Published On: Fri, Aug 23rd, 2019

Brexit news: EU and Ireland hold secret talks as no deal reality sets in | World | News

Dublin are planning to implement checks at the “point of origin or destination, so the factories or ports” in order to prevent a hard border after Brexit, European Commission sources have said. One Commission official said: “We’re in constant contact.” Efforts are being focused on ensuring Ireland still complies with the European Union’s tough single market rules.

In the event of a no deal, Dublin would normally be expected implement strict “point of entry” checks on livestock, agricultural and food products entering from Britain, which becomes a third country overnight.

But this would result in border infrastructure being placed on the Irish border that could possibly become a target for violence.

Irish European commissioner Phil Hogan, who is responsible for agriculture, has suggested checks “could be at the point of origin or at point of destination”.

The eurocrat went on to say that 55 percent of all exports from Britain to Northern Ireland come through the port of Dublin and are already checked.

He said: “It’s about the controls and checks to reassure the consumer that the quality of the product, whether it’s product safety or food safety or whatever, they have to get reassurance in the mainland of Ireland or the mainland in Europe and in the mainland of the United Kingdom, whatever.”

A close ally of Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, accused Boris Johnson of attempting to force Ireland out of the EU’s single market.

Neal Richmond, Fine Gael’s EU affairs spokesman, said the so-called alternative arrangements touted by the Prime Minister amount to “fantasy technology”.

He also warned that 30 days, suggested as a possible deadline by Angela Merkel, would not be enough to provide a solution to the Irish border conundrum.

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“We went through the report in great detail. It wants Ireland to essentially break from the single market,” Mr Richmond said.

“It’s like the Brady amendment. Everyone can support alternative arrangements when they don’t know what they are.”

Deputy Irish prime minister Simon Coveney said: “The British Government has said it wants to look at alternative arrangements that can do the same job as the backstop and, of course, we will listen to that and I think other European countries will do so too because we all want to avoid no-deal Brexit.

“But I think the messaging is clear, it’s consistent and it’s been firm from the EU that the deals that have been put together through many, many hours and days and weeks and months of negotiation are not going to be brushed aside now in an effort to get a deal.”

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Meanwhile 49 members of the Northern Ireland assembly have placed pressure on Donald Tusk, the European Council’s president, to keep the controversial backstop.

Mr Johnson has told Brussels that they must remove the measure to avoid customs checks on the border if there is to be a Brexit deal.

Forty-nine out of the 90 MLAs from Sinn Fein, the SDLP, Alliance Party and the Green Party have signed on the letter urging the “European institutions to defend all that we have achieved”.

The DUP, the Conservative’s parliamentary allies, refused to sign letter, insisting that not all communities support the backstop.

Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP MP for Lagan Valley, said: “The signatories to this letter demonstrate that the backstop does not have the support of representatives from both communities in Northern Ireland.

“The withdrawal agreement fundamentally undermines the Belfast Agreement as it would erect a new border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

“The best way to protect the Belfast Agreement and enjoy a positive north-south relationship is to have a sensible deal as we exit the European Union.”

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