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My Lords, do the Government recognise that consent is a tricky issue because the DUP does not represent the whole of the unionist community? Many unionists voted to remain and would certainly want to be in the single market and customs union in any future agreement. I remain very concerned that the Government seem to see one side of the story in Northern Ireland as represented by only the DUP. It is simply not true.
Regarding the regulation of goods—as opposed to customs—the Government’s explanatory note says that these arrangements must receive the endorsement of the Northern Ireland Assembly. We have already had questions about what happens if that is not there, and I realise that the Minister is not able to respond. If they are meant to receive the endorsement of the Assembly and Executive, Paragraph 13 of the paper states that that should happen before the end of transition period and every four years thereafter.
What happens if they do not give consent? What will then be the position? Do we revert to what we have now—common regulations—or is the reversion to the hard border, which differs absolutely from what most people in Northern Ireland voted for?