Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Declan Breathnach says the British Government must honour its commitment that no hard border will be imposed on the island of Ireland following Brexit.
Deputy Breathnach made the comments as the British Cabinet prepared to discuss its strategy for dealing with the Phase 2 trade negotiations.
Deputy Breathnach said, “Following the Phase 1 agreement before Christmas the British Government gave a guarantee that no border controls would be imposed on the Ireland of island post-Brexit. This commitment needs to be honoured, and the Irish Government must work with our EU partners to ensure that there is absolutely no backtracking on this issue.
“The imposition of a hard border would cause untold damage to border counties such as Louth. It would be a massive blow to the local economy and would cause serious hardship for people who live on one side of the border and work on the other. It would also represent a significant setback to the peace process. This has the potential to setback development in border areas by decades, and it’s vital that our Government works to ensure that Britain honours the commitments it made prior to Christmas.
“I’m deeply concerned by the current commentary emanating from British politicians. They say that they want a close trading relationship with the European Union and no hard border on the island of Ireland. However at the same time they insist that they do not want to remain part of the Customs Union. You cannot have one without the other and this is something that the EU negotiators have stressed time and time again. However it seems the message is not sinking in in some quarters.
“The Irish Government and our EU partners need to be tough with the British Government on this issue. We cannot allow any complacency to set in. No hard border can be allowed to emerge on the island of Ireland,” concluded Deputy Breathnach.