There will not be a "hard Irish border" after Brexit, says Taoiseach Enda Kenny

James Nickerson
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EU Referendum - The Border Lands Separating Northern And Southern Ireland
Kenny said: "There will not be a hard border from Dundalk to Derry" (Source: Getty)

There won't be a "hard border" between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the wake of the Brexit vote, the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Speaking at the British-Irish Council Kenny said: "We do not want to see a European border internally on the island of Ireland.

"There will not be a hard border from Dundalk to Derry."

Read more: Irish Taoiseach raises prospect of United Ireland after Brexit vote

Speculation had been rife that a border could be imposed in Ireland after the UK's pro-Brexit vote last month, which would be the only land border between the UK to the EU.

Currently the Common Travel Area allows people to move between Northern and the Republic of Ireland without passport checks.

But Martin McGuiness today said that he can't see how the arrangement could survive after Brexit.

Read more: Scottish politicians to visit Brussels in effort to explore options for Scottish links to EU

The deputy first minister said: "The economic implications for us in a withdrawal from the European Union are very profound, costing us over a period of ten years anything in the region of £7bn to £8bn and possibly even more.

There is alarm in the north of Ireland among the business community, among the community and voluntary sector, among our universities, among our agri-food industry and there is grave concern about the prospect that whatever is said about the common travel area being protected.

"It's very difficult to see how it can be protected in the aftermath of the debate that was held mostly in England around the whole issue of immigration and which effectively won that vote for the racists within Ukip and the loony, right-wing of the Tory party."

Sinn Fein, McGuiness' party, have called for a referendum on unification with the Republic of Ireland following the Brexit vote.

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