BRUSSELS will put up a hard border in Northern Ireland if there’s a No Deal Brexit, Jean Claude Juncker admitted today.
In a move that will cause fury, the EU boss said “yes” there would have to be border checks if Britain quit the bloc without an agreement in place at the end of October.
It totally contradicts what other EU figures have said in the past, insisting there won’t be such a border.
Boris Johnson has promised he won’t put up any hard border in Northern Ireland, and wouldn’t risk a return to any kind of violence.
But Mr Juncker told Sky News today: “We have to make sure that the interests of the European Union and of the internal market will be preserved.
“We have to preserve the health and the safety of our citizens.”
And he even claimed it would be the fault of Britain if the EU put a border up, saying: “Sometimes I have the impression that some people are forgetting about the history. But history will be back immediately.”
The thorny issue of the Northern Ireland border has paralysed Brexit talks and forced Theresa May out of office as she couldn’t pass her deal with the hated backstop in.
It would tie the whole of Britain to Brussels rules for years to come if we didn’t get a deal sorted.
Mr Juncker claimed earlier this week he wasn’t tied specifically to the backstop, and was open to ideas about how to solve the impasse.
The Government is looking at several plans to persuade Brussels to ditch the backstop and come to a last-minute deal.
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One plan is to keep Northern Ireland tied to some EU rules on food if we leave without a deal on October 31, which would mean goods could flow between the North and Republic.
But Dominic Raab appeared to play down such an idea today, telling the BBC: “No, of course, that would be wrong.”
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