Irish PM rejects post-Brexit border pre-registration

Unlike Boris Johnson and David Davis the EU’s negotiators have visited the Irish border

The proposal was put forward by the British Prime Minister on Sunday.

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Leo Varadkar dismissed the idea - revealed by The Independent - as he turned on senior UK Cabinet ministers for failing to visit the border in order to understand it better.

"They would certainly be very welcome to visit the border", Varadkar said at the South by South West festival in Austin, Texas. "Non-qualifying individuals who did not cross at these specific border crossings would then be considered to have entered the state irregularly".

He said Northern Secretary Karen Bradley had already done so, as have a number of MPs and members of the House of Lords.

"They would be very welcome to see it for themselves".

It comes as UK Chancellor Philip Hammond restated his government's commitment to avoiding a hard Border, and admitted there was no model anywhere in the world for the kind of post-Brexit arrangements the UK is seeking. Our preferred option is a deep and comprehensive agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom in its entirety which will allow us to trade as we do now.

The Taoiseach has mentioned his distaste for a hard border before, referencing how a system similar to the Canada-US border "is definitely not a solution that we could possibly entertain".

German industry groups have stated that German companies would prefer Britain remain in the customs union after leaving the EU to soften "the horror of Brexit".

"If I was Northern Ireland Secretary and this report came on to my desk, its next stop would be the bin", he said.

Last week Mr Varadkar rejected a suggestion by British Prime Minister Theresa May that the customs arrangement between the U.S. and Canada was among possible models for the future arrangement in Ireland.

So, if the United Kingdom remains in a EU Customs Union, it can not set its own tariffs (or decide no tariffs at all) on goods coming from outside the Union, such as those goods coming from USA, China, Japan, India, etc and therefore the logic is for the United Kingdom not to belong to the European Customs Union, given the referendum result.

The news follows a leaked letter to the Prime Minister written by Mr Johnson, which claimed it was "wrong" to try to maintain no border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

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