The Sunday Telegraph
NI border solutions
SIR – Daniel Hannan (“Brussels has no interest in being reasonable”, Comment, June 13) is right.
We hear endlessly that the Northern Ireland Protocol is designed to protect the Good Friday Agreement and prevent a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
But a “hard border” is just an emotive description of what would be a perfectly normal border between two sovereign states. These exist all over the world, with technology bridging the gap between oversight of goods in transit and legal obligations. It was what we had years ago (without the modern technology) when lorries underwent customs checks in Newry, a few miles north of the actual border on the Belfast-Dublin road.
For goodness’ sake, let us get our sausages and, more importantly, our cancer medications, which are at risk because of the single-minded intransigence of Brussels bureaucrats. Richard Gordon
Killinchy, Co Down
SIR – Patrick Miller (Letters, June 14) could hardly be more wrong when he says “no details” emerged about how the border issue within the island of Ireland might be solved by technology. The solutions were there for the taking, well aired, and endorsed by the European Parliament itself in its “Smart Border 2.0” paper. They included automatic number plate recognition (known to anyone using a hire car in Europe, ironically); already existing Authorised Economic Operator systems; and electronic pre-submission of documents, which WTO rules oblige the EU to provide.
Indeed, before the train crash of Leo Varadkar’s premiership, the former Taoiseach Enda Kenny had got his people working on all of these solutions – which his successor stopped dead. Quite why Mr Varadkar played white-cat-in-lap to Michel Barnier’s head of Spectre is beyond me, but he’s got plenty of time now to think it through now after tanking in the last Irish general election.