Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

17th September, 2018

Buck stops with the Backstop in Brexit deal says Border TD Breathnach

– Technological solutions to minimise customs checks are being proposed –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach, spokesperson on North-South Bodies and Cross-Border Co-Operation has said that the UK cannot be allowed backtrack on what was agreed to in December 2017.

“The December agreement promised to ensure there would be no hard border – including any physical infrastructure or related checks and controls – and to uphold the Belfast Agreement in all its parts”.

“The agreement went on to outline backstop arrangements that would allow full alignment between north and south going forward”.

“News emerging today is alarming in that the EU is preparing to accept a frictionless Irish border using technological solutions to minimise customs checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic. This sounds very much like the “Max Fac” solution already rejected by our Government. A lot of businesses don’t seem to be keen on this option as it would most likely mean higher costs. For those businesses who rely on a “just in time” supply chain any delays and higher costs would be detrimental.

“This change of plan, and any turnaround from the EU’s original plan for a backstop, smacks of the DUP getting their way and holding sway over Mrs May who is relying on their votes. The DUP did not want to see the backstop coming into operation and creating a clear distinction between the British mainland and Northern Ireland.

“Our Government needs to act fast and come down hard on any change on what was agreed to in December last year. While Michel Barnier has never wavered from his position of insisting on a backstop, the practicalities of any proposed technological solutions need to be ironed out so that border checks will be avoided at all cost”, concluded Breathnach.

-Ends-

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie