The Chequers proposal has been publicly discredited, having received opposition from a variety of figures along the ideological spectrum. Its proponents have even begun to abandon it in name, aware that the term is synonymous with political impasse. Primarily, it disrespects the referendum result. Yet, it also falls short in the area of technical details – most notably, on the issue of the Irish border. It is crucial that the alternative is considered.
If the UK commits to a NI backstop beyond an essential FTA then it is effectively committing the UK to membership of the single market and customs union.
That won’t wash. The British people voted to take back control over money, laws borders and trade. https://t.co/WyDENXyVFk
— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) October 12, 2018
Supporters of Chequers claim that it is the only deal on the table, but it is also the only deal that would either create a border between Northern Ireland and the UK, or keep Britain locked into a customs union. Neither outcome is desirable and both are an obvious renege on the promises made by the Conservative Party. On this pivotal issue, some assurance is needed – the Government’s discussions with the EU remain in deadlock and integrity of the United Kingdom is at stake.
Michel Barnier and the EU have been persistently stubborn, but they can be convinced. They maintain that the integrity of the Single Market can be guaranteed through a series of checks over the Irish sea, the same procedure can very possibly take place between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Irish issue has dominated negotiations, dictating the progress of Brexit – this can be solved if Chequers is chucked
Recently, The Institute of Economic Affairs published its credible alternative proposal, entitled Plan A+. This report outlines that existing technologies can be used to ensure no border in the Irish sea, nor the need for physical infrastructure.
Until this alternative is explored, and Chequers is chucked, the integrity of the UK will be in jeopardy. The UK will remain locked into an arrangement that leaves us in political purgatory, inhibiting our ability to strike new trading arrangements around the world.