Suggestions from the British Prime Minister that she may look at the border between the USA and Canada as a model for the island of Ireland post Brexit have been dismissed as completely unworkable by a Fine Gael Senator.
Fine Gael spokesperson on European Affairs, Senator Neale Richmond, said: “Despite the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the border between the USA and Canada is very much a hard border.
“This was clearly established by British MPs who undertook fact finding missions to the border following the Referendum while our own Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, declared the border to be a hard border following his visit to Canada in August.
“While traveling between Ontario and Michigan myself on a personal trip in November 2016, I had the distinct pleasure of spending an hour at the border crossing point.
“The trucks crossing in separate lanes beside me experienced much longer wait times.
“The Canadian/US border model would be completely unworkable post Brexit on the island of Ireland.
“What is required is a new customs union, agreement or partnership ties to a really deep trade deal that can keep things as close to the current status quo that we all enjoy.
“All suggested solutions from the British side will be examined but they must detailed and realistic while avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“The creation of a hard border on the island if Ireland by the British Government post Brexit would not just be an economic disaster but it would put the Good Friday Agreement at risk as the infrastructure of a hard border would be viable targets for dissident paramilitaries,” said the Fine Gael Senator.