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Expert panel appointed to advise UK government on 'alternative arrangements' for Irish border after Brexit

An expert panel has been appointed to suggest ways to keep the Irish border
An expert panel has been appointed to suggest ways to keep the Irish border "soft" after Brexit (Niall Carson/PA)

A panel of experts has been appointed by the UK government to advise on alternative arrangements for the Irish border after Brexit.

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The panel will be looking at ways of maintaining a so-called "soft border" without close regulatory alignment between the UK and the EU.

Some Brexit supporters believe that technological solutions could be employed to avoid a hard border.

The BBC reports the panel includes PSNI assistant chief constable Tim Mairs, Katy Hayward from Queen's University Belfast and representatives from Northern Ireland business groups.

The panel will be chaired by Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman.

Mr Barclay said: "There has been considerable debate about the alternative arrangements that could be put in place to replace the backstop, including how we could harness the power of cutting-edge technologies, trusted trader schemes, and IT systems.

"There has also been shared recognition by both the UK government and the EU Commission that this work must be an absolute priority as we shape the future partnership.

"The technical group will provide a forum for experts to discuss workable alternative arrangements, assessing both capability and timelines and bringing their significant experience to bear."

The UK Government and the EU have agreed there should be no hardening of the border but have failed to agree on how this will be achieved.

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