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NI protocol not 'as simple as was stated' by Boris Johnson, Shaun Bailey confesses

27 July 2021, 17:53 | Updated: 27 July 2021, 18:28

By Seán Hickey

Shaun Bailey suggests that Boris Johnson lied about the impact Brexit would have on Northern Ireland, claiming his promises to NI were 'all politics.'

The former London mayoral candidate made the revelations during Cross Question.

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"We've got to keep the communities [in Northern Ireland] intact," Mr Bailey said.

When quizzed on the current EU-UK impasse on amending the Northern Ireland protocol, he broke down the side of the Brexit debate the public, particularly in NI, haven't seen.

"Of course when you talk about anything Brexit, it was all politics, wasn't it?"

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"People have said lots of things to achieve what was their larger goal – it was typical campaign stuff, you say this and we'll sort it out later. Well now you've [got] to sort it out."

"It wasn't quite as simple as it was stated in earlier times," the London Assembly member admitted.

Iain sought clarification: "So Boris Johnson shouldn't have said those things about 'nothing's going to change?'"

"No. What Boris and the cabinet -- I hope were aware of and would be aware of just how difficult this is all going to be. But that's the goal of politics."

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Iain wondered if the PM and others "pretended that things would be easy" in Brexit negotiations or if they were surprised by the difficulties facing them.

"I think they know how hard it's going to be," Mr Bailey confirmed.

Iain pushed Mr Bailey, asking whether he thought the PM had lied to the Northern Irish public to get Brexit across the line. "They were generous in their terms," he concluded.