A new report on the Northern Ireland Backstop has been published today (Monday) by the ‘Alternative Arrangements Commission’, backed by Conservative MPs Nicky Morgan and Greg Hands. It claims so-called ‘alternative arrangements’ to the Backstop could be in place within three years.
Commenting, Owen Smith MP, former Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“The idea of trying to replace the Northern Ireland Backstop with so-called 'Alternative Arrangements' has already been tested to destruction - there is no political will to do so from either Ireland, the rest of the EU or most importantly the people of Northern Ireland, particularly those living on or near the border. This new report does nothing to address that crucial underlying point.
“Talk of vague 'technological solutions', special economic zones or checks away from the border still fail to meet the basic test for a durable solution to this intractable problem - it needs to have the consent of both the people of Northern Ireland and of the Republic of Ireland: those who it will affect the most. And it's clear it doesn't have that consent on either side of the border.
“The Alternative Arrangements Commission is nothing more or less than a desperate attempt to make a square peg fit into a round hole in order to try and hold the warring factions of the Conservative Party together. The future of Northern Ireland is too important to be treated like this. The only way to a deliver a lasting and stable solution to this problem is to give the public the final say.”