Gerry Adams has broken his silence on what Brexit would mean for the border
In an exclusive interview with Her.ie, Sinn Féin leader a prominent figure of the Republican movement has spoken out on what the impending Brexit would mean for the north-south border in Ireland.
The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is the only border than the United Kingdom shares with the EU - and has emerged as one of the most contentious issues following Friday's shock decision.
Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, announced almost immediately after the results rolled in that Sinn Féin would seek a border poll with a view to an independence referendum.
Adams was keen to stress the impact that Brexit could have on Irish people, regardless of which side of the border they live on:
"The future for everyone on this island will be impacted by Brexit. There is no escape from it.
Currently, we have a soft border. It is all but invisible. Where once customs posts, and then British Army checkpoints or cratered and blocked roads were the order of the day, now you can travel back and forward across the border without hindrance.
That will end. To what extent is difficult to say. The border will now be the EU’s only land frontier with a non-EU member. As the Brexit divorce takes shape and the economic, political and social connections are severed the EU and Britain will have to take account of this. What will replace it no one knows at this point but it’s difficult to see how passport controls whether in the north, as people leave or in Britain as they land, whether by sea or air, will not be significantly tightened.
The leave campaign was largely fought around the issue of immigrants. Would a right wing British conservative government be willing to leave a back door open for immigrants to perhaps enter through?
And what of trading goods? And the taxes they raise for Britain? All of that has to be monitored and only so much can be accomplished by technology"
Adams' remarks on the border were part of a much longer interview, which can be read here in full.