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Leading article: Green card issue underlines the folly of Brexit

The green card insurance issue has underlined the folly of Brexit

Blithe assurances that there would be virtually no impact on everyday life as the result of Brexit were rightly treated with scepticism by Remainers in Northern Ireland.

Despite all the evidence that leaving the European Union would have a detrimental impact in a number of areas, Brexiteers, including the DUP, strongly advocated withdrawal and dismissed the legitimate concerns of those who pointed to the benefits of staying within the EU.

One of the key arguments of the Remain lobby was that Brexit would not be good for the economy of the north while it was also pointed out that rather than strengthening the Union it would in all likelihood hasten its break up.

Boris Johnson was in Scotland yesterday amid reports that he was worried about a series of polls showing increased support for independence.

He is right to be concerned. Scotland voted decisively to stay in the EU while Nicola Sturgeon's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been much more sure-footed than Mr Johnson's often bumbling approach.

There is a lack of public trust in the British prime minister's pronouncements, not just on battling Covid-19 but also on the implications of Brexit, which he has characterised in unfeasibly rose-tinted terms.

As we know, the DUP firmly backed Brexit and the Tory Party and we are now facing a situation where businesses may have to deal with additional bureaucracy and barriers to trade across the Irish Sea.

This week also saw northern motorists dealt a blow with confirmation from the Republic's Department of Transport that those driving across the border will have to carry an insurance 'green card,' proving their policy is valid.

This requirement would come into effect from January 1, 2021 and will be viewed by many drivers as an inconvenience they could do without.

Tens of thousands of people cross the border every day, some people live in one jurisdiction and work in the other and it is not clear how this development will affect them in practical terms but it sends out an unfortunate message.

We must hope this issue can be resolved before the end of the transition period but it highlights once again the absolute folly of the push to leave the European Union.






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