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Public losing confidence in Theresa May's handling of Brexit as Ireland border fears grow

By Andrew MacAskill

Confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May's handling of Brexit is plummeting, as concerns about the policing of the border with the Republic mount.

A new poll, carried out by the ORB International pollster, shows confidence in the Tory leader has dropped considerably, with 60% of voters not confident Mrs May will get the right deal.

The findings come as concerns emerged both in the Republic and in the UK about policing in the event of a hard Brexit or a no deal exit.

Gardai in Co Louth have said a portable office which houses a station less than 2km from the border "will not last more than a week," in the event of a hard Brexit.

The station is rotting away, according to members stationed there, and it is feared it will not be able to support increased resources in the event of a hard Brexit when up to 100 addition gardai could be needed in the region.

Superintendent Gerry Curley said irrespective of whether there is a hard Brexit, "the Drumad area is probably one of the most significant areas along the whole border" and called for facilities there to be addressed.

He also said there are concerns about the effect of a hard Brexit on border policing and the issue of dissident republicans.

"A hard Brexit could cause an upsurge in dissident activity because those individuals seem to exploit situations like that," he added. Police chiefs in the UK have also raised concerns.

A leaked letter, reported by The Guardian newspaper, expressed concern over the loss of access to cross-border investigative powers.

Increased speculation that the UK will crash out, sparked by comments from high-profile Brexiteers, was downplayed by Downing Street.

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