Theresa May's plan for Border will 'drive criminal activity', says Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil has poured scorn on the UK's latest proposal to build a "frictionless" Border in the wake of Brexit.
The party is sceptical about British Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to introduce a 'Schengen-style' system that will allow people to cross from Ireland into the UK without passport checks.
The idea is being carefully studied by the Irish Government, which has welcomed the fact the UK is providing "more clarity on its thinking". Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he does not want any form of border introduced but this position is looking increasingly unworkable as the UK seems intent on leaving the customs union.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is reported to have warned his first two rounds of talks with the UK - covering the issues of the Irish Border, the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and Britain's 'divorce bill' - had made limited progress.
British politicians yesterday argued that the new border arrangements being presented were a sensible way forward. Under the plan, citizens of EU countries will be able to travel into the UK over the Irish Border but would not be able to work without a special permit. Irish citizens will retain working rights.
However, Fianna Fáil's Brexit spokesman Stephen Donnelly told the Irish Independent he did not believe this would be a workable solution if the UK left the customs union.
He said if tariffs were introduced, then every milk truck that crossed the Border would have to be monitored.
He suggested such a move would also drive criminality. "Technology is not going to solve this problem. You can design it so as not to cause huge intrusion on day one but what happens when the smuggling starts?" he said.
"You can put up high-tech cameras and the new Provos will come and chop them down. Then you put up something stronger and they'll blow it up. My main concern is criminal and paramilitary activity."