To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to the oral contribution of 22 February 2018, Official Report, column 310, made by the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the evidential basis is for frictionless trade between the Republic and Northern Ireland being achievable through a widespread and liberal agreement in trade with the EU.
The Joint Report issued by the UK and EU sets out our plan to address Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances and the border in the context of the wider UK-EU deep and special partnership. We want a deal that works for all parts of the UK. The Joint Report gives a clear commitment to avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and retaining the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK. The Prime Minister and the Taoiseach, both agreed that it was their preference to achieve this through the overall future relationship between the UK and the EU.
As set out in our position paper on Northern Ireland and Ireland, the UK Government set out two broad approaches to a future customs relationship with the EU; a highly streamlined customs arrangement between the UK and the EU, streamlining and simplifying requirements, leaving as few additional requirements on UK-EU trade as possible; and a new customs partnership with the EU, aligning our approach to the customs border in a way that removes the need for a UK-EU customs border.