British government intends to have 'no Irish border posts' after Brexit

David Davis has insisted "we are not going to do anything which jeopardises the peace process"

British government intends to have 'no Irish border posts' after Brexit

David Davis. Picture by: PA/PA Wire/PA Images

The UK's Brexit secretary has said his government intends to have no border posts Northern Ireland and the Republic after Britain leaves the EU.

This morning, David Davis appeared before a committee of MPs to answer questions about exiting the union.

He stressed the importance of Irish considerations in the upcoming negotiations, pointing out that Ireland was the first foreign state he visited in his current role.

On the subject of the north-south border, Mr Davis explained: “There is a border there now, and there are excise duty differences across the border - which are collected. But they’re dealt with in a subtle and not highly visible way.

"It’ll cost us money and it’s cost us a lot of work on technology to make plain the border controls on goods, but without having border posts. That’s what we intend to do," he added.

He suggested that 'trusted trader' schemes designed for Northern Ireland could also be used to deal with imports & exports with the rest of the EU.

"Those exact same systems would be used when sending things to Rotterdam," he explained.

He added that maintaining the common travel area for people crossing the border is a 'non-negotiable' issue for the British government.

He also reaffirmed their commitment to the peace process.

“We are in no doubt about this: we are not going to do anything which jeopardises the peace process," he said. "It’s not just us and the Republic of Ireland… it’s also the [European] Commission.

"The Commission has a strong emotional investment in the Northern Irish peace process," he added.

Mr Davis also indicated his government has no assessment of the economic impact of leaving the EU without a deal.

"I can't quantify it for you yet. I may well be able to do so in a year's time," he observed. "It's not as frightening as some people think, but it's not as simple as some people think."