Labour accuse Boris Johnson of "not understanding" Brexit

8 November 2019, 21:52

Keir Starmer has criticised the Prime Minister
Keir Starmer has criticised the Prime Minister. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Boris Johnson has been accused of misunderstanding his own Brexit deal and what it means for Northern Ireland after video of him briefing Conservative members on the deal emerged on social media.

Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has accused the Prime Minister of "making it up as he goes along" when talking about Brexit.

In a clip shared on social media, Boris Johnson said companies could "bin" customs forms because there would be "no barriers of any kind" for trade crossing the Irish Sea.

However, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has previously confirmed that businesses in Northern Ireland will have to submit customs declarations forms.

During the meeting, businessman Irwin Armstrong asks Mr Johnson if he could tell his staff we will not be filling in any customs declarations for good leaving Northern Ireland to go to GB".

Mr Johnson replies: "You can."

He also said: "If somebody asks you to do that tell them to ring up the prime minister and I will direct them to throw that form in the bin.

"There will be no forms, no checks, no barriers of any kind, you will have unfettered access."

Taking to Twitter, Keir Starmer said that the Prime Minister "either doesn't understand the deal he has negotiated or he isn't telling the truth".

When questioned about his remarks on Friday, Mr Johnson told reporters: "Northern Ireland and the rest of GB are part of the UK customs territory and there can be no checks between goods operating in one customs territory.

"We're the UK, we will not be instituting such checks."