Steven Agnew MLA welcomes regulatory divergence proposals

Monday December 4 2017

Green Party Leader Steven Agnew has welcomed proposals that there will be no divergence of the rules covering the EU single market and customs union on the island of Ireland post Brexit.

It is understood that EU negotiators have proposed that Northern Ireland would be treated as if it were still in the single market and Customs Union. The provision would avoid the need for a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

“The Republic of Ireland is a key market for Northern Ireland and vice versa, and it is in the best interests of businesses and workers on both sides of the border not to erect any unnecessary barriers to trade,” the North Down MLA said.

“There can be no regulatory divergence on issues such as food standards, the environment and energy which respect no borders.

“We need to protect our hard-won reputation as an island for producing high quality food in a clean and green environment.

“The best option for Northern Ireland is to be treated as a member of the single market and the Customs Union and this is also the best option for the whole of the UK. We would urge the government to pursue the same option for the rest of the UK to ensure that we are working in common cause across the two islands,” Mr Agnew said.


Linda Stewart

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