"Non-starter" - Simon Coveney rejects UK customs posts proposal 1 month ago

"Non-starter" - Simon Coveney rejects UK customs posts proposal

"Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland deserves better."

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Convey has rejected the UK's so-called "non-paper" proposals to get around the issue of the Irish backstop by introducing a string of customs posts around the border.

The controversial proposals would seemingly result in customs posts being erected on both sides of the border, but instead located five to 10 miles back from the actual land frontier.

Commenting on the development via Twitter on Monday night, Tánaiste Coveney shot down the proposal, noting that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland deserve a superior agreement.

"Non-paper = non-starter," Coveney began.

"Time the EU had a serious proposal from the UK Government if a Brexit deal is to be achievable in October.

"NI and IRE deserves better."

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 recently, Coveney warned that while there is a genuine willingness to find a deal that works for all parties, a realistic agreement is still some way away.

"Everybody needs a dose of reality here," he argued.

"There is still quite a wide gap between what the British government have been talking about in terms of the solutions that they are proposing, and I think what Ireland and the EU will be able to support."

Monday's proposal also notes that the goods moving from a so-called "customs clearance site" in Northern Ireland that would be monitored in real time using GPS or tracking devices placed on trucks or vans.

RTÉ News has also reported that traders would have a choice of a customs declaration, which could be cleared on either side of the border, or a "transit" system.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, meanwhile, has condemned the proposal as "out of the question", citing it as "further evidence of Tory recklessness and belligerence towards Ireland."