'We don’t know yet what they are looking for' - Taoiseach says there is no Brexit border deal between Ireland and UK
Taoiseach disputes claims that London and Dublin have a plan
There is no deal between the Irish and British governments to shift the front-line of immigration controls to the Republic’s port and airports, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire has claimed that London and Dublin will work to strengthen Ireland’s external borders in order to combat illegal migration into the UK after Brexit.
He suggested a “high level of collaboration” would help avoid the introduction between North and South.
However, in the Dáil today Mr Kenny said: “We don’t have an agreement because we don’t know yet what the British Government are looking for here.”
He said no such deal could be struck because the British government has still not outlined what they want from Brexit.
He said Ireland had been clear that “we do not want a return to a hard border” that would involve custom posts between the Republic and Northern Ireland.
The Taoiseach also revealed that he has sent 300 invitations to political leaders, business representatives and other bodies for next Wednesday’s Civil Dialogue on Brexit which will take place in Dublin.
Mr Kenny told Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams that his plans for the forum had been somewhat disrupted by the fact the Dáil will not now take a mid-term break next week.
“This is the first in a series of meetings but there will also be sectoral meetings,” he said.
The Taoiseach added that long before UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 to begin the formal process of Brexit, Ireland will have to have “a detailed analysis of the contingencies that might play out”.
Mr Adams said that as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement the Irish government had to represent the majority of voters in Northern Ireland who opposed a Brexit.
“What we need to do is get our own house in order. It’s vital the Irish government has an informed strategy,” he said, adding that the forum should try develop “an all-island vision”.