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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 Hain Lord Hain Labour 3:20 pm, 1st October 2019

My Lords, given that the Government have formally and legally agreed with the EU on no border, no hard-border-related checks or controls between Ireland and Northern Ireland, preserving an all-Ireland economy and the single market, and protecting North/South co-operation as part of the new Good Friday/Belfast agreement, can the Minister explain why they appear ready to present proposals in Brussels that achieve precisely none of those objectives—including by suggesting customs checks away from the border, as I heard the Prime Minister indicate today that they would do? Surely the Government are proposing to break the law again by contravening Section 10(2)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which specifically bans,

“border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after exit day which feature physical infrastructure, including border posts, or checks and controls, that did not exist before exit day and are not in accordance with an agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU”?