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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 21 March, 2018

Taoiseach says Ireland could have a 'unique' border solution after Brexit

He doesn’t say what that unique border would be.


TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR says that Ireland and Northern Ireland could have a “unique” solution in the result of a hard Brexit.

Speaking to a group of business leaders in Derry last night, the Taoiseach said that the issue of the border continues to be a vexing one, but says that a solution is needed.

Earlier this week, Varadkar was accused by Fianna Fáil’s Micheal Martin of suppressing a Revenue report that details the effects of Brexit on trade with the UK.

The report was drafted before the Brexit referendum and finds that an open customs border would be impossible from a customs perspective, and would lead to a vast increase in workloads at ports and airports.

“We…hope that the ultimate outcome of the negotiations will be the closest possible trade and customs relationship between the UK and the EU.

“So, if this is ultimately not attainable, then we will seek a unique solution for Northern Ireland, reflecting its unique history and geography.

A solution which does not undermine the constitutional settlement in any way, rather one that takes account of the realities on this island and builds on common regulatory approaches, frameworks and systems.

“From Berlin to Brussels, they understand that Northern Ireland is unique, that the peace is young and still fragile, and are willing to make exceptions for Northern Ireland that would not be made for others.

The best way to secure a unique solution for Northern Ireland is to ask for it. There is huge goodwill for Northern Ireland right across Europe. Everyone recognises what has been achieved and what can never be allowed to be lost.

Varadkar has previously stated Ireland will not be helping the UK devise a border that “we don’t want”.

Read: UK chancellor regrets calling the EU “the enemy” during a TV interview

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