Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly TD has stated that his party fully supports Ireland’s firm commitment to ensuring that no hard border will be put in place on the island of Ireland.

Deputy Donnelly said that securing a trade deal is critical, but that the peace process underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement must also be protected.

Deputy Donnelly commented, “Fianna Fáil will not stand over any deal which results in a hard Border with Northern Ireland.

“The British Government has been keen to frame Brexit negotiations in terms of a trade deal. For Ireland, this is also about the peace process. The open border is a reflection of the progress that has been made on the island, any step back now would be a retrograde step for the entire island.

“The British stated position is that it will leave the customs union and the single market. I know of no jurisdiction which shares an open border with a neighbour where there is regulatory divergence. This has the potential to incentivise smuggling on a massive scale.

“The British Government has stated on numerous occasions that they want an open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. We believe that the British Government must provide a roadmap towards this in order for talks to progress.

“Fianna Fáil accepts the result of the Brexit referendum. It is imperative that the British Government develops a policy in the coming weeks which ensures that the hard-won peace on the island of Ireland continues.”