With future relationship talks between the UK and EU at a critical final stage, Alliance Party Deputy Leader and Brexit Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MP, has criticised Boris Johnson and the UK Government for failing to grasp the realities of its choices on Brexit.
Dr Farry also stressed that Alliance would continue to oppose the insertion of clauses into the Internal Market Bill that undermine the Protocol and Good Friday Agreement.
He added: “The absence of a future relationship deal with the EU would have catastrophic consequences for the UK economy and society as a whole, and would bring major challenges for Northern Ireland in particular.
“Notwithstanding its threats to renege on aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement and to break international law, the Northern Ireland Protocol legally continues regardless of a future relationship deal, but the implications for the Irish Sea interface become much more serious with tariffs being levied on many goods.
“Brexit was always going to be a huge negative. Boris Johnson and other Brexiteers have never really faced up to the realities and implications of its choices on the nature of Brexit.
“The UK needs an ongoing economic relationship with the EU. But ongoing economic interdependence does come with restrictions. The UK Government has neither grasped that it can’t have it both ways in that regard nor the requirements that it has already signed up to address the special circumstances of Northern Ireland.
“This week, along with many others, I will be opposing Government attempts to reinsert clauses into the Internal Market bill that undermine the Good Friday Agreement and break the Protocol.
“We will also continue to advocate for a deal with the EU, and seek an adjustment or grace period to give time for changes to be implemented given the shocking levels of preparation and information from the UK Government.”