Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Let’s hear a little more about moveable, surprise ‘spot checks’ in the next few weeks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland…

Lord Owen speaking at the Royal Over-Seas League Dinner, London, Tuesday 5 June 2018

Read the full text here:RoslSpeech05Jun18

Extracts:

“If there is any merit in the terms ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit we are fortunately heading for a soft Brexit involving a transition or implementation period during which we remain after leaving the EU on 31 March 2019 in the European Economic Area Agreement and Customs Union until the 31 December 2020….

“At that time we will hopefully have a free trade agreement along the lines of the EU-Canada trade agreement, CETA. It is ridiculous to say that this will take anything from 4-8 years to negotiate. The UK, with the other 27 countries, negotiated that EU-Canada agreement and we can live with its terms….

“… As for Northern Ireland the time has come for a little more blunt talk between the Prime Minister and the Irish Taoiseach.

“… The way Norway and Sweden have solved their border issue is the relevant one to consider…. The Norwegian Prime Minister has made it very clear that the crucial safeguard that the EU accepts is ‘spot checks’, not fixed borders…. Let’s hear a little more about moveable, surprise ‘spot checks’ in the next few weeks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland…

“… (soft Brexiteers) have been smoked out by the comprehensive nature of the transition. It is time for them to acknowledge reality and refocus their party political debate on the changes that need to be made inside the UK to make a success of Brexit.

“There are huge opportunities for the UK in a post Brexit world but there are challenges too.  Yet a House divided on itself cannot reach its full potential. There have been a number of perceptive articles and realistic voices raised recently for Britain’s internal debate to cease and for the country to come together now and face the future outside of the EU.”

Read the full text here:RoslSpeech05Jun18