UKIP welcomes soft border proposal for Northern Ireland, calls for EU to drop ‘ransom demand’ before talks continue

Published Aug 16, 2017

UKIP interim leader Steve Crowther has welcomed the Government’s proposal for an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit, and warned that the Government will need to act urgently to upgrade the UK’s immigration control systems.

“Yesterday the EU bullies refused to start discussing the Government’s proposals for trading relationships until the ransom demand was agreed, EU citizens were exempted from UK legal jurisdiction and the Irish border issue was settled.

“Now the Irish border issue has been solved, there can be no excuse for their further prevarication. If they do not now start discussing trade ­– and drop both their ransom demand and the ludicrous idea of retaining ECJ jurisdiction in the UK – the UK Government must refuse to return to the negotiating table.”

He added that the ‘soft’ border regime in Ireland underlined the need for the Government to significantly upgrade the UK’s border control agencies and systems without further delay, in order to be able to implement immigration controls as soon as Brexit happens.

“Evidence is emerging that people are increasingly losing faith in the outcome of these negotiations, and suspect the Government of a partial or substantial sell-out.

“While this would be extremely good for the fortunes of my party, it is unthinkable for the country, who have expressed their will in the largest democratic exercise ever undertaken in the UK.

“The Government must now put its foot down, and tell these people to start negotiating properly, or get lost.”

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