The UK will shift immigration controls from England to Ireland; essentially, control over the British border will be handed to the Republic of Ireland.
London and Ireland will be cooperating on immigration control to protect their common travel area (CTA). That will be the means of avoiding a “hard border” with the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, maintaining freedom of movement central to the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.
The British Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire told the Guardian that Ireland will be handed the responsibility of preventing immigration to the UK via Ireland.
“We are already working closely with the Irish government and other members of the common travel area to prevent people from seeking to evade UK immigration controls from entering via another part of the CTA,” Brokenshire said.
In this scheme, the UK has handed over the Republic of Ireland and France. Ireland is, in essence, agreeing to a treaty similar to the Touquet Treaty. There are already border towns such as Dundalk in Northern Ireland that fear becoming “New Calais.”
Northern Ireland is Britain’s only land border with the EU. Ireland’s foreign minister, Charles Flanagan, has welcomed the plan for immigration control in the Republic of Ireland, but has warned that this is a decision that will inevitably also involve all EU member states.
Meanwhile, a Belfast High Court is considering two legal challenges against Brexit by locals who fear the Northern Irish peace process could be undermined. 56% of the Northern Irish voters voted to remain in the EU.