BREXIT STALEMATE: Ireland REFUSES to budge as Varadkar REJECTS May's border proposal

Posted on Mar 6 2018 - 2:05pm by admin

The Republic of Ireland said it would “definitely not” entertain a US-Canada style arrangement after Brexit, something the Prime Minister suggested this afternoon.

Mrs May told MPs today she was considering all manner of solutions to the problem – including adopting a similar situation as the one on the border between Canada and the USA.

Her comment was jeered by Remain-supporting MPs, with Labour’s Jenny Chapman shouting out across the House of Commons the US-Canada border was protected by armed guards.

Mrs May’s suggestion was also condemned by Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this evening.

The Taoiseach himself visited the US-Canada border last year and informed UK negotiators at the time it could not be seen as inspiration for the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

He tweeted a full six months ago: “Just visited Canada-US border. It’s high tech and highly efficient, but make no mistake – it’s a hard border.”

Today he re-shared his original thoughts on Twitter, including photos of customs offices and border check points, a style of infrastructure which would be unacceptable to Dublin, Belfast and Brussels.

He said at a press conference this evening: “That is definitely not a solution that we can possibly entertain.”

Mrs May had referenced the Canada-US border when asked this afternoon to name a single example of an open border between two countries who were not in the same customs union.

The Prime Minister replied: “There are many examples of different arrangements for customs around the rest of the world and indeed we are looking at those, including for example the border between the United States and Canada.”

The Irish border – and the idea of checkpoints and customs checks on it – remains a raw issue even two decades after the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) finally secured peace on the island.

More than 3,500 people died during the Troubles before the agreement, which had the support of all major Irish, Northern Irish and English political parties – bar the DUP – ended the carnage.

But officials Ireland and the EU have grown increasingly frustrated as Brexit talks develop at the lack of clarity provided by the UK Government on how Brexit will not impact the fragile border situation.

Theresa May’s Brexit officials are yet to explain how checks or tariffs will not be introduced if the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland becomes a border between the EU and UK – especially if Britain quits the single market and customs union.

Instead Government officials have only offered lukewarm assurances that a return to the hard borders of the past will be avoided.

Before Christmas, after tense negotiations, Dublin and the EU agreed to progress to the next stage of exit talks with the UK, who essentially kicked the border can down the road by pledging to keep the border invisible – if, again, not explaining how.

However this month Mrs May said “no British Prime Minister could ever agree” to the fall-back economic terms she herself had signed off on before Christmas.

Leave A Response