Campbell urges May to address hard border "myth"

The first step of a trade bill establishing the legal basis for Brexit has cleared the lower house of the British parliament with a vote of 317 in favour and 286 against. They would be bankrupted if no aviation deal is done.

"Now that there is collective agreement to accelerate delivery of our plans, will she please give instructions that every communication related to no deal serves to bolster our negotiating position and by reinforcing the credibility and the feasibility of those contingency plans?"

But a fudge like this would put further pressure on May's Chequers agreement - because under these circumstances she would be committed to doing whatever it takes in the next stage of the negotiations to avoid the use of the Irish backstop.

"That's why we have ruled out any kind of hard border".

The prime minister was met by table banging as she entered the gathering in parliament, with a similar scene also marking her departure.

"But, what was said time and time again was "we can do this in a dignified way, we really don't like the blue-on-blue attacks and that has to stop" and I think everyone got the message there".

We made the choice to join as nation states.

Mr Corbyn opened by claiming the Government has "sunk into a mire of chaos and division" and asked the PM to guarantee Cabinet ministers will "fully co-operate with the police investigation" following an Electoral Commission report into Vote Leave.

"We continue to do all we can to see the re-establishment of devolution and all the institutions of the Belfast Agreement".

Yet the Commission's proposed "backstop" text does not deliver this.

"The economic and constitutional dislocation of a formal "third country" customs border within our own country is something I will never accept and I believe no British Prime Minister could ever accept", May said.

Mrs May was not present to hear Mr Johnson's statement, as she was answering questions on Brexit from senior MPs at a long-planned hearing of the House of Commons Liaison Committee.

Why has this border proven such a sticking point?

Emerging from a scheduled briefing of ministers of the European Union 27 member council, Michel Barnier was carefully conciliatory towards Theresa May who had been speaking at the same time.

"While I was delivering a plan for our future trade with the European Union, he was delivering a plan to teach children how to go on strike".

During the week, the House of Commons passed a motion that would prevent Northern Ireland agreeing to have separate custom arrangements to the rest of the UK. We must have a backstop but not necessarily our backstop. We need pragmatism. We must de-dramatise the situation.

Mr Johnson was spotted approaching the Chair and seeking the permission of the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, during one of the votes on the government's latest Brexit legislation, the Trade Bill.

After her first visit to the Irish border since the Brexit vote in 2016, she will give a speech in Belfast to reassure the province that it will remain tied to the mainland economically and constitutionally after Britain leaves the EU.

"The UK has given a cast-iron guarantee there will be no hard border, and no physical infrastructure on the border - and we expect them to honour that in all scenarios".

Sir John Bell, life sciences leader and author of the United Kingdom life sciences industrial strategy report said the UK's current proposal for the United Kingdom to be an EMA member, but not to have a say in its rule-making, was unsatisfactory. That is just possible. But only the province would remain in the EU's Value-Added Tax administrative system and single market laws. Brussels doesn't want the matter of the Irish border to predetermine the entirety of the UK's future relationship with the EU.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph.

Hmm, not quite sure that this is the one, are you?

  • Rogelio Becker