The UK Government is “desperate to clutch at any straw to shift blame”, Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said.
Dr Farry was speaking after reports from a Government source said a Brexit deal was “essentially impossible” following a call between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“It is clear Boris Johnson and others are playing games around the Brexit negotiations and are desperate to clutch at any straw to shift the blame for their failure, rather than deal with the consequences of their position,” said the Alliance Deputy Leader.
“There is no question of the EU annexing Northern Ireland. The backstop is not a constitutional issue – the principle of consent is hard-wired into the Withdrawal Agreement. And sadly, Northern Ireland is set to leave the EU with the rest of the UK if Brexit proceeds.
“The fundamental reality is this – if the UK Government is serious about avoiding the return of a hard border in Northern Ireland and protecting the Good Friday Agreement, then either the entire UK or Northern Ireland alone must continue in customs and regulatory alignment with the EU. There is just no escaping the Brexit trilemma.
“A deal of course remains possible but the UK side does need to face up to the implications of their decision to Brexit, particularly for Northern Ireland.”