Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

It is interesting what the Minister says, but the Home Office also says there are six problems with deploying these technological solutions: one, it is expensive and there is no budget; two, it has to operate with 28 different UK Government agencies; three, it needs to operate on both sides of the border; four, it will not be deliverable until 2030; five, the Government have a poor track record—to say the least—on big tech projects; and six, no one in the world has done anything similar. That is hardly a recipe for success.

The real answer to the Northern Ireland border question is staring the Government in the face. Twenty-eight months and two Brexit Secretaries ago, I told the Minister from this Dispatch Box that the only way to avoid a hard border was to stay in the customs union and to align all rules and regulations. He himself said three years ago that for anyone to pretend otherwise

“flies in the face of reality”.

That was the truth then, and it remains the truth today, so why will the Government not wake up to it?