Bertie Ahern: 'Regulatory alignment by another name' the best solution for Brexit border issue

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said that "regulatory alignment by another name" may be the best solution to resolve the Brexit impasse.

Speaking at a Brexit conference in Dublin this morning, Mr Ahern and other former Taoisigh also had warnings about what would happen in the event that Britain leaves the EU and there is a return to borders in the North.

Mr Ahern said the unionists in the North supported regulatory alignment in there after Brexit, which would allow the free trade of goods both North and South as well as East and West.

Britain has been warned that a solution on the North must be on the table by June or a smooth exit from the EU will be threatened.

Former Taoisigh John Bruton, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen at this morning's event. Pic: Fennell Photography.

Speaking at the Institute of International and European Affairs conference this morning, Mr Ahern said the preference to resolve the deadlock would be regulatory alignment, essentially keeping Britain in the EU customs union and single market.

However, London wants to strike new independent trade deals, which would likely necessitate Britain leaving the EU completely.

Mr Ahern said such alignment could work, if proposed in the talks, by another name, as there was Tory and British opposition to such an option at present.

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen also said it was now "time to put some meat on the bone" in the Brexit talks.

The "rights of those who have strong nationalists aspirations" must also be recognised going forward, said Mr Cowen, including through the Good Friday Agreement.

Earlier, Bertie Ahern warned that ordinary people would rip down any new border infrastructure in the North.

"There never will be a border. There is not going to be a physical border across Ireland because if you tried to put it there you wouldn't have to wait for terrorism to take it down, people would just physically pull it down - the ordinary people."

Related Articles

Instead of hiding under the covers, seek solutions

Theresa May to meet Taoiseach for Brexit talks in Dublin tomorrow

Jeremy Corbyn accuses British Prime Minister of 'demeaning' her office over Brexit

Corbyn will wait until ‘appropriate time’ to table no confidence motion in Theresa May

More in this Section

'I believe her' - Limerick TD urges former nurse to report allegations of medical mistreatment to gardaí

Gunman who killed father on school run had struck before, police believe

Three members of Traveller community lose discrimination case against Killarney hotel

Mentally ill woman made ward of court amid concerns of neglect


Modern Family star Sarah Hyland has kidney dysplasia: What to know about the condition

5 Christmas foods that go back further than you think – and 1 that doesn’t

Strictly Come Dancing: 7 backstage beauty secrets from Tess Daly’s make-up artist

Christmas visitors, log fires and central heating overload – how will your houseplants survive?

More From The Irish Examiner