Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has expressed deep concern after the Brexit Secretary made repeated references to the proposed Brexit backstop being temporary or time-limited.
Dominic Raab was speaking during a statement to the House of Commons. Dr Farry said it was at odds with prior commitments made by the UK Government in the December 2017 Joint Report.
“The need for a backstop only arises due to the UK leaving the EU and ruling out a soft Brexit UK-wide. It is there as a safety net for Northern Ireland, through avoiding a hard border and protecting the Good Friday Agreement,” said the Alliance Deputy Leader.
“By Dominic Raab referring on multiple occasions to the backstop being temporary or time-limited, the UK Government is openly indicating its indication to breach a clear commitment from the December 2017 Joint Report.
“The EU and UK were very clear the backstop would remain in place unless or until a future relationship agreement was put in place covering the underlying reasons why the guarantee is to be put in place.
“There is space for varying the nature and scope of the backstop but not its potential duration. The people and businesses of Northern Ireland need certainty on the most basic of concepts. This is not a time for the UK Government playing fast and loose with fears and anxieties. By contrast, we have been consistently assured on the intent of the backstop by the EU.”