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Tariff-free solution to EU-UK sea border

The DUP have enunciated concerns raised by many Northern Ireland businesses that, if Northern Ireland remains inside the European Union, this will move the EU-UK land border in Ireland across to the Irish Sea and so hinder Northern Ireland exports to Great Britain after Brexit.

However, the solution then is for Westminster to guarantee Northern Ireland businesses tariff-free access to the British market - in fact, they could guarantee the entire island of Ireland tariff-free access should they wish to.

That would completely solve the economic problem as enunciated by the DUP.

Having resolved "the Irish question", the British Government could then move on to phase two of Brexit talks to address their own access to the EU single market.

The political and constitutional problem raised by the DUP can be addressed through the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland calling a Northern Ireland referendum on membership of the EU.

If the Northern Ireland electorate again votes to remain inside, then the EU can address the form that membership takes.

In the absence of a Northern Ireland Assembly, the EU can appoint technocrats to run each Government department until the Northern Ireland Assembly is reinstated, in just the same way that the Troika threatened to do for both Greece and the Republic of Ireland during the financial crisis.

BERNARD J MULHOLLAND

Belfast

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