Border “buffer” ridiculed

Posted By: June 02, 2018

“Nonsense” post-Brexit proposal criticised by DUP and Sinn Féin

Staff Reporter. Irish News. Belfast.Saturday, June 2, 2018
PROPOSALS for a 10-mile-wide Brexit ‘buffer zone’ at the border have been widely ridiculed.

The scheme said to have been drawn up by British Brexit secretary David Davis, right, would see a “special economic zone” running along the 310-mile border where traders could operate under the Republic’s rules.

However, the plan has managed to unite Sinn Féin and the DUP in opposition and was described as “Alice in Wonderland” politics by English MPs.

The idea has emerged as the British government attempts to break a deadlock over future customs arrangements ahead of a crunch summit of European leaders later this month.

Mr. Davis was said to be devising a plan based on a model in Liechtenstein, which would allow the north to operate UK and EU regulations in an effort to avoid a hard border.

Derry, Newry, and Strabane are among the cities and towns which lie within 10 miles of the border.

Responding to the proposal, Labour MP Virendra Sharma said: “anyone would think the government is making this up as they are going along.”

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: “More and more by the day, Tory plans are sounding

like something out of Alice in Wonderland.”

DUP MP Sammy Wilson also described the idea as “nonsense”.

“None of these proposals have been discussed with the DUP and at first examination, they appear to be at best contradictory,” he said.

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said it was an attempt to hide a hard border in a buffer zone.

“Once again this shows the lack of knowledge of border areas and the concerns they face.”