Tory plans for Brexit include border travel ‘permit’

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People crossing the British-imposed border through Ireland would have to register in advance for permission under a deranged plan for Brexit being considered by Tories.

Anyone without the “fast-track” permission to cross the border would have to queue at approved crossing points or would be “considered to have entered the state [Britain] irregularly”, the report says.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has told MPs she has “asked officials to look at it very carefully”, adding: “I believe it gives some very good proposals for solutions”.

The border issue looks set to stall a summit due to be held on March 22nd, when Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis said he aims to turn a draft agreed in December into a legal text.

The decision to even consider the permit plan was strongly criticised by the Dublin government, which said the proposals would break Mrs May’s pledge of no “physical infrastructure and associated checks” after Brexit.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs pointed to the terms of the draft Brexit deal agreed by May last year.

“The UK gave a guarantee that a hard border, including any physical infrastructure and associated checks and controls will be avoided,” he said. “This report proposes the opposite.”

Peter Hain, a former British Direct Ruler in Ireland warned the proposal to pre-register travellers “would be risking immediate civil unrest”.

“If I was Northern Ireland Secretary and this report came on to my desk, its next stop would be the bin,” Hain said.

The draft text includes a promise by Theresa May to avoid a hard border in Ireland as Britain leaves the EU Customs Union, but she has never explained how this could work. At the time, she she also vowed there would be no regulatory divergence between the North of Ireland and Britain.

Since then, the London government has continued to make sharply contradictory statements. Last week, the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it was possible for there to be “minimal” controls along the border. There have also been reports that Britain could simply leave border crossings to EU Customs officials, at least initially, in the hope that the EU is blamed.

In a surprise development, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at the Westminster parliament, traditionally dominated by Tories and unionists, has condemned Theresa May’s proposals for a ‘high-tech’ border. The MPs concluded that there is no infrastructure-free frontier anywhere in the world operating in the manner currently being hypothesised by the British government.

The committee found that any additional infrastructure at the border would not only be “politically objectional but highly ineffective and unworkable”.

With chaos looming, top ‘Brexiteer’ Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested the 26 County state should quit the single market and customs union and come under British regulation in order to make Britain’s EU withdrawal smoother.

The far-right Tory MP also said that people warning Brexit could lead to a return of conflict in the north of Ireland are “encouraging violence”. He declared: “Once you start proposing that violence may be a consequence of something, you’re almost encouraging violence. So, people making that argument should think very carefully about the wisdom of that argument.”

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