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22nd Jan 2019

EU confirms there will be a hard border if there’s a no-deal Brexit

Alan Loughnane

Morning Ireland border

It’s “pretty obvious” border controls would be needed, an EU Commission spokesman said.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the European Commission has confirmed there will be a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Speaking to reporters, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said it was “pretty obvious” that border infrastructure would be necessary if the UK were to leave without a deal.

He said that while the EU stands behind the Good Friday Agreement and with Ireland in its negotiations, a no-deal Brexit would mean a hard border.

Schinas told reporters at Tuesday’s briefing: “If you’d like to push me and speculate on what might happen in a no-deal scenario in Ireland, I think it’s pretty obvious you will have a hard border.

“And our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and everything that we have been doing for years with our tools, instruments and programmes will have to take, inevitably, into account this fact.

“So, of course we are for peace; of course we stand behind the Good Friday Agreement but that’s what a no-deal scenario… [would] entail.”

The Irish government has been keen to play down the possibility of a hard border, with Tánaiste Simon Coveney recently cutting across Minister for Transport Shane Ross in a press conference when the latter suggested there may be border checks.

President of the European Commisison Jean Claude Juncker previously told the Dáil there should be no return of a hard border between north and south in Ireland.