‘Ireland will not once again become collateral damage in British policy’

One hundred years ago this country was ‘forced’ to accept partition. We can never go back to the borders that followed, writes Taoiseach Leo Varadkar


Bad old days: Ireland cannot return to a hard border of posts and barriers
Bad old days: Ireland cannot return to a hard border of posts and barriers

In eight months, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Brexit is not our policy, we regret that it’s happening but we respect the decision of the British people to leave. Our over-riding policy is to ensure that Ireland and the Irish people do not once again become collateral damage in a British policy decision.

We want to protect the Common Travel Area ensuring that British and Irish citizens can continue to travel freely between North and South and between Britain and Ireland with the right to live, work, study and access healthcare, education, housing, pensions and welfare in each other’s countries as though we are citizens of both.

This means, for example, that Irish people will still be able to work in London or study in Edinburgh when German or French ones might need a visa or permit. For cross-border workers in the Border counties, things will be as they are now.

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