The British Labour party is attempting this morning to form a cross-party alliance in an effort to prevent a post-Brexit border between Ireland and the UK.

The plan will be to rewrite the legislation currently going through the British parliament to enshrine in law the political commitment that has been made by the government in December last year which set out to avoid the scenario of a hard border.

If successful, this plan would ensure no customs and border checks and force Theresa May’s government to be fully committed to the open border policy currently in place.

Labour’s Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer told British newspaper, The Observer that “At the end of last year, the EU and UK government made a political agreement that there would be no hard border in Northern Ireland.

“However, the content of the withdrawal agreement is not legally binding. It is a political document subject to negotiation and will not have legal force unless and until it is ratified – which is by no means a done deal.”

The plan could take the form of an amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which is at the moment going through the House of Lords. Labour will be canvassing perrs of other parties to back the proposal. Should they get the required backing, the House of Commons will be their next target in the move which will most likely see a hard fought debate.

Just how successful this proposal is remains to be seen but it’s probable that the results will be known in the next few days.

Brussels has yet to comment on the plan.

Ken Sweeney
Committed to idea of supporting aspiring writers and journalists. Serial podcaster.

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    1. This is part of the state of disarray Labour is in. What do they want? It is cake and eat it too time for them. Firstly two thirds of Labour support is pro-EU, but too many MPs represent leaver constituencies for the party to come out and oppose Brexit openly. Momentum, whilst still a minority, is dictating far too much policy. Corbyn is making enemies within the party, sacking Owen Smith over his second Brexit vote demand has seen him branded a hypocrite because he is not sacking Diane Abbott who said she would support a vote. Now Labour is trying to get cross party support for keeping the border open when the EU has already made it clear what their conditions are. Labour is supporting Brexit but does not support independence of any part of the UK, so clearly will not want NI to stay part of any of the EU framework because it is patently clear that as long as it might well take, it would bring both parts of Ireland so close together that reunification would happen slowly but inexorably. So Sinn Féin is out of the question, the SNP likely to sniff down their noses, Plaid Cymru to shake heads, LibDems may support them but the others will not, namely the Tories and the DUP pulling their strings. It is a distraction when they should be opposing Brexit uncompromisingly and nothing else.

    2. Corbyn’s Labour is a party as committed to Brexit as the Tories and UKIP. They are being pragmatic over the border issue in order to reduce the chance of an out and out call to reject Brexit.

    3. Interesting article on the topic, but I bet it will not interest Labour’s ‘united parties’: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/25/brexit-ireland-troubles-border-sunday-essay?CMP=fb_gu

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