[5th Allotted Day]

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 4:13 pm on 9th January 2019.

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Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence) 4:13 pm, 9th January 2019

I do not want to question the sincerity of the comments that the right hon. Gentleman has just made. There are very few references to the border at all in the Belfast agreement, but where there are references, they do not in any way suggest that this decision cannot take place. There is no commitment to open the hard border. There is a commitment to co-operation among our nations—between Northern Ireland and the Republic. There is a commitment to relationships on a north-south basis.

One of the things that is in the Belfast agreement, which is completely absent from this discussion, is that it says in paragraph 12 of strand 2 that any future relationship—or impediment—or regulation or rule can be implemented only when it is agreed by the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Oireachtas in the south. That is completely absent from the considerations on or indeed the text of the withdrawal agreement.