Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has today revealed that Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has failed to visit the Irish Border since his appointment in July 2018.
The Liberal Democrats accused the Government of trading “the lives of the communities on the Irish border for their ideological Brexit” after Ms Moran’s parliamentary questions revealed only one current Brexit Minister has visited Northern Ireland in the last 12 months.
The confirmation from the Government follows a series of Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests which revealed 182 ambulances and 270 fire engines crossed into the Republic of Ireland during 2016-17 in response to 999 calls, highlighting how a hard border could potentially leave people with far slower emergency responses if the UK leaves the EU in a no-deal Brexit.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:
“It shameful that the whole withdrawal agreement hinges on the Irish border yet the Secretary of State responsible hasn’t even bothered to visit Northern Ireland at all.
“The Tories seem happy to trade the lives of the communities on the Irish border for their ideological Brexit. Liberal Democrats demand better.
“The Tories are clearly incapable of finding a solution to the Irish border. The people must have a final say on the deal, with an option to remain in the EU.”
Please see Ms Moran’s question below.
Department for Exiting the European Union provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (177805):
Question (Layla Moran):
To ask the, how many and which (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have visited the Irish border in the last 12 months; when those visits took place; and how long they spent at the border in each of those visits. (177805)
Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris):
The former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union undertook visits to Northern Ireland on 23 April 2018 and 20 May 2018. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Robin Walker, visited Northern Ireland on 23 October 2018. The visits were part of a wider programme of engagement carried out by other Government ministers and officials.