With less than a week to go the UK General Election Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn, trailing in the polls behind Boris Johnson’s incumbent Conservatives, today published an official government document which says there will be customs declarations and security checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Labour Party leader Corbyn, who will face Johnson in a party leaders’ TV debate on BBC tonight, called it “cold, hard evidence” that the Prime Minister had lied about his damaging Brexit deal.
He produced the 15-page Treasury document, based on a slideshow and called Northern Ireland Protocol: Unfettered Access To The UK Internal Market,marked “Official, Sensitive”, to reporters at a press conference this morning.
“What we have here is a confidential report by Johnson’s own government, marked ‘official, sensitive’, that exposes the falsehoods that Boris Johnson has been putting forward.
“This is cold, hard evidence that categorically shows the impact a damaging Brexit deal would have on large parts of our country.”
Mr Corbyn said Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal will be “disastrous for businesses and jobs all across the UK” – especially for Northern Ireland where it will be “highly disruptive to the Northern Irish economy”.
“We have now caught Johnson red-handed misrepresenting his own Brexit deal,” he said.
Mr Corbyn told reporters: “Page five of the document says ‘There will be customs declarations and security checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain’.
“It is there in black and white. It says there will be customs declarations, absolutely clearly, for trade going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
“The Government cannot rule out regulatory checks, rules of origin checks, and animal and public health checks.
“For trade going the other way, from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, there will be all of the above plus potentially damaging tariffs.
“It says this deal will be the equivalent of imposing tariffs on 30 per cent of all purchases made in Northern Ireland,” he said.
Mr Corbyn warned of the potential for fraud, as highlighted in the document, with Northern Ireland becoming a “backdoor into the GB market for the avoidance of import duties”.