Northern Ireland Border - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:11 pm on 28th February 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Duncan of Springbank Lord Duncan of Springbank Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 7:11 pm, 28th February 2018

I thank the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem. With regard to the notion of the cybercrimes that we have all been threatened with over the last few years, I note again that much of the movement of goods that come into the EU is dealt with through electronic consignment. The risks that are already established for all trade are real risks, and we must take them into account as we seek to address all the challenges as we go forward.

With regard to the question about the nature of the border, the issue I come back to again is that when we reached that agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom Government in the joint report of December, it was based upon a mutual understanding that we wished to see a border in name alone to allow movement to continue. That is the position of the United Kingdom Government and, importantly, also the position of the Government of Ireland—the two principal interlocutors in this matter. We must never lose sight of the fact that they are the most affected, and we must find and secure an agreement that suits both sides. On that basis, they form the principal component parts of the negotiation elements that will unfold in the coming months. It remains the objective of the Government to deliver a seamless border, as we have promised and as has been promised by the Taoiseach himself.