Corbyn: Johnson misleading about lack of border down Irish Sea
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Jeremy Corbyn presented a “confidential” Brexit report which he says disproves Johnson’s claim there will be no border down the Irish Sea if his Brexit deal is passed.
The 15-page document, entitled “Northern Ireland Protocol: Unfettered Access to the UK Internal Market”, states that Johnson’s current Brexit deal has the “potential to separate Northern Ireland in practice from whole swathes of the UK’s internal market.”
Presenting this document, Corbyn claimed it “drives a coach and horses through Boris Johnson’s claim that there will be no border down the Irish Sea.”
Alongside customs and security checks for goods transported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, Corbyn also claimed that goods moving in the other direction would be faced with regulatory and rules of origin checks.
Corbyn said this would be “disruptive” and would likely increase pries.
The document states: “At minimum, exit summary declarations will be required when goods are exported from Northern Ireland to Great Britain in order to meet EU obligations.”
Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, also spoke at the press conference.
He said: “This document is significant because it is a Treasury document; this is the advice being given to the prime minister about his own deal – its not coming from us, its coming from the government.”
The document concludes that Johnson’s deal would mean Northern Ireland would become “symbolically separated from the Union.”
In response, Johnson dismissed these claims as “complete nonsense” and said the only checks which would occur would be for British exports to the Republic of Ireland which travelled through Northern Ireland.
Johnson also doubled down on his pledge that there would be no checks of any kind for goods travelling between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, saying “They should believe exactly what I say, which is that there will be no checks on goods going between Great Britain to Northern Ireland, or Northern Ireland to Great Britain, because we are going to come out of the EU whole and entire.”
The Conservative party said the leaked document was “an immediate assessment, not a detailed analysis.”