Brexit: Charlie Flanagan rules out possibility of a border poll

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has ruled out any possibility of a border poll or creation of a specific minister to tackle any Brexit fallout, despite ongoing concerns of the impact of the controversial vote on this country.

The Fine Gael cabinet member made the comment during a lengthy meeting with senators in which he said every step is being taken to protect our economy, amid opposition claims the fallout from the move is like a “slow car crash”.

Speaking after British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Britain is seeking a ‘hard Brexit’ and as Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced plans for a cross-border meeting with politicians and interest groups on November 2, Mr Flanagan said the Government is doing all it can to ensure Ireland is not adversely affected by the vote.

However, despite listing off a series of meetings he and others have had with British and EU counterparts in addition to the combined efforts of the cabinet to prevent any damage, Mr Flanagan said it would be a “mistake” to listen to opposition calls for a Brexit Minister to be appointed.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said while Ms May’s comments have raised concerns a hard border may return, a common desire remains “to protect the invisible border” currently in place and dismissed any possibility of a future border poll.

The comments were supported by Labour senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who hit out at the “xenophobic” issues behind Brexit.

However, Fianna Fáil senator Terry Leyden said due to the risk posed to this country it is imperative Ireland has a representative at Britain’s negotiations with the EU and suggested EU officials should be invited to Ireland to see the border.

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