Maybe Deputy Adams and I could form an unprecedented unique partnership when he leaves. He might advise me.
In respect of the Single Market, Mr. Barnier spoke here last week and outlined his views on the outcome of the European Council, the paper from the European Commission and the recommendations from the European Parliament. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland want access to the Single Market, and the Republic of Ireland is in the Single Market and will remain so.
As we are speaking today, we do not what know the outcome of the trading negotiations that will apply will be. If, for instance, there are no tariffs between Ireland and Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic or the UK and the European Union, there are still two different jurisdictions and some arrangement to deal with that will have to be made. The point of agreement by the British Government is that there will not be a return to customs posts as we all knew them many years ago along the Border. The agreement politically is that whatever the outcome on the trading relationship, a different way of dealing with this would have to be found.
It is not impossible to have a situation like that to which Deputy Adams referred. The phrases "unique circumstance", "particular and specific circumstances" and "special cases" have been repeated in respect of Northern Ireland. That is why we have the peace process, peace funds and agreement on a range of areas about what should happen with Northern Ireland.
We do not yet have a Northern Executive, and I hope that after the British general election the parties will sit down and put an Executive together before the end of June. That will not sort out this problem, but at least we might have common ground that Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Executive and the parties do not want a return to the border of the past with hard customs posts. Nor does the Republic, and we are not going to have that.
However, we do not know the answer to the question of whether there will be tariffs and, if so, to what extent. Even if there are no tariffs, there will still be two jurisdictions, namely, the European Union and the United Kingdom. As the Deputy is well aware, the Six Counties belong to the United Kingdom and will remain so under the Good Friday Agreement until the people decide by their vote, consent and democratic means to change it. If it becomes a reality, it will be accepted by both Governments and recognised by the European Union. Until such time as the divorce proceedings deal with borders, modalities, potential liabilities, citizens' rights and reciprocal rights, we will not get into the detail and complexity of what will arise.