Irish MP Tells LBC: Boris Johnson's Brexit Proposal Is "Disturbing"

2 October 2019, 19:51 | Updated: 3 October 2019, 07:20

Fine Gael MP tells Eddie Mair that Johnson's Irish border proposal is "very disturbing" and throws back to a "dark time in our recent history."

Fine Gael MP Neale Richmond said there's "a lot that's still very concerning" as it is a "massive move away from the backstop".

Specifically Richmond said there's a "huge concern" at the prospect of "completely changing the position in terms of customs and the clear change to the regulatory alignment."

Eddie asked: "Do you give this Prime Minister credit for trying to square this circle?"

"There was no easy solution to this, it's not a technical detail. His call that the border issue is simply a technical detail is very wide of the mark and is very disturbing."

Richmond: In some ways it is very surprising Arlene Foster went along with it.
Richmond: In some ways it is very surprising Arlene Foster went along with it. Picture: PA

The Irish MP also made the point that this would undermine the 2017 joint declaration between the British government and the European Commission that said there'd be no additional checks or infrastructure on the island of Ireland at the border.

Eddie read out Johnson's proposal to check goods earlier in the supply chain so there'd be no physical border. He asked: "Does this keep everyone happy? There will be no physical border but the necessary checks will be carried out."

Richmond repeated that this would still mean additional checks, which is "a throwback to a very different time in our recent history, a dark time."

He continued that in some ways it is "very surprising Arlene Foster went along with it."

Eddie asked: "So it's a no from you?"

Richmond said: "I'd need to see the full detail but it seems extremely disappointing and not that promising."