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 Full text 
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019 (debate)

  Diane Dodds (NI). – Madam President, so another European Council, another deal and an even bigger capitulation by Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister, who on 2 October said that the UK should leave the European Union, whole and entire, has signed up to a deal where Northern Ireland would apply the European Union Customs Code and Northern Ireland businesses would pay EU tariffs on goods used in the manufacturing process. And just yesterday, after checking what on earth he had negotiated, the Brexit Secretary confirmed that goods coming from Northern Ireland to GB will be subject to customs paperwork – an estimated cost of up to GBP 65 per declaration.

Given that 70% of all of Northern Ireland’s trade is within the United Kingdom, this is a huge barrier to the Northern Ireland economy – a separation of Northern Ireland in customs and regulation from its own internal market.

If all this was done for an independent trade policy, one prominent Northern Ireland economist has already declared that Northern Ireland would become a spectator in any UK trade deals. A shameful position.

As Boris Johnston used to say: ‘No British Prime Minister could ever sign up to it’.

Last updated: 27 January 2020Legal notice