Speaking in Brussels yesterday, Mr McAllister said this country has a “very special situation” and the Irish Government will play a “special role” in Britain’s exit given the close ties between both countries.
His comments are in contrast to others in Europe who believe it could be legally difficult to carve out a special deal for Ireland in Brexit talks.
Mr McAllister, who was born in Germany to a Scottish father and German mother, said: “We of course very much know of the special situation in Ireland, because Ireland is the only country which has a land border with the United Kingdom and so all the consequences that means will have to be judged and be analysed very carefully.”
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Shane Ross said Ireland is probably in the worst position of any country, as a result of Britain’s vote to leave the EU. He added that a special case must be made for Ireland in relation to the Brexit vote.
Mr McAllister said that all 27 member states will have involvement in hammering out an exit deal with Britain but said “the Irish Government plays a special role because no other country is so connected to the United Kingdom like Ireland”.
He said it is now up to the UK to decide whether they want to adopt a Norwegian- style arrangement or adopt another system. “We will just have to wait and see what they will present, two years is quite a short period of time, it’s quite ambitious.”
Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg said Britain would have to come up with a strategy quite fast “because we now have a very turbulent situation”.
She said the Norway and Sweden border — a model which Ireland is considering to adopt between north and south here — had worked well over the last 50 years. “We have free movement of people, no passports between all the five Nordic countries since 1965,” she said.