Tuesday, October 22, 2019

A cracking deal that's cracking up

Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay isn't exactly performing well while in the spotlight. He recently described the Brexit deal as "cracking" for Northern Ireland businesses as it would give unfettered, frictionless access to the Single Market while enjoying all the benefits of being in the UK customs area. This begs the question, why should the rest of the UK not benefit in the same way? But now we learn that Barclay didn't quite get it right when he said there would be no tariff barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. There will be such barriers in place. For a party that said such a situation would be unacceptable, in effect the Johnson government has surrendered. This is just one example of why railroading the Brexit Bill through Parliament is dangerous. Over 100 pages need to be scrutinised and that can't be done in 3 days.

So, a cracking deal for Northern Ireland? Or is the Brexit deal simply cracking up under what little scrutiny that has so far occurred.

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