Leo Varadkar : Irish PM rules out economic border after Brexit

Martin Shanahan is optimistic that broker-dealers will end up in Ireland

Martin Shanahan is optimistic that broker-dealers will end up in Ireland

On Thursday, Leo Varadkar, Ireland's newly-elected Taoiseach, expressed his disagreement with the United Kingdom government's earlier proposals to establish a hi-tech post-Brexit land border between Republic of Ireland and Norther Ireland, saying that it could undermine the peace process on the island.

He is said to want customs and immigration checks moved away from the land border to ports and airports - effectively drawing a new border in the Irish Sea.

Politicians in Dublin, Belfast and London have all said they are opposed to the return of a "hard border" between Britain and Ireland for fear of jeopardising the 1998 peace process.

The Irish border issue is one of three key Brexit problems - along with the divorce bill and the status of European Union nationals living in Britain - that Brussels and London have to resolve before moving on to negotiations about future trade ties.

"There is no way that the DUP will go for a border like this".

"What we are not going to do is design a border for the Brexiteers".

But the suggestion of a maritime border within the Irish Sea produces its own set of unique challenges as this could effectively cut the United Kingdom off from one of its region's.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has likened Dublin's concerns overt Brexit negotiations to the millennium bug fiasco. Part of the Good Friday Agreement talks about working together and continuing to do so within the context of the EU.

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He added: "Any barrier or border on the island of Ireland in my view risks undermining a very hard-won peace process and all of the parties in Northern Ireland, whether they are unionist or nationalist, recognise we want to keep the free movement of people and goods and services and livelihoods". "We are going to try and find solutions or at least minimise the damage to relations between Britain and Ireland, to the peace process and to trading links".

While DUP chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said that Dublin's proposition was "absurd and unconstitutional".

Overall, 52 percent of voters in the United Kingdom voted in favour of leaving the European Union in last year's referendum, but 56 percent of those voting in Northern Ireland supported remaining in the bloc.

British ministers had proposed using measures like surveillance cameras to allow free movement between the north and south of the island.

Brexit secretary David Davis told MPs a year ago that he "did not see [a sea border] would be the solution".

Although proposals by both government's were brought forward in recent week it seems both Leo Varadkar and Theresa May are at odds on what would be the best solution that effects both countries.

"I really worry that the issue has not been examined to the extent that it requires, looking at the legal and constitutional issues and the trade ramifications", he said.

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