Fitzgerald appears to back plan for Ireland to police borders on behalf of the UK

The idea was suggested by Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire

Fitzgerald appears to back plan for Ireland to police borders on behalf of the UK

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald at Iveagh House in Dublin | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald appears to be backing a plan by Britain for Ireland to police our ports of entry on behalf of the UK.

The Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has suggested that air and sea ports would also act as a border frontier for the UK - and eliminate the need for a hard border between the Republic and the North.

Mr Brokenshire told The Guardian that he wants to strengthen the combined UK and Ireland border.

"We are already working closely with the Irish government and other members of the common travel area to prevent people from seeking to evade UK immigration controls from entering via another part of the CTA (Common Travel Area)," he said.

"There is a high level of collaboration on a joint programme of work. This includes investment in border procedures; increased data sharing to inform immigration and border security decisions; passenger data systems enabling the collection and processing of advance passenger information; and harmonised visa processes.

"The open border for people and businesses has served us well and no one wants to see a return to the borders of the past," he added.

The idea is that Irish air and seaports would also act as a border frontier for the UK, which would reduce the need for new controls across the Northern Irish border.

Minister Fitzgerald says the comments are not surprising as there is already co-operation on security matters: