No return to customs posts along North's border, says Kenny after meeting with May

No return to customs posts along North's border, says Kenny after meeting with May
Enda Kenny meets Theresa May today. Picture: PA

There will be no return to customs posts and checkpoints along the North's border, Enda Kenny has declared, as he and British Prime Minister Theresa May held their first meeting since Brexit.

Instead, Mr Kenny signalled that measures to monitor the movements of people and goods over the border could involve modern technology, writes Juno McEnroe, political correspondent.

In the face-to-face meeting lasting just over an hour at No 10 Downing Street in London, the two leaders discussed trade, the peace process and the next steps since the Brexit vote.

Prime Minister May earlier this week said that “practical solutions” would be worked out for the whole of Britain, including the North, before the move to leave the union is triggered.

In his statement afterwards, Mr Kenny said both leaders had agreed that there would be no formal hard border:

“We are in agreement that we don't wish to see any return to the borders of the past on the island of Ireland.”

Speaking outside afterwards, Mr Kenny said this meant no more check points or customs points.

But there were alternative methods of tracking movements over the border, he said, including the use of modern technology.

Asked by the Irish Examiner whether a model in Canada which tracks licence plates with cameras could be used, Mr Kenny signalled that this could be examined in the next steps for the North.

Mr Kenny, the first leader to visit Downing Street since Brexit, also invited the British Prime Minster to visit Ireland at a time that suits.

However, Mr Kenny yesterday was also asked several times about whether a United Ireland was now a possibility after Brexit. He refused to be drawn on this issue and instead said the discussion between the two was about an agreement that there would be “no hard border”.

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