The idea that the sort of proposals that are floating about from the EU side and, indeed, some officials from our side in Brussels are necessary to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland is complete rubbish. There is already infrastructure on the border, and there are financial, fiscal and other differences because it is an international border. Of course it can be managed.
May I draw the Secretary of State’s attention to what the Prime Minister said in her commitments to Northern Ireland on 6 December? She said that there would be no new borders within the United Kingdom and that the whole UK, including Northern Ireland, would leave the customs union and the single market. On 17 December, she agreed that nothing would be done to create any border, constitutional, political, economic or regulatory, between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Does the Secretary of State stand by that, because he needs to understand that, as a democratic Unionist party, we will not tolerate anything that separates Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom on customs or the single market as we leave the European Union? We have been clear about that from day one. It is why we had the debacle in December—let us not repeat that mistake.