Wednesday 17 January 2018

Gerry Adams urges Dáil to clarify position on post-Brexit border checks

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams

Ed Carty

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has called for the Irish Government to clarify if it is considering toughening border checks in Ireland to help control immigration into Britain.

The suggestion that Irish ports and airports would become proxy points of entry into the UK was mooted in recent weeks with Mr Adams branding it unviable.

He called for Taoiseach Enda Kenny to make a statement on any negotiations with London justice and security chiefs to the Dail in Dublin.

"The British government is hoping to move the front-line of immigration control to Irish ports and airports to prevent illegal migration into the British state," the Sinn Fein leader said.

"This clearly is not viable."

Amid the reports, Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said that governments in London and Dublin would work to strengthen the Republic's external borders after Brexit.

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern dismissed the idea as illogical and urged the Irish Government not to facilitate it.

"I can't imagine it happening," the former taoiseach said.

Mr Ahern said Ireland should not have any right to interrogate a plane load of passengers coming into Dublin from another European Union country.

"Imagine if the same was to happen to Irish people going to EU countries," he told Newstalk radio.

"Say if you and I today were going over to a conference or a football game or rugby match or whatever and we were to get that interrogation with our EU passport. We don't mind being checked. We don't mind producing it. But to start being questioned is not logical."

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach urged the leaders of the Northern Ireland Executive to reach a consensus on their approach to Brexit.

"I need to know what it is that the Executive in Northern Ireland is actually looking for and if there's a division of opinion there it's not going to help anybody's case," Mr Kenny said.

The issue is being addressed at an all-island forum in Dublin on November 2.

The main unionist parties are refusing to attend.

Mr Kenny said he wanted to know the formal position of the Stormont Executive before the North South Ministerial Council meets in Armagh on November 18.

Press Association

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