IN the heat of last year’s General Election, Boris Johnson went on Sky TV and when asked about post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland said that: “We’re a UK government, why would we put checks on goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain or from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It doesn’t make sense.”

Last week a policy paper was published that shows that, in reality, there will be an extraordinary number of additional checks between GB and NI and, in all probability there will be more to come.

One simple example is the new Trader Support Service which will cost UK taxpayers £200m. On top of that there will be a cost of at least £150m to develop a new digital technology system to ensure that things work properly.

So did the hapless PM know what he was saying in December? Was he lying to the country as he pushed his “get Brexit done” message?

Or was he simply incompetent? Did he or did he not understand the agreement that he had just signed? Or was he just hoping that no one would notice?

Even worse, was he playing fast and loose with the good people of Northern Ireland who, after all, voted against leaving Europe? Did he listen to any of those who warned that failure to get this right could imperil the Good Friday Agreement?

These are not inconsequential matters.

Dave Anderson, Middleton-in-Teesdale