The EU has confirmed it will enforce a hard border on the island of Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, despite the risk it would pose to peace.
In comments that will be highly uncomfortable for Dublin, Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief spokesman told reporters it was “pretty obvious” that border infrastructure would be necessary if the UK were to leave without deal.
Both the Irish and British governments have been wary about speculating on the repercussions of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, was caught on tape last week indicating that his fellow ministers should not talk about the resumption of checks publicly for fear of a backlash.
In a private conversation, he had told the Irish transport minister, Shane Ross, that “once you start talking about checks anywhere near the border, people will start delving into that and all of a sudden we’ll be the government that reintroduced a physical border on the island of Ireland”.
But the EU’s chief spokesman said on Tuesday that the likely enforcement of border checks could not be avoided. [Continue reading…]