David Davis insists border solution will be found

David Davis insists border solution will be found
David Davis

David Davis has insisted that a solution will be found to the Irish border issue after Brexit and a trade deal with Brussels is now "incredibly probable".

The Brexit Secretary said a trade deal - "the most comprehensive one ever" - would make the border problem much easier to solve.

Mr Davis said the UK Government was committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement "at all costs".

"There is a risk in trying to focus just on the downsides because the real likely outcome - the overwhelmingly likely outcome - is option A," he told BBC's Andrew Marr show.

"Option A is that we get a free-trade agreement, we get a customs agreement, all of those make the Northern Ireland issue much, much easier to solve."

The EU withdrawal deal includes a fallback option of Northern Ireland effectively continuing to remain in the customs union, but Mr Davis said either the UK-EU trade deal or new technology could prevent that.

When challenged that there were no other borders of that kind in the world, Mr Davis told the Andrew Marr Show: "We have got a whole load of new technology now."

He added: "There are ways to do this, you can't just say 'we haven't done it anywhere else', we haven't attempted to do it anywhere else."

Pressed on Labour's planned amendment to Brexit legislation - which would enshrine the commitment to no hard border in law - Mr Davis said he would have to see what they came up with.

But he added: "We will not allow a return to the borders of the past, we will preserve - at all costs - the Belfast Agreement."

Although Mr Davis said the progress meant it was now "incredibly probable, very, very highly probable" that there would be a final deal, "you can never stop making arrangements" for a potential no-deal scenario.

He told the show it was like insurance: "You don't expect your house to burn down, it's less than a one in 100,000 chance, but you have house insurance anyway."

- PA

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