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Irish Border: Checks and Customs Arrangements - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:20 pm on 1st October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bruce of Bennachie Lord Bruce of Bennachie Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland) 3:20 pm, 1st October 2019

My Lords, has the Prime Minister not acknowledged that there will be physical customs posts within striking distance of both sides of the border? Would that in itself, according to the reaction that we have seen across Northern Ireland, not be deemed by most people to be incompatible with the Good Friday agreement? Could the Minister respond to the freight industry’s suggestion that any such proposal would require designated routes, which clearly would require restrictions on other routes across the border and therefore would in themselves be fundamentally disruptive of free movement across the border? This is a non-paper so presumably the Government are sounding the water, but do they not recognise that what they are coming up against is that there is no Brexit arrangement that will not deeply damage the economy and security of the people of Northern Ireland and indeed of the rest of the UK as well?