No cross-border travel checks after Brexit says May

Posted By: December 22, 2017

PM seeks to reassure readers of The Irish News as she answers their questions directly

John Manley. Irish News. Belfast. Friday, December 22, 2017

PRIME Minister Theresa May has sought to reassure readers of The Irish News that there will be no checks on cross-border travel following Brexit.

The Tory leader’s comment comes in replies to eight questions submitted to Downing Street by readers.

In an exercise unprecedented for a newspaper in Ireland, Mrs. May has addressed many concerning aspects of Brexit, including cross-border trade and travel, the potential for a second referendum and the apparent surge in support for Irish unity as a consequence of last year’s EU referendum.

In a personal reply to Armagh student Katie Moore, who asked whether her daily commute to university in the Republic will “encumbered with border checks post-Brexit,” Mrs. May insists not and argues that there will be no hindrance on the millions of cross-border journeys every year.

“Yes, Katie, your journey will continue to be seamless, and there will be no border checks,” she says.

The prime minister adds: “But I know this is about more than just travel. It is also about the deep cultural and symbolic bonds of identity for Irish and British citizens who live on either side of the Border that is rooted in generations of family history. I want you to know these rights will be protected.”

Responding last night, Ms. Moore welcomed Mrs. May’s assurances.

“I am relieved that my journey will continue to be seamless. I am sure other students from Northern Ireland in similar circumstances to myself will also be reassured by her response on this matter,” she said.

However, others who posed questions were less satisfied.

Kieran Kennedy, managing director, of O’Neill’s sportswear in Co Tyrone, said he found Mrs. May’s answer on cross-border trade “typically vague.”

“Basically there have been no commitments given. I feel that is due to the fact that they don’t know the answer themselves,” he said.