Brexit secretary visit does little to allay border fear

FEARS are growing in Fermanagh for the future of the border backstop now prime minister Theresa May has announced her resignation. 
Last week, during a trip to the Quinn plant in Derrylin, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay tried his best to assure the people of Fermanagh there was nothing to worry about with regard the change of leadership.
However, in a frank answer Mr Barclay admitted he did not actually know what would happen now.
“The honest answer is I don’t know who [the new prime minister] will be, so I can’t make those commitments because who knows,” said Mr Barclay. 
“What is clear is the position of the European Union has repeatedly been for them the only deal on the table is the Withdrawal Agreement and that includes the protocol, that is clear in terms of the EU’s position. 
“What is also clear is, whoever the next prime minister is, the numbers in the House of Commons would not change until there is a general election.”
Some of the main contenders to replace Mrs May as prime minister are adamantly opposed to the backstop, which has become one of the main obstacles preventing Brexit progressing. 
Praising Mrs May for her commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and the backstop, which he said she had “paid the price for”, Mr Barclay said no matter who is in Number 10, the community here should be reassured both the UK parliament and the EU remained committed to avoiding a hard border. 
“I think you can look at the numbers in the House of Commons and you can look at what the [EU] Commission have said,” he said. “Those are two power bits of reassurance, not withstanding whatever I might say on a visit.” 

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