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politics

Carmichael criticises Irish Sea border in Brexit plan

Alistair Carmichael MP

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has raised concerns in the House of Commons about the creation of a border in the Irish Sea under the UK government’s new Brexit plan. The new agreement has been criticised by commentators for undermining the links between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Speaking in the house yesterday, Mr Carmichael asked: “The creation of a customs border down the Irish Sea and the necessary declarations as a consequence of that is something about which Ruth Davidson and the former Secretary of State for Scotland warned last year.

“They said then, and it’s true now, that it will undermine the Union. Why is the Secretary of State disregarding his Rt Hon Friend’s advice?”

Responding in the house, the secretary of state said: “This is a deal that protects the border, this was a key priority for me as Secretary of State. It protects the peace process. The economy of Northern Ireland, I think, will benefit from this deal . . . and I would work over the implementation period to minimise any problems for Northern Ireland businesses in exporting and selling into Great Britain.”

Responding after the exchange, Mr Carmichael said: “The Secretary of State’s response was muddled and confused. It shows once again that the Conservative Party is now so fixated with Brexit that it is blind to the damage that they risk doing to the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom. The lack of concern shown by the Government about this issue is deeply concerning.”

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