Thursday 17 January 2019

Committee concerned at lack of 'realism' from British government on the Border question

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Colm Kelpie

A Westminster committee has written to the UK government calling for "realism" in its approach to the Border after Brexit.

In a detailed letter, the House of Lords EU Committee said it was concerned at the lack of detail from Downing Street around how technological solutions for the Border, as the government has repeatedly stated, would work.

The committee visited Ireland last month for three days of evidence in Dublin, Belfast and Derry. It has now written to Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley outlining its concerns.

The committee said the evidence it had received suggested that there was potential in the longer term to develop technological solutions, not only at the UK-Irish border, but at all UK-EU borders, so as to streamline the cross-border movement of goods.

"We therefore do not dismiss the government's proposals out of hand," the letter stated.

"Nevertheless, there is a need for realism. We note that, while customs processes have been streamlined and made more efficient, the EU external border, for instance with Switzerland and Norway, retains a physical manifestation."

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business