Brexit

Boris Johnson insists no NI-GB goods checks after Brexit

Boris Johnson at Conservative Campaign Headquarters Call Centre, London yesterday. Picture by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

BORIS Johnson has insisted that there will be no checks for goods travelling between Northern Ireland and Great Britain under his Brexit deal.

It comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Friday that his party had obtained a confidential government report which he claimed was proof that there would be customs checks between Britain and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

But the British Prime Minister told Sky News that the leaked Treasury analysis document that Labour revealed on Friday was "wrong" to suggest there could be checks and even tariffs on goods travelling between the two parts of the UK.

"Yes (that's wrong)", said the Tory leader.

"Because there's no question of there being checks on goods going NI/GB or GB/NI because they are part of - if you look at what the deal is, we're part of the same customs territory and it's very clear that there should be unfettered access between Northern Ireland and the rest of GB.

"The only reason - this is another of these things that has been produced by the Labour party as a kind of distraction."

Asked if there would be such checks, the British Prime Minister said: "No, absolutely not.

"The deal we've done with the EU is a brilliant deal and it allows us to do all the things that Brexit was about so it's about taking back control of our borders, money, laws - but unlike the previous arrangements it allows the whole of the UK to come out of the EU including Northern Ireland and the only checks that there would be, would be if something was coming from GB via Northern Ireland and was going on to the Republic, then there might be checks at the border into Northern Ireland in order to ..."

At a press conference in London on Friday, Mr Corbyn said the 15-page Treasury document - entitled Northern Ireland Protocol: Unfettered Access to the UK Internal Market - disproved Mr Johnson's claims there would be no checks.

Mr Corbyn said it was "hard evidence" Northern Ireland would be "symbolically separated" from the rest of the UK after Brexit.

"What we have here is a confidential report by Johnson's own government, marked 'official', 'sensitive', that exposes the falsehoods that Boris Johnson has been putting forward," he said.

"This is cold, hard evidence that categorically shows the impact a damaging Brexit deal would have on large parts of our country, 15 pages that paint a damning picture of Johnson's deal on the issue of Northern Ireland in particular."

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