New hi-tech Brexit plan does not cover agriculture and cannot avoid 'reality of a return to a hard border'
People crossing the Border would have to register in advance to avoid checks and delays after Brexit under a hugely controversial plan being considered British officials. Anyone without "fast-track movement" clearance would have to use approved crossing points or would be "considered to have entered the state irregularly", the study suggests.
Despite British prime minister Theresa May's insistence that the Border will continue to have no "physical infrastructure", both CCTV and cameras to track vehicle number plates would be needed at some crossing points, according to the blueprint.
Nevertheless, the British leader has told MPs she has "asked officials to look at it very carefully", adding: "I believe it gives some very good proposals for solutions".
The decision to consider the plan - put forward in Smart Border 2.0: Avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland, a report commissioned by a European parliamentary committee - was strongly criticised by the Government here, which said the proposals would break Mrs May's pledge of no "physical infrastructure and associated checks" after Brexit.
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs pointed to the Phase One Brexit deal agreed by May last December.
"The UK gave a guarantee that a hard border, including any physical infrastructure and associated checks and controls will be avoided. This report proposes the opposite."
Peter Hain, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, went further, warning the proposal to pre-register travellers "would be risking immediate civil unrest".
"If I was Northern Ireland Secretary and this report came on to my desk, its next stop would be the bin," Hain said.