The extraordinary, hardline approach being taken by some in the European Union has been underlined by quotes in the German media from MEPs insisting that the Republic of Ireland will either have to put up a hard border or be kicked out of the EU’s customs territory in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts has been quoted as telling Die Spiegel that: “If Ireland refuses to protect the border with Northern Ireland after a hard Brexit, we would have to relocate the customs border to the continent.”
Meanwhile German MEP Elmar Brok, who is in Angela Merkel’s party, has talked up the same possible outcomes: “The defence of the internal market is the basis of our economic success in Germany.”
He says that if the Irish didn’t put up a hard border “we would have to set up the customs border with Ireland”.
The Irish government have previously made clear that: “We will not accept a hard border on this island and therefore we are not planning for one.”
WORRYING: Irish government resisting bilateral UK border talks, Finance Minister @Paschald reveals.
— Westmonster (@WestmonsterUK) February 4, 2019
Conservative MP Greg Hands responded by tweeting: “This is bonkers. Leading German MEP Elmar Brok now saying Ireland must erect a hard border if No Deal on 29/3 to prevent ‘chlorinated chicken coming into the EU.’ Chlorinated chicken isn’t allowed into the UK either, Elmar!”
With all of this going on, why are the Irish government refusing to talk about technology solutions for the border with the British government?