Belfast Telegraph

Home News Brexit

Boris Johnson's Brexit plan puts 'Good Friday Agreement at risk'

Jeremy Corbyn speaking in the Commons (House of Commons/PA)
Jeremy Corbyn speaking in the Commons (House of Commons/PA)

Boris Johnson's Brexit plan has been slammed as a "rehash" of previously rejected proposals that "puts the Good Friday Agreement at risk".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made the comments after the Prime Minister outlined his proposals to MPs in the Commons.

Mr Johnson told MPs he has made a "genuine attempt to bridge the chasm" to strike a fresh Brexit deal with the EU.

He said he had "constructive" calls with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Irish premier Leo Varadkar.

"This Government's objective has always been to leave with a deal and these constructive and reasonable proposals show our seriousness of purpose," he added.

"They do not deliver everything that we would've wished, they do represent a compromise, but to remain a prisoner of existing positions is to become a cause of deadlock rather than breakthrough.

"So we have made a genuine attempt to bridge the chasm, to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable and to go the extra mile as time runs short."

Jeremy Corbyn hit out at the proposals, which could see Northern Ireland effectively remain in the EU single market, as "reckless" and damaging to Northern Ireland businesses.

 "[This plan] is just a rehashed version of previously rejected proposals that would put the Good Friday Agreement at risk," he said.

"After three years this Government has not been able to find a solution to the Irish border. Once the government was committed to having no border in Ireland, now they want two borders.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a statement to the House of Commons on his Brexit proposals. Credit: House of Commons/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a statement to the House of Commons on his Brexit proposals. Credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

"The current proposals would damage the whole UK economy and the Northern Irish economy especially, and would undermine the Good Friday Agreement."

"The proposals are unrealistic and damaging and will, as I think the Prime Minister full well knows, be rejected in Brussels, be rejected in this House and rejected across this country."

In response, Mr Johnson said: "Under no circumstances will the UK institute physical infrastructure at or near the border."

On Northern Ireland business, the PM said: "We will ensure that their needs are properly looked after and that is why we have made the compromises we have in the short term."

Independent unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon slammed Mr Johnson's plans, which she said "prove he does not understand Northern Ireland".

"They show he dances to the tune of his friends in the DUP. The DUP do not represent the majority of people in Northern Ireland," she said.

"What people in Northern Ireland want is to continue the peace and stability brought about by the Good Friday Agreement."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph