I really am appalled by the lack of seriousness with which the UK Government are taking issues in Northern Ireland. We have warned about it for long enough: even this morning, this House’s Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union heard from Victor Chestnutt, the president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, who has no axe to grind politically in this. He said that we are approaching
“with both arms tied behind our back and a blindfold on.”
The other place heard last week from the Police Service of Northern Ireland that there is a real risk that there are bad men on all sides of the discussion in Northern Ireland ready to take advantage of chaos, and that internationally, we could see organised crime focusing on Northern Ireland because of the lack of preparation and uncertainty. This just is not ready yet, Minister. Northern Ireland needs an adjustment period: are preparations ready for that? Failing that, what plans are there for a relocation of police officers to Northern Ireland on a massive scale, in order to assist with such procedures as will need to be enforced because of his Government’s failure?