(Sputnik) – Referring to London’s intention to create a “special economic zone” between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (an EU member), Labor MP Virendra Sharma, a supporter of pro-EU Best for Britain campaign, said that “they [the government] are desperate for any solution, no matter how fantastical, to appease Tory right-wingers.”
“Even though it doesn’t pass basic scrutiny they don’t seem to care. [Conservative MP] Jacob Rees-Mogg is calling the shots at the moment and the Government is just doing his bidding,” Sharma noted.
Labor’s former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie, for his part, noted that “David Davis’s new idea for solving the Northern Ireland border problem manages to combine a lack of feasibility with a complete ignorance of the history of the region.”
“It is both dangerous and impractical,” Leslie emphasized.
His view was shared by MEP Martina Anderson, who said that “once again this shows the lack of knowledge of border areas and the concerns they [the government] face.”
“David Davis obviously didn’t learn much on his flying visits,” Anderson added.
Earlier this week, the Sun newspaper reported that British Brexit Secretary David Davis has drawn up a plan that will give Northern Ireland a joint UK-EU status in a bid to avoid trade curbs.
The radical scheme also proposes a 10-mile (16-km) wide buffer zone along the region’s 310-mile (499-km) border with the Republic of Ireland. The blueprint is expected to benefit dairy farmers, who account for 90 percent of cross-border trade, but will put the Conservative cabinet on a collision course with allies from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
London has been in talks with Brussels on how to avoid a ‘hard’ Irish border, with the DUP reportedly stating that it wants the region to be treated like the rest of the United Kingdom.