Priti Patel unable to answer questions on post-Brexit checks between Northern Ireland and Britain
- Credit: Archant
The home secretary has been unable to clarify what checks will take place on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain after Brexit.
Priti Patel, who did not rule out the involvement of Border Force officers, said she would seek clarification on the matter, after her appearance at the Home Affairs Committee failed to clear up confusion around the issue.
Her inability to shed any light came after Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith insisted that checks will be minimal after Brexit, but he too was unable to give any further detail on the nature of the checks.
The prime minister, meanwhile, has insisted that there will be no checks and no tariffs between Northern Ireland and GB.
At the committee hearing to discuss Home Office preparations for Brexit, Patel was asked by MP Stephen Doughty if Border Force officers will be involved in checking, either in person or electronically, exit declarations from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
You may also want to watch:
She said the situation "depends on various circumstances", adding: "I'm not going to speak about hypothetical situations right now."
Doughty said: "With the greatest respect, this is not a hypothetical situation. This is what the Brexit secretary has confirmed to a select committee in the House of Lords, and to myself and the chair of the Brexit committee on the floor of the House, that there will be exit checks required on goods transiting from Northern Ireland to GB, so within our own country.
- 1 These are the 322 Tory MPs who voted against extending free school meals to children
- 2 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 3 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 4 Michael Gove's Brexit fantasy is leading us down a perilous path
- 5 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 6 Question Time: Ex-Tory minister accused of making 'sickening' comment about free schools meals row
- 7 German MEP tells Boris Johnson he 'owes' Britons a Brexit deal as she urged a return to EU trade talks
- 8 At the upcoming US election, Donald Trump really is toast
- 9 Priti Patel bullying inquiry may never be released, hints Boris Johnson's new civil service boss
- 10 WILL SELF: Two places where everyone knows your name
"And I'm asking you, are Border Force officials going to be involved in that?"
Patel replied: "We are not there yet, so this is the point to make, we are simply not there in that situation."
Asked about customs checks, Paul Lincoln, director general at Border Force, told the Home Affairs Committee: "It's not been decided whether or not we will do checks as an organisation. If goods are moving from GB to Northern Ireland they will have to make declarations."
Patel said HMRC would "take the lead" on this issue.
Asked by Doughty if the Brexit secretary is correct in what he said about checks - that exit summary declarations will be required from Northern Ireland to Great Britain - Patel said: "That, I will get clarification on."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.