Friday

20th Oct 2017

No border controls in Northern Ireland, May pledges

  • UK premier May at Stormont Castle with first minister Foster (l) and deputy first minister McGuinness (Photo: Prime minister's office)

UK prime minister Theresa May said Monday that there would be no border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

On her first visit to Belfast as PM, May said: "Nobody wants to return to the borders of the past".

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"If you look ahead, what is going to happen when the UK leaves the European Union is that of course Northern Ireland will have a border with the Republic of Ireland, which will remain a member of the European Union," May said.

She added: "But we've had a common travel area between the UK and the Republic of Ireland many years before either country was a member of the European Union."

May met with Northern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers, Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness, for talks she described as "very constructive, positive".

The Brexit vote raised concerns over its impact on the peace agreement achieved 18 years ago between Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists wanting to break away from the UK, along with questions over border controls and the future of EU funding.

May said she wanted the final deal with the EU to be in the best interest of the UK as a whole.

Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU, with 56 percent of voters casting their ballot for Remain. Its leaders were divided: Foster campaigned for Leave, while McGuinness, a former Irish Republican Army commander campaigned to remain.

McGuinness earlier argued for a referendum to split Northern Ireland from the UK to be able to remain in the EU

"I speak for the people of the North, who are Unionist and Nationalist, and have made it clear that they see their future in Europe ... There is no good news whatsoever in Brexit for anybody in the North," he said after meeting May.

May extends Brexit olive branch

The British PM is to launch new Brexit talks with Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, as nerves fray, also among banks, at the prospect of a "hard" EU exit.

Focus

Health MEPs want to phase out glyphosate by 2020

A committee resolution said the proposal to renew the glyphosate permit for a decade "fails to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment".

News in Brief

  1. Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
  2. EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
  3. Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
  4. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  5. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  6. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  7. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  8. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  2. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving up to 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  3. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  5. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  9. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  10. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  11. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  12. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People