Shadow Secretary for Europe, Mark Isherwood AM, has hit out at the First Minister for failing to take responsibility over Irish border arrangements affecting Wales post Brexit.
Questioning the First Minister after his statement ‘on the implications for Wales of bespoke border arrangements for Northern Ireland’ in the Assembly Chamber yesterday, Mr Isherwood said:
“Last night, the Taoiseach said, 'We don't want a border in the Irish Sea’. At lunchtime today, David Davis stated in the House of Commons that they are now close to concluding the first phase of negotiations, bringing forward trade negotiations, that the Government does not want a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, that the UK Government recognizes the integrity of the EU single market but also of UK borders, and that they will not be treating any part of the UK differently. He also noted that Labour Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, has said that staying in the Single Market would be interpreted as not respecting the referendum.
“Noting, therefore, that, last week, Bertie Ahern, the former Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, stated that technology can be a partial solution to managing movements across the Irish border after Brexit, and, given the number of times you've raised this disparagingly, what research has your Government actually undertaken on the technologies being applied in many parts of the world that are managing goods and transporting across borders on precisely this basis?”
In his reply, the First Minister stated: I'm not sure it's our responsibility to do that, quite frankly, and the UK Government has said consistently that it's exploring the technology. In other words, it has no idea what technology might be used.”
Mr Isherwood added: “It seems that nothing is his responsibility and that throwing stones is all he can do. In again stating that the answer is to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union, meaning that the EU would continue to make the rules, he also conveniently forgets that Wales voted for Brexit”.