Cabinet ministers issue new warning of Northern Ireland violence amid Brexit uncertainty

Posted by On 8:11 PM

Cabinet ministers issue new warning of Northern Ireland violence amid Brexit uncertainty

Cabinet ministers have ramped up warnings of violence in Northern Ireland if Britain fails to secure a Brexit deal, with one suggesting dissident republicans are already using uncertainty to boost recruitment.

Another warned that any new infrastructure required by the Canada-style trade deal promoted by some Brexiteers would create targets for those looking to heighten tension.

It came as chancellor Philip Hammond openly warned that Britain would have to enforce controls on the Irish border if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal.

Theresa May and her ministers have renewed a push at Tory conference to encourage MPs to weigh in behind her Chequer’s proposals for Brexit, but on Tuesday her leadership rival Boris Johnson will deliver a speech at a fringe event in Birmingham likely to trash her strategy and call for the Canada-style deal.

Avoiding a hard border in Ireland is one of the prime minister’s red lines, with her lieutenants claiming calls for a looser trade relationship would require basic infrastructure on the frontier and risk the return of sectarianism.

One cabin et minister told The Independent: “There is a delicate equilibrium in Northern Ireland that the Belfast agreement has held in place.

“So for example, while people with republican sympathies may not have a huge amount of love for the EU, previously they could move across the border freely.

“Now they see a situation in which the British government might do things that threaten that. There are new risks that they can see and point to.

Treasury’s initial foreca st about a no-deal Brexit would ‘not have changed radically,’ says Philip Hammond

“That uncertainty allows a rump of dissidents to create a narrative for their people. There are around 500 of them, but with that narrative 500 can become 1,000.”

The minister also highlighted that the EU’s requirement for a customs border in the Irish Sea might also aggravate those with loyalist instincts in Belfast.

That uncertainty allows a rump of dissidents to create a narrative for their people. There are around 500 of them, but with that narrative 500 can become 1,000
Cabinet minister

Another cabinet minister said: “I haven’t seen anything that suggests using technology as a solution in Northern Ireland can work.

“The problem is as soon as you put anything â€" anything â€" on or near the border, then there will be someone who wants to cause trouble that could choose to put a bomb underneath it.

“Then you have to put a fence around it, then you have to send someone out in a uniform to guard it, then before you know it you are back where you were in the Troubles.

“It’s just some thing that is very difficult to see how it works and no one has said anything or is saying anything to counter that.”

leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch. ShapeCreated with Sketch.Conservative Conference: Tories line up to denounce Boris

1/6 Phillip Hammond

Chancellor Phillip Hammond said in an interview with the Mail that Boris has never been "a details man", won't be next Prime Minister and that his most notable policy achievement is the launching of B oris Bikes AFP/Getty

2/6 David Davis

Speaking to Sophie Ridge on Sunday, former Brexit Secretary David Davis said "a lot of his ideas, I think, are good headlines but not necessarily good policies" PA

3/6 Ruth Davidson

Speaking on Sunday Politics, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson has said that Boris' use of language in attacking the Prime Minister's Chequers plan was "not wise" and urged for a "period of silence" PA

4/6 Greg Clark

Speaking at a fringe event at the conference, Business Secretary Greg Clark stated that Boris' idea to scrap HS2 and instead build a bridge to Northern Ireland was "completely the wrong approach" PA

5/6 Lord Digby Jones

Speaking on stage in Birmingham, crossbench peer Lord Digby Jones branded Boris as "irrelevant" and "offensive" for his comments on business PA

6/6 David Mundell

Referring to Boris' recent 6-point Brexit plan, Scottish Secretary David Mundell stated that "these are things for headlines, not for the substance of negotiations" PA

1/6 Phillip Hammond

Chancellor Phillip Hammond said in an interview with the Mail that Boris has never been "a details man", won't be next Prime Minister and that his most notable policy achievement is the launching of Boris Bikes AFP/Getty

2/6 David Davis

Speaking to Sophie Ridge on Sunday, form er Brexit Secretary David Davis said "a lot of his ideas, I think, are good headlines but not necessarily good policies" PA

3/6 Ruth Davidson

Speaking on Sunday Politics, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson has said that Boris' use of language in attacking the Prime Minister's Chequers plan was "not wise" and urged for a "period of silence" PA

4/6 Greg Clark

Speaking at a fringe event at the conference, Business Secretary Greg Clark stated that Boris' idea to scrap HS2 and instead build a bridge to Northern Ireland was "completely the wrong approach" PA

5/6 Lord Digby Jones

Speaking on stage in Birmingham, crossbench peer Lord Digby Jones branded Boris as "irrelevant" and "offensive" for his comments on business PA

6/6 David Mundell

Referring to Boris' recent 6-point Brexit plan, Scottish Secretary David Mundell stated that "these are things for headlines, not for the substance of negotiations" PA

Speaking at a fringe event at Mr Hammond suggested the government would be forced to implement border checks in the case of a no deal Brexit, potentially creating a new risk for to peace.

He said: “The challenges around the Irish border are around the legal requirements we will have if we are not in a trade block within the European Union to operate the WTO compliant border, which does require checks at the border. That’s what the WTO rules require.”

Over the last weekend Mr Johnson urged his Conservative colleagues to “chuck Chequers” and instead adopt his plans for a “super Canada” trade deal, which he argues would not lead to a hard Irish border, with checks carr ied out away from the crossing.

The former foreign secretary, who on Friday refused to rule out running for the Tory leadership, quit the cabinet this year in protest at Ms May’s Chequers plans for Brexit.


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Source: Google News Ireland | Netizen 24 Ireland

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