Brexit: UK opposes Irish border posts16/08/17Government
The UK government has said it does not want any border posts between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in its new position paper on Brexit.
The paper is an aspect of its negotiations with the EU.
It suggests a ‘new customs partnership’ or a ‘highly streamlined customs arrangement’.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK which will share a land border with an EU member state when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.
The future management of that border is a complex issue and is one of three main priorities in UK-EU Brexit negotiations.
The paper says the government does not want to see any physical infrastructure at the Irish border.
Brexit Secretary David Davis revealed on 15 August that he wants a limited transition period to implement any new customs arrangements, including considerations relating to the “unique circumstances” of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The government has repeated its desire to maintain the Common Travel Area and the rights of UK and Irish citizens, and to uphold the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Both the UK and Irish governments have repeatedly stated their opposition to a ‘hard border’.
The paper also dismisses the idea of a customs border in the Irish Sea, saying it would be economically and constitutionally unviable.
An Irish government spokesperson welcomed the position paper as “timely and helpful” as it offers more clarity on the UK’s strategy.
However, they warned: “Protecting the peace process is crucial and it must not become a bargaining chip in the negotiations.”
The spokesperson said leaders in Dublin would analyse the ideas in detail and discuss them with the European Commission and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.