Belfast Telegraph

Irish border checkpoints could return, warns Labour

By PA Reporters

People in Northern Ireland should prepare themselves for the return of border checkpoints, Labour has warned.

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Tony Lloyd said that two years on from the referendum on EU membership, the Prime Minister “again has shown her lack of understanding of Northern Ireland and the border”.

He said: “She claims that the future of the Irish border will be up to the UK Government in a no deal scenario. If the UK Government’s handling of the Irish border is anything like its handling of the current negotiations, then people should prepare for checkpoints.

“The very fact that the Prime Minister is still casually throwing around terms like “no deal” is of great concern and shows that the ideological split in her own party, indeed in her own cabinet, is trumping the interests of Northern Ireland.

“In the event of no deal there is solemn legal and moral obligation to live up to the commitments of the Good Friday Agreement and ensure that there is no hard border on the island of Ireland or down the Irish Sea. However, the Prime Minister and some in her Cabinet are seemingly willing to sacrifice the peace process on the altar of Brexit.”

Meanwhile, Theresa May has said that there remains “some real differences between us and the European Commission on Northern Ireland”.

The PM said yesterday: “On the protocol on Northern Ireland I want to be very clear: we have put forward proposals and will produce further proposals, so that if a temporary backstop is needed there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“We are absolutely committed to the avoidance of such a border and we are equally committed to the avoidance of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

“Northern Ireland is an integral part of our country and we will never accept the imposition of a border within our United Kingdom.”

Belfast Telegraph

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