THE IRISH BORDER QUESTION

THE IRISH BORDER QUESTION

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has put an untagged coach and horses through the potential for electronic tagging along the border post Brexit saying – it will not work.  His comments come as the border issue dominates in this latest phase of Brexit talks in Brussels.

For a solid balanced update on positions you should read this, “Brexit Negotiations The Irish Border Question” , from the UK Parliaments research library reflecting on the complexity of the border question.  Specifically on technology it quotes the Lords EU Committee saying it did not think it was sufficiently advanced to remove the need for physical border checks.

Separately a former RUC Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan has been reflecting on border issues in the context of Brexit.  The article for the Irish Times deals with the wider peace process 20 years on but on Brexit he had this to say about when he recently showed the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, around the Border.

“I said to Barnier: ‘Do you see the Border there?’ And he said no. ‘That’s the idea,’ I said. ‘We want to keep it like that.”

He continued:  “If you think it’s just a question of putting up customs posts then you will have made a mistake. If there are shots fired at customs posts then police will be required to protect customs officers. And if shots are fired at the police then the army might be required to protect police officers. Then if they shoot at the army you will need to build watchtowers and permanent checkpoints and close Border roads.”  Sheridan reckons Barnier got the picture.