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UK Government rejects SF MEP's claims border officer recruitment drive to create hard Irish border

By Jonathan Bell

The Home Office has rejected claims its latest recruitment drive for border patrol officers contradicts the Prime Minister's commitments to having a frictionless border in Ireland.

The government organisation said the jobs would instead boost staffing levels at existing border checkpoints at the UK's ports and airports.

Border Force plans to recruit 300 new officers with some posts based in Belfast.

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson claimed this went against the UK's aim of avoiding a hard border in Ireland saying it emphasised the case for special status for Northern Ireland.

"This also highlights the importance of ensuring that the communique agreed between the British government and the EU is legally enforced and fully implemented," she said

However, the Home Office rejected the MEP's concerns.

“It is untrue to suggest that current border force officer recruitment in any way contradicts the guarantee that there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland," a government spokeswoman said.

"Last week’s agreement with the EU ensures the continued, uninhibited movement of British and Irish citizens between our two countries.

“The additional resource from this recruitment round will supplement existing staffing at UK ports and airports.”

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