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The people problem is even more complicated. Ireland and the UK have a Common Travel Area which gives anyone with a UK or Irish passport the right to live in, move around in, and work in the common area. So currently there are no passport checks on the Irish border. In fact there isn't really any border at all.

This was fine when EU Freedom of Movement was a thing. Now that it's not a thing, the UK wants to make sure it can check the passports of people coming into NI from the EU to make sure they're Irish and not some other unacceptable kind of European immigrant.

This is impossible without border checks. See above re: GFA.

Which means checks will either not happen at all, or they'll happen somewhere between NI and the mainland. As before, the UK is very unhappy about this - partly on principle, but also because there's a fair amount of traffic between the two, and no-compromise border controls would be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive.

My spies tell me the UK's solution will be to wave goods and people through for at least the first few years - good news for smugglers, people traffickers, drug dealers, and other undesirables, and a "solution" which will do even more to damage the UK's international reputation.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 18th, 2020 at 07:39:00 PM EST
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