Brexit deal will not jeopardise UK integrity, vows secretary
DOMINIC RAAB, BREX IT SECRETARY has pledged that the government will not sign up to any deal, which could threaten the constitutional integrity of the UK.
Raab made the comments following a one-day visit to Northern Ireland.
He met with businesses in Warrenpoint and Larne, and he also met with politicians at Stormont.
Raab did not definitively rule out the possibility of a “backstop” plan.
A backstop would mean new checks on goods coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
Asked three times if the government had ruled out any new regulatory checks at the Irish Sea ports, he said: “We are engaged in a negotiation process.”
He added that he was not going to engage in a running commentary but said the UK position was “we want to preserve the internal market within the United Kingdom”.
Arlene Foster, DUP leader said she made it clear to Raab it is important that “as well as not having as customs barriers, we cannot have any regulatory barriers” between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
When asked by BBC News NI if Raab gave that assurance, Foster said it is “an ongoing process”.
Following her meeting with Raab, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald accused the government of acting “in bad faith” over Brexit and warned the border issue is not a “footnote”.
She added that the government has “stepped back” from its commitment to uphold the Good Friday Agreement.
The Northern Ireland “backstop” remains the major unresolved issue in negotiations.
McDonald added that the Sinn Féin meeting with the Brexit secretary was “direct”.