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Katy Hayward @hayward_katy
, 7 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Recap of debate in House of Lords y'day on Amendment 25 re: Irish #border in EU Withdrawal Bill #Brexit
HoL had tabled an amendment specifying no checks & controls of any sort. Pared-back version offered by govt in compromise was passed.
Only 1 dissenting voice @PeterHain
Lord Duncan said govt accepted thrust of amendment but made 3 changes to ensure it's 'fit for the statute book':
- to reflect fact W'drawal Agmt =btn UK & EU not IRL
- to refer to '98 NI Act re: N/S cooperation
- tighten wording (but said still inc. range of checks/controls)
5 Lords spoke. Lord Cormack welcomed ‘real meeting of minds’ in this instance. Lord Murphy reported from BIIPA ‘unanimous agmt that Brexit is dominating British-Irish rels’
& noted ‘there is no political voice from NI in the negotiations dealing with these important issues.’
Lord Empey said there are problems in the proposal because Joint Report contained contradictions.
He downplayed impce of xbdr trade for IRL but noted 'emotional dimensions'.
He bemoaned vacuum in Stormont: 'the longer we leave it the harder it will get this fixed'.
Lord Alderdice had objected to original amendment.
He noted: ‘The tremendous achievement of the GFA & the Irish peace process is that no political party in Ireland, N or S, is asking for a hard border or to in any way obstruct the free movement of people, goods & services.'
@PeterHain expressed suspicion at the substitution of minimalist subsection in place of original amendmnt.
He voiced concern at poss ambiguity in new wording re: future use of existing infrastructure & queried if definition of N/S coop =too narrow to protect existing breadth.
Lord Duncan moved the motion by saying the Bill now contains what it didn't before: 'recognition of the vital importance of the Belfast agreement & recognition of north/south co-operation.'
& said '*There will of course be opportunities to develop those aspects.*'
He concluded:
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