Brady support from MP makes no sense
✒ 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