At Northern Ireland Questions today, I questioned Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, on the
Gerald Jones MP (Labour, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney): 8. What assessment he has made of the potential economic benefits to Northern Ireland of maintaining full alignment with the rules of the customs union and single market after the UK leaves the EU.
James Brokenshire MP (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland): We have been clear that the UK as a whole will be leaving the customs union and single market. We want our future relationship with the EU to be a deep and special partnership that works for all parts of the UK, while recognising Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances.
Gerald Jones MP (Labour, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney): Has the Secretary of State’s office shown more diligence than the Department for Exiting the European Union in producing impact assessments on the effects to the Northern Ireland economy of all eventualities of leaving the European Union—and if not, why not?
James Brokenshire MP (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland): I know this issue of impact assessments has been debated in this House previously. There are no formal impact assessments. Obviously, the Department for Exiting the European Union has provided detailed reports for the Select Committee, and it will be for the Committee to determine what happens with them. I can assure the hon. Gentleman of the joint working across government of assessing the implications and informing those negotiations, so that we get the right deal for Northern Ireland and for the UK as a whole.