UK told to keep its own passport controls on British soil

By David tucker

Published 15/10/2016 | 00:00

Cllr Malcolm Byrne
Cllr Malcolm Byrne

A County Wexford councillor says a post-Brexit Britain must not be allowed to pass on the UK's passport controls to Irish immigration officers at Rosslare Europort.

'It could cause delays for passengers, potentially damage trade with the EU, but critically, it would also be an appalling ceding of power to UK immigration authorities,' said Fianna Fail member Cllr Malcolm Byrne following reports that the British might be condsidering such a move.

'Rosslare must not be used as British passport control,' said Cllr Byrne, adding he expected all the county's Oireachtas members to oppose any such plans. His remarks follow a report in the British Guardian newspaper quoting Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire as saying that the focus of a post-Brexit world would be to 'strengthen the external border of the common travel area', the comment interpeted as meaning the Irish would be expected to do the UK's immigration checks at sea borders. 'If you follow the remarks being made at the Conservative Party conference, we're probably heading towards a hard Brexit,' said Cllr Byrne, 'the difficulty is that we don't know how it's going to operate and there are serious implications in all sorts of areas, specifically in Wexford and Rosslare which is the entry point into this country.

'I would have very serious concerns about one of our ports being used for British passport control.. it's something that we should fight against and it should not be accepted,' Cllr Byrne told this newspaper.

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