Responding to confirmation that Border Control Posts at Larne Harbour will be overseen by EU Officials checking the work of UK staff, Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist MLA for East Antrim, said:
“Sammy Wilson gambled all our future on his desire for a hard Brexit which is resulting is NI being set apart. The DUP have failed in what should be the primary task of a Unionist, namely to protect the Union. With a Border now being established in the Irish sea, he should hang his head in shame and resign.
The East Antrim MP has been in the forefront in campaigning for a hard Brexit. Last week, it was established beyond doubt that,despite denials, the DUP supported a regulatory Border in the Irish Sea on 2nd October 2019 when they welcomed Boris Johnson’s proposals. The Prime Minister’s text included Border Inspection posts at Larne and other Northern Ireland Ports. There will be the checking of goods and restriction form items coming from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and the continued jurisdiction of the European Court in our affairs. No person who voted for Brexit, as encouraged to do so by the DUP, was expecting such damage to be done to our country.
“While we have to now move on to deal with all of this, responsibility lies at the feet of the DUP,.”
“By the time the DUP caught themselves on, the damage was done, and Boris Johnson did the Withdrawal deal with the EU on 17th October 2019. During that 15 day period, he was able to show Brussels and Dublin that he had unionist support for his Irish Sea Border plan.
“As pointed out by former Conservative Party Special Adviser on Brexit, Raoul Ruparel, ‘the DUP’s decision in September to accept the principle of divergence gave Mr Johnson more “leeway” in his negotiations with the EU.’ The DUP’s lack of attention to detail and flippancy on the Union has come back to bite us all. That’s some legacy to leave behind.
“EU Officials will now be sent to Northern Ireland Ports to look over the shoulder of UK officials who are doing the checking at the Border Control Posts. They’ll be rotated, and from time to time, some of these officials may come from the Republic of Ireland. This will be done in my own constituency at Larne Harbour. That’s where we have now ended up after the DUP’s support for Boris Johnson’s proposals last year.