Irish government proposal for sea border 'untimely and unhelpful' says DUP

Jerome Frank
July 29, 2017

The Irish border issue is one of three key Brexit problems - along with the divorce bill and the status of European Union nationals living in Britain - that Brussels and London have to resolve before moving on to negotiations about future trade ties.

"We're not going to be doing that work for them because we don't think there should be an economic border at all".

Ireland is against the imposition of an "economic border" with Northern Ireland and the Irish government is not going to help Britain design one, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday.

He added: "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 we want to keep the free movement of people and goods and services and livelihoods".

British Prime Minister Theresa May's idea is to create a high-tech "soft border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, using video surveillance and the like.

Sir Jeffrey immediately shot down that kite on behalf of the DUP on the Today programme, (although BBC NI's habitually sleepy news website has yet to catch up).

But, when previously asked about an Irish Sea border solution, he told MPs that "I don't see that would be the solution, to be honest".

Border negotiations between the British and Irish governments are at an impasse following a report which claims Dublin is hoping to establish a border in the Irish Sea, effectively mooting talk of a so-called "frictionless" border.

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Ireland's foreign minister said no such proposal existed.

The Republic of Ireland's plan to draw the post-Brexit border with the United Kingdom in the Irish Sea will put the peace process at risk, the Democratic Unionist Party has warned.

"We're being as positive as we can but it's true to say that their attitude has hardened".

While acknowledging the predicted negative impact Brexit will have on Ireland's economy and society as a whole, Varadkar also warned of dire consequences for Britain depending on the form of border imposed. The DUP will not tolerate a border on the Irish Sea after Brexit that makes it more hard to live, work and travel between different parts of the United Kingdom.

His comments come after former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said there's no possibility of Ireland leaving the European Union and said: "we're mad, but we're not that mad".

The row over the UK's future relationship with Ireland has intensified, with the Irish government calling for customs and immigration checks to be located at ports and airports. Part of the Good Friday Agreement talks about working together and continuing to do so within the context of the EU.

Ian Paisley Jr, one of the 10 DUP members of the British parliament allowing May's government to stay in power, went on Twitter to condemn the idea.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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