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Fri, 7 August 2020

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Jeremy Corbyn: Leaked government documents show PM 'misleading public' over Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn: Leaked government documents show PM 'misleading public' over Brexit
2 min read

Checks will need to take place on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, leaked government documents have confirmed.


Jeremy Corbyn said the Treasury dossier was “cold hard evidence” that the Prime Minister has been “deliberately misleading” the public about his Brexit deal.

It appeared to show that the Government is preparing for customs checks to be carried out on goods travelling from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and back again.

Mr Johnson has repeatedly insisted that such checks will not be required after the UK leaves the EU.

Revealing the 15-page document at a press conference, Mr Corbyn said: “What we have here is a confidential report by Johnson’s own government, marked 'official sensitive', that exposes the falsehoods that Boris Johnson has been putting forward.”

The papers are marked with the Treasury seal, and present an analysis of the Northern Ireland protocol negotiated by Boris Johnson with the EU.

It suggests that customs declarations and security checks will be required on goods crossing the Irish Sea.

The document calls into question past comments made by Mr Johnson on custom checks.

Speaking to Northern Irish business leaders in November, he said: "There will be no forms, no checks, no barriers of any kind. You will have unfettered access.

“If somebody asks you to do that, tell them to ring up the Prime Minister and I will direct them to throw that form in the bin.”

The Prime Minister stuck by his past comments when quizzed about the leaked documents.

Speaking at a campaign event, he said voters “should believe what I say” and that there will be “no checks on goods” crossing the Irish Sea. 

In contrast, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has previously admitted that Northern Irish companies would have to fill in forms to send goods to Britain.

‘SYMBOLICALLY SEPARATED’

As well as custom checks, the document also claims that Mr Johnson’s deal would mean Northern Ireland was “symbolically separated” from Great Britain.

It also warned that custom checks would be “highly disruptive to the Northern Irish economy” and would hit small businesses the hardest.

Last week, the Labour party also released confidential documents which purportedly showed that the NHS was “on the table” in US trade talks, contrary to Government claims.

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