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Republic 'scouting out' locations for border posts

By Staff Reporter

Irish Government officials have reportedly started scoping work to identity locations where customs checkpoints could be set up along the border with Northern Ireland.

The work comes ahead of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

However the Irish Government said, at this stage, it does not envisage a return of customs officers along the border, the BBC reported.

On Wednesday Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was confident the EU would not allow "one of the most divisive borders in the world" to be reimposed.

However, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed to a parliamentary committee that contingency plans are being drawn up in the light of the Brexit vote.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted that Britain will not seek to "cherry-pick" which parts of European Union membership it wants to keep after Brexit.

She said her aim to leave the single market, but strike a free trade deal with the EU including the "greatest possible access" to the trade bloc, does not amount to selectively choosing the best aspects of membership.

Her comments come ahead of Downing Street talks on Friday with French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Mrs May also highlighted French interest in a good Brexit deal, pointing out that the UK is France's fifth-largest export market with bilateral trade worth more than €50bn last year, and stressed the UK will remain an "open and tolerant" country and that French people will "always be welcome in Britain".

She reiterated her aim of guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals already in the UK, including more than 300,000 French people, and said she hopes France will do the same for Britons living there.

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