NI secretary says Brexit must not create different rules for the same field

The new secretary of state for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley
The new secretary of state for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley

Secretary of State Karen Bradley told the Lords’ European Select Committee committee on Tuesday that there were more border crossings in Ireland than there were on the EU’s eastern frontier, and acknowledged the need for complementary regulations in sectors like agri-food and energy.

“There are fields where the border goes through it,” she said.

“If we are talking about agriculture production it simply isn’t tenable to have different rules for one side of the field to the other side of the field and we are pragmatic about that.”

She also said it is vital devolution is restored so an executive can participate in Brexit structures like the Joint Ministerial Committee, alongside Scottish and Welsh administrations, but would not be drawn on whether the government would find a way of letting NI politicians contribute even if devolution does not return.