- The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has revealed a secret government document estimating the impact of Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan.
- The confidential document confirms that there will be checks on goods traveling between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK after Brexit.
- Johnson has insisted that no such checks will take place under the terms of his deal with the European Union.
- Corbyn said the document was “cold, hard evidence” that the prime minister was “misleading” voters.
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The Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has released details of a leaked confidential government assessment that he says proves UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “misleading the people” about his Brexit plans and the impact they would have on Northern Ireland.
The document, which was handed out to journalists at an event Friday, contains confidential Treasury analysis of the impact of Johnson’s Brexit plan on trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
The prime minister has promised there will be no checks or barriers to trade across the Irish Sea after Brexit under the terms of his deal with the European Union.
The documents, however, confirm that such customs declarations and other checks would have to take place between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Corbyn revealed the document at a press conference Friday alongside the party’s shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, and Shadow crime minister, Louise Haigh.
The 15-page document warns that the Brexit deal would create new barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain that would be “highly disruptive to the Northern Irish economy.”
It also says it would leave Northern Ireland separated “in practice from whole swathes of the UK’s internal market.”
The leaked analysis warns that 98% of Northern Irish exporters to Great Britain are small to medium-size businesses, which would “likely to struggle to bear” the cost of new border checks.
The documents also warn:
- New checks on goods moved from Great Britain to Nothern Ireland would most likely lead to price increases in the province.
- This would particularly affect “key employment sectors” in Nothern Ireland, like retail.
- These new checks would be equivalent to 30% tariffs on goods purchased in Northern Ireland.
—Adam Payne (@adampayne26) December 6, 2019
Corbyn accuses Johnson of trying to ‘blind’ the public
Corbyn said the documents revealed that Johnson’s plans were a “fraud” and designed to “blind” the British public to the true details of his agreement with the EU.
“Today I can reveal further hard evidence that Johnson is deliberately misleading the people,” Corbyn said at a press conference on Friday morning.
“This document is very ominous.
“There will be other secret reports like this one in every government department that reveal the disastrous impacts of his policies on the safety of the food you eat, on the rights you have at work, on the pollution of the air that we breathe, and on the jobs and industries that people work in.
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“These reports exist, but the government is hiding them from you because in this election the Conservatives want you to vote blind.”
This was Labour’s latest attack on Johnson and his candor about the details of his Brexit plan.
Corbyn last week revealed swaths of unredacted documents that he said proved the National Health Service was on the table in post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the US.
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