Irish government knocked back UK talks to avoid a hard border

The increasingly worrying behaviour of the Irish government has been demonstrated again today by their apparent refusal to discuss with the British side ways to use technology to avoid a hard border.

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Today the Irish Independent are reporting that “Ireland has resisted attempts by the British government to open up bilateral talks in relation to the use of technology to keep the border open after Brexit”. That’s according to the Republic of Ireland’s Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe.

Yet in the same article, Donohoe is quoted as knocking back Sajid Javid’s suggestion that it is possible to use technology to avoid a hard border, saying: “If he has been shown this, I think we’d all love to see it. I don’t see any evidence for it”. Hard to show the other side something if they resist talks on that very issue.

It reflects an increasingly strange approach to the Brexit negotiations. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said that “we will not accept a hard border on this island and therefore we are not planning for one”, only for the Taioseach Leo Varadkar to then talk up the prospect of police and soldiers on the border.

The Irish government, as with those in Brussels, need to stop with this ridiculous, hardline approach to negotiations. If they want a sensible deal then that requires discussions – for Ireland’s Finance Minister to openly reveal that they won’t even speak to the UK side about technological solutions is seriously worrying.