UK Politics

Hard Irish border will return in no-deal Brexit, Juncker warns

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The EUs top official has warned that a hard border will return on the island of Ireland under if Britain leaves without a deal.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he does not want to see checks at the border but the bloc would have to preserve its economic interests and its citizens health and safety in a no-deal scenario.

Speaking to Sky News, he warned history will be back immediately if the Good Friday Agreement was not respected and accused unnamed MPs of forgetting about the history.

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He said checks would be enforced on goods coming into the Republic even if the UK does not put up a border on its side, although he denied any blame on the EU side for such a scenario.

He added: The EU is in no way responsible for any kind of consequences entailed by the Brexit.

Boris Johnson, U.K. prime minister, center left, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, depart following Brexit talks at a restaurant in Luxembourg, on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Boris Johnson held his first face-to-face talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over a working lunch of snails, salmon and cheese in Luxembourg. Photographer: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg via Getty Images

PM Boris Johnson and President Juncker pictured after Brexit talks last week (Picture: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Thats a British decision, a sovereign decision that we are respecting but dont try to charge the EU with the responsibility.

The EU is not leaving the UK, the UK is leaving the EU.

Mr Juncker continued: We have to make sure that the interests of the European Union and of the internal market will be preserved.

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An animal entering Northern Ireland without border control can enter the European Union without checks via the southern part of the Irish island.

This will not happen. We have to preserve the health and the safety of our citizens.

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (R) gestures as he speaks past European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during a debate on Brexit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, northeastern France on September 18, 2019. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Jean-Claude Juncker with EU lead negotiator Michel Barnier (AFP/Getty Images)

Asked what kind of infrastructure would be put up at the border if Britain leaves without a deal, he said: Im not an architect of new border stations. The British have to tell us exactly the architectural nature of this border.

He insisted: I dont like a border and said: The Good Friday Agreement has to be respected in all its parts. We should not play with this.

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Sometimes I have to question that some people are forgetting about the history. Some members of the British Parliament.

Downing Street has said its strategy is to get a deal and leave by the 31 October deadline, although its latest proposals have been rejected by the EU.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks out of the door of 10 Downing street to greet the emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani prior to their meeting in central London on September 20, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Boris Johnson reportedly played down the exaggerated importance of hard border checks while foreign secretary to Theresa May (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

UK negotiators sent Brussels informal plans to replace the Irish backstop, an insurance against a hard border that would keep Northern Ireland partly in the single market, on Friday.

But the commission said they fall short of satisfying all the objectives they set out for the plan, according to a memo seen by the FT.

A leaked letter last year suggested Boris Johnson, then foreign secretary, thought the importance of checks at EU borders had been exaggerated and the government should only prevent the border becoming significantly harder.

The memo read: Even if a hard border is reintroduced, we would expect to see 95% + oRead More – Source