How is Britain go­ing to con­trol the 499km border be­tween our two nations?

The Argus - - NEWS - De­clan Breath­nach TD.

Louth TD De­clan Breath­nach high­lighted what he saw as ‘mixed sig­nals’ from the Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter’s speech.

‘ Theresa May wants Britain out of the Sin­gle Mar­ket and Cus­toms Union, so how is she go­ing to deal with the Ir­ish Border?’ said Deputy Breath­nach.

He ex­pressed his fears on what the vi­sion for Brexit is, and what it will mean for Ireland, and in par­tic­u­lar the border re­gions. ‘While she says main­tain­ing the Com­mon Travel Area be­tween UK and Ireland is a pri­or­ity, she is in­tent on a hard Brexit and is very vo­cal in the area of con­trol­ling im­mi­gra­tion. How is she go­ing to con­trol the border be­tween our two nations, which stretches to 499 Km?’

He added: ‘We must re­mem­ber too that any plans she has, in­clud­ing those in re­la­tion to main­tain­ing the Com­mon Travel Area with us, or in treat­ing Ireland in any way dif­fer­ently to other EU nations, has to have the agree­ment of the en­tire EU.’

The Louth TD ac­cused her speech as be­ing ‘full of as­pira- tions for a Global Britain.’ She wants to re­tain full trad­ing rights with the EU whilst at the same time leav­ing the Sin­gle Mar­ket. She said that the UK is not look­ing to be half in and half out. How­ever, it seems she wants to re­tain all their rights with­out mak­ing any con­tri­bu­tions.’

He said the im­pact of exit from the Sin­gle Mar­ket and Cus­toms Union will be cat­a­strophic. ‘For the border re­gions both North and South, we need to be as­sured that the fu­ture of Peace IV and In­ter­reg fund­ing fol­low­ing the UK exit from the EU will be guar­an­teed. While these funds have been guar­an­teed up un­til 2020 we need to have as­sur­ance beyond that.

The im­por­tance in terms of mean­ing­ful cross-border co-op­er­a­tion and re­la­tion­ship build­ing of these pro­grammes can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated and the UK can­not turn its back on this. We can­not let the mag­nif­i­cent work of the Good Fri­day Agree­ment go to waste and this must be dealt with in our ne­go­ti­a­tions with the UK.’

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