Brexit backstop: Sammy Wilson not surprised at ‘secret EU plan’

Sammy Wilson said there is room to negotiate a 'sensible deal' with the EU
Sammy Wilson said there is room to negotiate a 'sensible deal' with the EU
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DUP MP Sammy Wilson says it comes as no surprise that the EU is alleged to have advanced plans to use IT systems to solve the Irish border Brexit debate.

The Daily Express reported that European Commission officials are planning to avoid customs chaos by rolling out “IT systems” to ensure goods can continue travelling across the Irish border if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31.

The officials insist the solution to border chaos “can be implemented swiftly in the event of no deal”, according to an EU dossier reportedly seen by the Express.

The Express said the plans sound similar to Brexiteers’ so-called ‘Malthouse Compromise’ to the Irish backstop – which would see technology replace border checks.

Mr Wilson has long insisted there was an IT solution to the row.

“It comes as no surprise to the DUP that despite the intransigence of the EU over the Irish backstop, they have well-advanced plans to facilitate cross-border trade in the event of a no deal, which looks increasingly likely given the views of most of the candidates to become leader of the Conservative Party,” he said.

“We have always insisted that the technology exists and disruption across the border was simply a scare tactic by the Irish government, the EU and those who wished to overturn the referendum.

“Now more than ever whoever takes over negotiations with the EU must insist that this backstop nonsense will not be tolerated and as a number of candidates have suggested, Britain will refuse to pay one penny to the European Union until the kind of deal which avoids the backstop has been agreed.

“There is room to achieve a sensible deal which respects the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom.”

The DUP wants a sensible deal but “EU intransigence has been the barrier”, he added.