Ireland demanding a ‘sea border’ with the UK post Brexit

Republic of Ireland wants to have a sea border with the United Kingdom after Brexit as Dublin said Theresa May’s plans for a land border between the two countries is unworkable.

New Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had rejected the British government’s plan to allow free movement between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to maintain the soft border by having a technology controlled land border, The Times reports.

Varadkar, reportedly wants the Irish Sea to be made the border with customs checks moved to ports and airports.

Ireland Bilat
British and Irish prime ministers Theresa May and Leo Varadkar met at Downing Street last week. Photo: GOV.UK

Chancellor Phillip Hammond said the government in Westminster will not accept a border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, rejecting the proposal from Dublin for a border in the Irish sea.

The European Union wanted to have a complete knowledge of how the border issue will be resolved before considering any trade deals with Britain after the country will leave the 28-member-state-bloc.

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.”

Ministers in Westminster had proposed to use technological measures like surveillance cameras to allow free movement between the north and the south of the island of Ireland but Varadkar rejected this offer as he thinks these plans could jeopardise the peace process in Ireland and restrict movement between the two countries.

ireland border
Britain and Ireland want to avoid a hard border. Photo: Irish Post

Senior MP’s of the Democratic Unionist Party, the ruling party in Northern Ireland have been against the idea of having a border in the sea as they believe such a ‘proposition is absurd.’

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, a senior Democratic Unionist MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Pragmatically that is just not going to happen. If you look at Northern Ireland, for example, out of the port of Belfast 73% of the goods that come in and out of the port of Belfast which is by far our busiest port go to Great Britain.”

Brexit Secretary David Davis has acknowledged that ‘flexible and imaginative solutions’ will be needed to resolve issues around Northern Ireland.

“The Irish government, the British Government and indeed the European Union Commission all share an ambition to ensure that we do not reinstate any kind of hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,” Phillip Hammond told Sky News.

Further talks on the same are expected to take place in the next few weeks as Britain’s works towards clarifying the country’s position on Brexit.


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