Borders: Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Department for Exiting the European Union written question – answered on 13th September 2017.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment his Department has made of the economic effect of establishment of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

As set out in the Prime Minister's Article 50 letter we want to avoid a return to a hard border between our two countries, and to be able to maintain the Common Travel Area. The deeply integrated nature of trade, both domestically between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and across the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, highlights why the UK is prioritising finding a solution that protects businesses’ ability to access these markets. We welcome the Commission's position paper on Northern Ireland and Ireland, in particular the commitment to avoid any physical infrastructure at the border, agreeing with the UK’s position as published last month. This is an important step forward, and demonstrates the close alignment on the UK’s and EU’s objectives on this issue.

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