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Empey challenges Government over Backstop

During the repeat of the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Lords on the outcome of the European Council meeting, Ulster Unionist Peer, Lord Empey, challenged the Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, about the reported remarks by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the Irish Government were making no preparations for a hard border post Brexit.

Lord Empey said:

“I have believed all along that Brussels and Dublin have been overplaying their hand over the border question. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Lords both reacted by claiming that the ‘EU would be required to immediately apply its rules and tariffs at its borders with the UK. This includes checks and controls.’

“This is an admission that the EU is powerless to control the border on the island of Ireland without the active consent and support of the Irish Government. The dogs on our streets know that there is no way the Irish Republic can erect a border on the island. It would be a complete repudiation of Irish nationalism. If unionism is opposed to a border being erected, how can a Dublin government erect one? It’s always been nonsense.

“There is now an opportunity to pursue another way and quickly. The Ulster Unionist Party has always been willing and able to come forward with ideas and now will be no exception.”

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