealing with the proposed backstop.

Stephen Farry MLA said: “The UK Government and Conservative Party have been so busy in trying to paper over their own decisions that they have not been focusing on producing coherent proposals in line with the realities that are consistently spelt out by the European Union – in particular the terms of the Joint Report which the UK itself signed up to in December.

“From the Alliance Party’s engagement with the European Union and other stakeholders it has long been clear that the backstop was only meant to be applicable to Northern Ireland, not the whole of the UK, and would be an open-ended insurance until or unless a better future UK-EU relationship or special arrangement for Northern Ireland was agreed.

“The UK Government needs to take a much more realistic approach to placing the backstop agreed in December into legal text, while in parallel creating confidence in the process through signaling its intent to have a comprehensive solution of a Customs Union and commitment to the Single Market that does not involve cherry-picking and undermining the integrity and inter-relationship of the four fundamental freedoms.”

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