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30 Jul, 2019 13:21

Britain’s PM Johnson promises Ireland ‘no physical border checks’ after Brexit

Britain’s PM Johnson promises Ireland ‘no physical border checks’ after Brexit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Tuesday that there would be no physical checks at the Irish border after Brexit.

In their first phone call since he took office, Johnson repeated that the current “backstop” plan to keep the frontier open, which is included in the EU’s draft divorce deal, was unacceptable, AFP reports.

“On Brexit, the prime minister made clear that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31, no matter what,” a Downing Street spokesperson said. “He said that in all scenarios, the government will be steadfast in its commitment to the Belfast Agreement and will never put physical checks or physical infrastructure on the border.”

The Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, brought peace to Northern Ireland after years of violence over British control. Removing checks at the border with the south of Ireland was considered a key factor in reducing tensions. After Brexit, the border will become part of the EU’s external frontier.