Should Northern Ireland have referendum on staying in the Customs Union?

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The UK can then spend the next decade trying to renegotiate on less favourable terms the 59 trade deals it now enjoys with other countries as a member of the European Union - and, more likely than not, dealing with a renewed IRA insurgency in Northern Ireland.

The EU has suggested keeping NI in the customs union and moving customs checks to ports on the Irish sea to avoid a border, but this is unacceptable to the British government and the DUP, the Northern Ireland party on which the Government relies for votes.

Adhering to certain European Union policies would hold Northern Ireland back, the North Antrim MP added.

Britain is considering devolving certain powers to Northern Ireland to avoid the possibility of a hard border with the Republic of Ireland after Brexit, according to a report from The Times.

The issue is a major sticking point in the negotiations and must be dealt with before trade talks can begin.

Some of the comments provided by those surveyed seemed to reveal a tension with Ireland's firm position on Brexit, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar insisting that talks can not progress to trade issues until Britain guarantees that there will be no hard border, a stance that led to English politician Kate Hoey, who grew up in Northern Ireland, saying that Ireland would have to pay for a hard border if there is no Brexit deal.

"If the Republic of Ireland is going to keep shouting at our border and telling us that it is all doom and gloom and we are not going to get a proper relationship, that interferes in the negotiation process".

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"There are a number of ways in which we can ensure that for the future and look forward to having more detailed discussions on that as we move into phase two of the negotiations". And the DUP, always terrified that Britain will abandon them, simply will not allow any kind of border, however soft, to be put between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

"Then all that money - £60 billion lying around - we could use that to help the NHS and other things and even do tax cuts".

A UK Government source added: 'In return for making progress on the withdrawal agreement the European Union will move on transition by the end of January with a fair wind, ' they said.

"We are not about convergence here, we are about co-operation", said the North Antrim MP.

Downing Street has said the whole of the United Kingdom will leave both the customs union and the single market when it leaves the EU in 2019.

"But we know that there need to be specific outcomes to meet the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland as a whole".

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