Ireland 'demanding sea border with UK after Brexit'

British ministers had proposed introducing a high tech land border

Jon Vale
Thursday 27 July 2017 23:45
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The Irish government have indicated their preference for a sea border
The Irish government have indicated their preference for a sea border

Theresa May is facing tough new demands by the Irish government that could see the Irish Sea become the country's post-Brexit border with the UK, according to reports.

New Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is said to be unconvinced by the British Government's plans to introduce a hi-tech land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.

Ministers had proposed using things measures like surveillance cameras to allow free movement between the north and south of the island.

However, according to reports in The Times, Mr Varadkar is said to think these plans could jeopardise the peace process in Ireland and restrict movement between the two countries.

He is said to want customs and immigration checks moved away from the land border to ports and airports—effectively drawing a new border in the Irish Sea.

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is one of the key issues that needs to be resolved by the UK and the EU before talks begin on a new trade deal.

According to The Times, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney told a recent meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers: "What we do not want to pretend is that we can solve the problems of the border on the island of Ireland through technical solutions like cameras and pre-registration and so on. That is not going to work.

"Any barrier or border on the island of Ireland in my view risks undermining a very hard-won peace process and all of the parties in Northern Ireland, whether they are unionist or nationalist, recognise that we want to keep the free movement of people and goods and services and livelihoods."

Press Association

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