Belfast Telegraph

Bruton: Brexit hard border if UK crashes out

Former taoiseach John Bruton (Brian Lawless/PA)
Former taoiseach John Bruton (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Harriet Line

A hard border is inevitable if there is no Brexit deal, a former Taoiseach has said.

John Bruton, who was the Fine Gael premier from 1994-97, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There will be a hard border if there is no agreement - that's clear under EU law if you look at the paper that was produced last month by the European Commission.

"It's quite clear that there will have to be control on the EU's borders and one of those EU borders in the event that Britain leaves the EU will be in Ireland."

And he suggested those opposed to the controversial backstop proposals to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland did not believe there would ever be an "acceptable agreement".

Mr Bruton also said Sinn Fein's refusal to take its seats in Westminster and voice its concerns over Brexit is "a great shame, it's a tragedy" despite the "most serious threats to the position of Northern nationalists".

"I think the record of Sinn Fein MPs not taking their seats in Parliament has been extremely bad," he added.

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