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“Brexit that ensures that we are out of the customs union, we are out of the single market, we are out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, we are out of the common agricultural policy, we are out of the common fisheries policy, we bring an end to free movement, we take control of our borders, and we have an independent trade policy, but we are also able to have a good trade arrangement with the European Union, protecting jobs and prosperity for the future.”—[Official Report,
Vol. 644, c. 315.]
That is what I wanted to hear, and I will support her to achieve that.
My party’s leader, Arlene Foster, has said:
“People voted to take back control of their laws, borders and money, not to make Northern Ireland’s constitutional framework resemble the backside of a tapestry.
To create some kind of hybrid status for Northern Ireland where we would be subject to laws and regulations set by others over which we would have no say, whilst setting us apart from our biggest market in the rest of the UK, is sheer madness. It would be the road to economic ruin and the beginning of the constitutional break-up of the United Kingdom.”
People cite the Belfast agreement as a reason to retain a special status in the Union. They say that the terminology that asks for the encouragement of cross-border trade means that we must continue the status quo. That is not the case. The only say that the Belfast agreement has in the matter is the fact that any calls for unification with Ireland must be done through a border call. That has not been done. A back-door unification through a segregated UK is not acceptable. Let us make it clear what we are saying. I look to the Minister in this matter. This customs arrangement must ensure that the integrity of the UK is retained, and that is not simply for the benefit of Northern Ireland—it is for all of us, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As I often say to my Scottish National party friends, we are better together.