“Nobody had any idea the actual effects of [the Northern Ireland Protocol] until we left the EU”.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Sky News

July 22, 2021

Facts

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News that, “Obviously nobody had any idea the actual effects of [the Protocol] until we left the EU”.

In 2016, the Royal United Services Institute warned that the negative consequences of Brexit would be so severe for Northern Ireland - because of its fractious internal politics, enduring terrorist threat and weak domestic economy - that it could re-emerge “as a major political, security and economic crisis for future governments in London”.

In the same year, officials in Dublin warned that a UK exit from the EU could undermine the Irish peace process by re-imposing a “hard” border between north and south and entrenching partition, and more broadly puts at risk the centuries-old historical, social, cultural and personal ties between Ireland and Britain”.

Dominic Hannigan, chairman of the Irish parliament’s joint committee on EU affairs, said: “A Brexit would be a profound and fundamental change in the Irish-British relationship that would inevitably raise questions about Ireland’s place in the EU.”

Verdict

Kwasi Kwarteng was misleading Sky News viewers. The government was repeatedly warned about the implications of Brexit on the NI-GB relationship.

We approached Mr Kwarteng’s office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for comment, but no reply. 

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