Border proposals and Brexit


Sir, – Fintan O’Toole (“UK government’s Border proposals for Ireland are absurd”, August 17th) says that “The only way to stop this happening [the un-policed importation of goods from the rest of the world into the EU, via Northern Ireland] would be in effect to make Ireland itself a semi-detached member of the EU with all Irish exports subjected to customs controls at EU ports. And this is simply not going to happen – why on earth would any Irish government ever agree to it?”

The sorry fact is that the Irish government has already agreed to something that is very similar to what Fintan O’Toole has envisaged above, but in respect to the free movement of people (a fundamental EU principal, we are often told), when it decided to follow Britain in rejecting membership of the Schengen agreement. In this regard, we are already semi-detached from the EU.

Ireland should immediately announce that it will be joining the Schengen area on the same day that the UK exit from the EU is completed. If we do not join Schengen after Brexit, we will then be the only country in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) that has not signed up to the free movement of people between member states. – Yours, etc,


Windy Arbour, Dublin 14.