DUP backs ‘free movement’ of Irish citizens between UK and Ireland

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at Bridgend, Co Donegal
The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at Bridgend, Co Donegal

A UK government proposal offering free movement of Irish citizens in and out of Great Britain after the UK leaves the European Union has been welcomed by the DUP.

News of a possible ‘Schengen area’ between Britain and Ireland was revealed as the government prepares to publish a formal proposal on the future of the Irish border,

The UK will also offer to track goods being moved across the border in vehicles – using CCTV cameras and automated number plate recognition technology – as part of a ‘light touch’ customs regime, a report in the Sunday Telegraph said.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP said the DUP welcomed the government’s position paper on the post-Brexit arrangements for the border with the Republic.

“The DUP has been discussing these matters with the government for some time and we support the concept of maintaining a common travel area between the United Kingdom and Irish Republic and share the government’s view that modern technology can help with monitoring the movement of goods across the border in the event of the UK reaching a new free trade and customs agreement with the EU,” he said.

“We have always maintained that a deal with Brussels should take account of the fact that we are the only part of the UK that has a land frontier with the EU and also of the particular circumstances of our history and geography.

“We will await publication of the full position paper before making further comment and trust that the Irish government will engage seriously and pragmatically in helping to secure an agreement that benefits everyone.

“For our part, the DUP will continue to work closely with the government at Westminster to ensure we get the best deal possible for Northern Ireland,” Mr Donaldson added.