Irish ambassador argues against hard border after Brexit

Helen Cahill
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The EU27 want to prioritise sorting out Ireland's border in negotiations (Source: Getty)

Ireland's ambassador to London, Dan Mulhall, has this morning set out the importance of making sure there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit.

Speaking on the BBC's Today Programme, Mulhall said: "We are very strongly of the view that any hardening of that border would be a very negative thing.

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"People have become accustomed to moving back and forth across the border...It's also an important element of the wider political process that supports the peace process."

Mulhall also confirmed that the number of Britons applying for Irish passports has sky-rocketed. The number of applications has jumped by 40 per cent; in a normal year, around 50,000 people apply, but last year, there were 70,000 applications, he said.

Read more: When will constituencies in Northern Ireland declare results in the 2017 election?

The EU27 nations have agreed their broad negotiating stance ahead of Brexit talks, which are set to start on 19 June, and have chosen to prioritise the border between the UK and Ireland, along with citizens' rights and the so-called Brexit bill.

However, the border with Ireland has not been such a prominent issue for the UK, which has instead been trying to secure talks on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

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