Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly has said that any border with Northern Ireland – either physical or electronic – must be avoided in the interests of all of the people living on the island of Ireland.
He was responding to Government proposals to move the border to the Irish Sea.
Deputy Donnelly explained, “The solution which Minister Coveney, and now the Taoiseach, has outlined is something which Fianna Fáil has been calling for for some time. In February, I along with Micheál Martin and Darragh O’Brien met with the Northern Secretary James Brokenshire and outlined to him that a frictionless border simply wouldn’t work and the border between Ireland and the UK should be the Irish Sea.
“It is important that we have an honest conversation with our UK neighbours, and despite coming late to the table on this issue, I am relieved that the Government now appears willing to start that conversation.
“Fianna Fáil believes that the welfare of the people of Northern Ireland must be front and centre of any Brexit discussions. Any border around the six counties – either physical or electronic – will be to the determinant to the people of Northern Ireland and must be avoided at all costs.
“The best solution is that the UK remains in the single market and the customs union. While we recognise that the UK Government does not share that position, we strongly believe that that option must be kept on the table, with every effort being made by the EU to accommodate that outcome.
“Options including moving the border to the Irish Sea and the creation of a special economic zone for Northern Ireland with ongoing links to the EU must be explored in detail”.