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'Onus on British to resolve Irish border issue for Brexit: Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Coveney

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said customs checks are a ‘non-starter’
Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said customs checks are a ‘non-starter’

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said there is no proposal from the Irish Government to make the Irish Sea the border between Ireland and Britain saying UK officials needed to come up with an imaginative solution to the problem.

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The minister was responding to reports in Friday's Times that the Irish Government had hardened its position over the border between the north and south of Ireland.

Mr Coveney said there was no proposal from the Irish Government to have the border in the sea as opposed to along the land border with Northern Ireland.

Speaking to RTE he said the "onus" was on British officials to come up with an imaginative solution but they would not support a proposal which would see a hard border return on Ireland.

He said any solution should also not compromise the Good Friday Agreement or the consent principle.

"Friends should speak honestly to each other," he said.

"We have a border that is 500km long. There are 400 road crossings along that border.

"Anybody who suggests to me that we can solve this problem by putting cameras on this border ... I don't think that is the approach we can take."

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs reiterated the Government's position on the issue of the border in Brexit negotiations was political and not a technical matter.

Simon Coveney (Niall Carson/PA)
Simon Coveney (Niall Carson/PA)

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