Ireland rejects Canada-US border model

Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar speaks to journalists after his meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (unseen) at No. 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, 25 September 2017. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Ireland rejects Canada-US border model


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Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has made clear that Dublin will under no circumstances accept a border with the UK that is modelled after the US-Canada border.

Northern Ireland will be the UK’s only physical land border with the EU after Britain voluntarily quits the European Union in March 2019.

While addressing the House of Commons on March 5, UK Prime Minister Theresa May suggested that the UK is seeking ways to avoid a hard border with Ireland by looking at different successful models, including the border 8,891-kilometre-long border between Canada and the United States.

Varadkar, however, quickly dismissed any plan that would see a hard border-model similar to North America’s, as it would require infrastructure needed to enforce strict border controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland, saying “A reinforced border with physical infrastructure, customs posts and, people in uniforms with arms and dogs” was not in the interests of the Irish people. He, instead, is pushing for “a seamless border”, based on a “deep relationship” between the EU and the UK that would act in accordance with the Single Market concept.

Short of a newly established comprehensive relationship between Belfast and Dublin, Varadkar would opt for Northern Ireland to follow the European Union’s recommendation and remain a part of the Single Market, while continuing to be a constituent part of the United Kingdom.

Varadkar’s stance is in staunch contrast to that of Theresa May, who has made it clear that no single part of the UK will remain a member of either the Customs Union or the Single Market.

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