COULD BREXIT TRIGGER RETURN OF CROSS-BORDER CONTROLS?

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Border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic would be reimposed if Britain left the European Union – a British Government report has claimed…

THE Cabinet Office Report on the consequences of leaving the EU also warned that the future of the common travel area would be in doubt.

However this claim has been dismissed by both London Mayor Boris Johnston (during his visit to the Province) and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers.

The report states: “Northern Ireland would be confronted with difficult issues about the relationship with Ireland. Outside the EU’s customs union, it would be necessary to impose customs checks on the movement of goods across the border. Questions would also need to be answered about the common travel area which covers the movement of people.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers, who is part of the ‘out’ campaign, said the close relationship between the UK and Ireland is not dependent on EU membership, and it would be in the interests of both governments to ensure the common travel arrangement between the two states continued in the event of a so-called ‘Brexit’.

London mayor Boris Johnson, who is also campaigning for Britain to leave the EU, dismissed fears and said the North had everything to gain from leaving. He said he thought it would be good news for fisheries and farming and that “the subsidies would be better tailored to their needs”.

The speculated impact on Northern Ireland is among the negative consequences of Britain leaving the EU identified in the 28-page report, which warns of a decade of uncertainty.

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