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Checks on Goods: Northern Ireland and Great Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:39 am on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 10:39 am, 24th October 2019

My hon. Friend rightly raises the point about the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. He will know that the text specifically says that there must be regard to

“maintaining the integral place of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom’s internal market”,

and there is specific reference to its “constitutional status”, so he is absolutely right about that. He is also right in his recognition that these issues need to be addressed in the context of the future trading relationship that will be reached between the UK and the EU, and we have set out our ambitions for that. We are trying to address the period ahead of that, but we have the implementation period and we are confident that we can get a free trade agreement in place on the timescale that applies—to December 2020. That, as he rightly identifies, then addresses the points in his question.