Belfast Telegraph

We will defend the Belfast Agreement after EU exit, says David Davis

By Lydia Smith

David Davis said his government would defend the Good Friday Agreement "at all costs" as he gave a live TV interview with a sick bucket beside him.

Having reportedly vomited just before he went on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday, the Brexit Secretary was also seen with a glass of water and a box of tissues just in case of further bouts of illness.

Despite being unwell with food poisoning, Mr Davis, got through a discussion that focused on the border after Brexit.

Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun's political editor, hailed the minister's "extreme heroics".

On the show, Mr Davis said it was "incredibly probable" that the UK would reach a final deal with the EU, but said "you can never stop making arrangements" if a deal is not reached.

He likened the issue to having insurance, saying: "You don't expect your house to burn down, it's less than a one in 100,000 chance, but you have house insurance anyway."

The EU withdrawal deal includes a fallback option of Northern Ireland effectively continuing to remain in the customs union, but Mr Davis said either the UK-EU trade deal or new technology could prevent that.

When challenged that there were no other borders of that kind in the world, Mr Davis said: "We have got a whole load of new technology now."

He added: "There are ways to do this, you can't just say 'we haven't done it anywhere else', we haven't attempted to do it anywhere else."

He added: "We will not allow a return to the borders of the past, we will preserve - at all costs - the Belfast Agreement."

"There is a risk in trying to focus just on the downsides because the real likely outcome - the overwhelmingly likely outcome - is option A," Mr Davis said. "Option A is that we get a free-trade agreement, we get a customs agreement, all of those make the Northern Ireland issue much, much easier to solve."

Belfast Telegraph

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