Government should publish no-deal Border plans, FF says

Minister For Justice to speak to Garda boss on whether to increase policing on Border

A Guinness lorry at the Border. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

A Guinness lorry at the Border. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

 

Fianna Fáil has called on the Government to reveal their contingency plans for the Border amid concerns of a no-deal Brexit.

The party’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan said there cannot be a situation where “a blind eye” is turned to potential criminal activity on the Border.

“Let’s not underestimate the ability of the British political establishment to make bad decisions. Now obviously no one wants a hard border but there are going to be customs checks and if there are customs checks there is going to be smuggling, and if there is smuggling there has to be policing.”

He said the Government should state how many extra gardaí will be deployed to the Border if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a divorce deal.

“We need the Government of this country to state that there is a contingency plan in place. We are going to need to recruit more gardaí, and recruit them immediately for the purposes of being prepared for a hard Brexit. It is a serious possibility,” he told RTÉ’s The Week in Politics show on Sunday.

He said there are 169 border crossings in the Cavan Monaghan division at a time when “the number of gardaí in the area has been reduced significantly.”

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he would discuss with the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris whether to match the PSNI’s increase of policing on the Border.

“Fianna Fáil were the party to close the Garda training college in Templemore. Since it reopened we have had thousands of gardaí coming on stream. In the budget for next year I have secured sufficient funding to allow for a further 800 gardaí to be recruited.”

“I have every confidence in the new commissioner Drew Harris to deal with matters of contingency,” Mr Flanagan said.

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