Brady sup­port from MP makes no sense

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION -

✒ ALEX Chalk MP (House Notes, Jan­uary 24) wrote that the idea there could be a deal with the EU with­out an Ir­ish back­stop was a uni­corn, an im­pos­si­ble fan­tasy.

Only a few days later Mr Chalk voted for the so-called Brady amend­ment which “re­quires the North­ern Ire­land back­stop to be re­placed with al­terna- tive ar­range­ments to avoid a hard bor­der”.

When asked what th­ese al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments are, gov­ern­ment min­is­ters gave the un­help­ful an­swer that they are de­scribed in the Po­lit­i­cal Dec­la­ra­tion.

This doc­u­ment men­tions “mak­ing use of all avail­able fa­cil­i­ta­tive ar­range­ments and tech­nolo­gies” and “mu­tual recog­ni­tion of trusted traders’ pro­grammes, ad­min­is­tra­tive co­op­er­a­tion in cus­toms mat­ters and mu­tual as­sis­tance”.

No such cus­toms ar­range­ments ex­ist on any bor­der.

EU chief ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier’s deputy Sabine Weyand sum­marised the EU’S view as: “Can tech­nol­ogy solve the Ir­ish bor­der prob­lem? Short an­swer: not in the next few years.”

What­ever you think of the EU, Brexit in­volves ne­go­ti­at­ing with the EU, so what the EU thinks does mat­ter.

Given Mr Chalk’s pre­vi­ously stated view about the Ir­ish back­stop his vote in favour of the Brady amend­ment makes no sense.

One sus­pects the amend­ment was sim­ply an­other Tory ruse to run down the clock to present MPS with Hob­son’s choice of deal or no deal. Keith White Chel­tenham

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