Varadkar’s claim of border post attacks ‘is dangerous’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

TUV leader Jim Allister has slammed the taoiseach for saying that infrastructure will be vandalised in the event of a hard border.

Speaking at the South by South West festival in Austin, Texas, this week, Leo Varadkar said if a hard border was introduced post-Brexit it could lead to vandalism.

“The reality is, I don’t anticipate a return to violence, but if you do have physical infrastructure, if you do have cameras and signs and border posts, then you know those things will become targets,” he said.

“And they will become vandalised. And then what do you do? Do you accept that or do you bring in guards to stop that?”

But Mr Allister said the comments were irresponsible.

“The claim by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar that if post-Brexit there are cameras, signs and border posts ‘then you know those things will become targets’ is dangerous and irresponsible,” he said.

“It is particularly concerning that he went on to say: ‘They will become vandalised. And then what do you do? Do you accept that or do you bring in guards to stop that?’”

Mr Allister added: “I note that there is no reported condemnation of any such suggested illegality.

“This is yet further evidence of Dublin ramping up the rhetoric when it comes to Brexit and being dismissive of every rational and reasonable proposal which is put forward.

“The reality is that if Dublin and EU intransigence leads to a no-deal situation and WTO rules kick in, then under the EU treaties the Republic, as the frontier country, must provide the hard border, man the border and collect the customs tariffs insisted on by the EU.”

Under EU rules it is the responsibility of member states to protect external EU borders.