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    Brexit: an inevitable border in Ireland

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Britain’s exit from the European Union, Brexit, will inevitably lead to the re-establishment of customs checks at the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, according to a report by a British parliamentary commission. The decision by the United Kingdom to pull out of the European single market after Brexit, from the end of March 2019, seems impossible to reconcile with London’s stated will to keep the Irish border “frictionless”, the document, published on Friday, stated.

    The commission said it could not see how it would be possible to reconcile the fact that there was no border with the government’s will to withdraw from the single market and the customs union. It added that this would inevitably make the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the EU customs border with the United Kingdom.

    The proposals made by London to avoid a hard border between the two parts of Ireland, namely by using new technology, are “untested” and, “to some extent, speculative”, the commission said.

    While the discussions on the Brexit bill seemed to move ahead recently, although still inconclusive, the Irish dispute has emerged as a major sticking point.

    Andy Sanchez
    The Brussels Times