Source: Traditional Unionist Voice – Northern Ireland
Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“Back in September I submitted a request to the Department of Agriculture requesting copies of all documentation submitted to Mid and East Antrim Council regarding the application of a proposed Certificate of Lawful Use or Development at Larne Port – the plans to establish border posts between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. I also wrote to the Council about the matter.
“The Council advised me at the end of last month that because the Department submitted an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness and not planning permission it was therefore not advertised on the planning portal and there was no opportunity for public consultation. The Council went on to say that I was therefore unable to examine the application in advance of a determination.
“Now the Department of Agriculture has responded to me to say that they are not disclosing the information they hold in relation to the establishment of a border post at Larne Port.
“The lack of transparency is as scandalous as it is brazen. A departmental document sent to me makes this astounding statement: “disclosure, at this time, whilst the proceedings are ongoing is likely to adversely impact upon the inherent nature of those proceedings”. So, if public scrutiny would “adversely Impact” upon the proceedings to obtain authority for border posts, then, it is clear that cover up is indispensable to the process. Why? How sad that a Unionist minister presides over a departmental engaged in such a cover up.
“The Minister needs to reflect on the fact that his abiding legacy in office will be the border which drives a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. That is bad enough. To deny the public the opportunity to comment on the proposal and to hide behind the planning process so as to do it under the cover of darkness is unforgivable.”