EU diplomats have accused Theresa May of trying to delay resolution of the Irish border problem until after Brexit day by insisting upon Stormont having a final veto before any backstop solution can come into force.
Under the solution, May will agree to Northern Ireland potentially staying, in effect, in the single market, as the rest of the UK exits after the transition period, should there be no other way to avoid a hard border at the time.
Sputnik: What do you make of the government stance and Mrs May speech at the end of last week?
John Whitby: I listened to Theresa May's speech, and it's a [typical Theresa May speech, the content aimed at an audience, but we've all heard other speeches by Theresa May and she speaks very well, the problem is delivery, because she's yet never delivered on any speech she's given.
Sputnik: Would you agree with Labour on a 2nd referendum on the terms of Brexit?
Sputnik: Do you see a solution to the Irish border issue on WTO terms?
John Whitby: The Irish border is not a problem, nobody wants a hard border […], we've got the technology there where you can pre-clear through customs and if you want to do it, it can be done quite easily. The problem is the EU don't want to do it and they should be told to pull their nose out of the business of two sovereign nations — [Ireland] and the UK — and we will deal with that problem ourselves. We could do it very simply, the customs people have said it can be done simply but that message doesn't get listened to because it's the wrong one.
1) The views and opinions expressed in this article by John Whitby are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik’s position.