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Ireland will have ‘hardest border in Europe’ if UK doesn’t reach Brexit deal, ally of Merkel warns

Europe

Ireland will have ‘hardest border in Europe’ if UK doesn’t reach Brexit deal, ally of Merkel warns

Ireland will have ‘hardest border in Europe’ if UK doesn’t reach Brexit deal, ally of Merkel warns

Shona Murray

IRELAND will be forced into living with the “hardest border in Europe” if the UK crashes out without a Brexit deal, a key ally of Angela Merkel has starkly warned.

Major European countries will inevitably crank up pressure on Ireland on the issue, amid growing fears that the Border sticking points will scupper an orderly Brexit.

In a blunt warning detailing the catastrophe that lies ahead if a “no-deal” Brexit materialises, Joachim Pfeiffer – a key ally of Chancellor Merkel – painted a dire picture of the outcome.

Mr Pfeiffer said Ireland would “have a border like we have a border with Ukraine, or Belarus” as there would no longer be treaties in place with the UK that would ensure the rules and standards of the EU would be respected.

Speaking to Independent.ie, he warned that while Germany was willing to help, it had its own domestic issues to resolve.

“We cannot solve the problem between Ireland and Northern Ireland,” added the economic and energy policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in Germany.

Senior French sources have also told Independent.ie that under a hard Brexit, Ireland is primarily accountable to the EU and its single market.

In a no-deal Brexit scenario, the new EU-UK relationship would be inferior to the EU’s relationship with Russia.

Under World Trade Organisation rules, and as an EU member state, Ireland will be obliged to collect EU tariffs for goods coming in to the country from the UK.

In addition, under the rules of the EU’s single market, the Irish State has a responsibility to protect the internal market from any unauthorised or substandard goods.

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