Stephen Farry - Alliance MP for North Down December 2019 – Deputy Leader, Alliance December 2016 –
24 June 2022
First of all, that skewed the voices that were being listened to in the Government, and gave the DUP a disproportionate voice, distorting the overall view of the people of Northern Ireland. [...] Page 8/26 The May negotiations and Northern Ireland UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE): In the period in the run-up to the start of the negotiations, were you talking at all to the Irish Government about their approach? Because at the time, obviously, they were not supposed to be talking to the UK Government, but I wondered if they were doing anything diplomatically? Stephen Farry (SF): The Irish Gov. [...] Did you share the view that the sequencing was going to just cause grief because you could only solve the Irish question in the context of the future relationship, not as part of the Withdrawal Agreement. [...] We were always clear that the closer relationship you have with the European Union, the softer the impact was going to be in terms of the level of checks. [...] Though the European Union wasn’t particularly mentioned in the Good Friday Agreement text, the joint membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union allowed the border to essentially wither away on the island of Ireland.