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UK Government's trade talks document manifesto for confrontation, says Farry

The UK Government’s document outlining its priorities for trade talks with the EU is a “manifesto for confrontation,” Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MP has said.

The 30-page document states the Government’s aim for a trading relationship with the EU following the transition period at the end of 2020. However, Dr Farry said it was risking no trade deal, which would have significant implications.

“This document is a manifesto for confrontation with the EU rather than a prospectus for achieving a pragmatic and workable future relationship. As such, the Government is risking no trade deal with the EU by the end of this year, with significant implications for the UK, particularly Northern Ireland, notwithstanding the Protocol.

“Alliance continues to maintain there is no good Brexit. But the softer the Brexit, the easier it will be to manage the disruption and damage that comes, and the lesser the impact down the Irish Sea. But short of the continuation of participation in the Customs Union and Single Market, even with the most far reaching free trade agreement, there will sadly still be some regulatory and rules of origin checks.

“The Government seems to think some comprehensive deal can wish away the Protocol. It cannot. They are giving mixed signals on their commitment to adhering to the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. Alliance is no fan of the Protocol but failure to plan for and to implement its terms puts the protections for Northern Ireland in jeopardy, and detriments the trust and good faith necessary to achieve further special measures for our region.”