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Montevideo, September 24th 2018 - 11:49 UTC

Ex Irish president says Brexit is like “pulling a tooth with 10.000 roots”

Saturday, August 26th 2017 - 10:44 UTC
Full article 6 comments
Mary McAleese said she was concerned that the open border cannot be maintained if there is no customs union and strong immigration controls. Mary McAleese said she was concerned that the open border cannot be maintained if there is no customs union and strong immigration controls.

Former Irish President Mary McAleese has said she would be heartbroken if Brexit meant she would have to show an identity card when crossing the border. She fears checks between NI and the Republic of Ireland are an inevitable consequence of the UK leaving the EU.

 In an interview with RTÉ following an event at the Edinburgh Festival, she described Brexit as like “pulling a tooth with 10,000 roots”. The Belfast-born barrister was president between 1997 and 2011.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that will share a land border with an EU state post-Brexit. In a recent paper, the British government stressed there should be no physical infrastructure, such as customs posts, at the border, which has almost 300 crossing points.

Mrs. McAleese said while she was reassured that the UK does not want a so-called hard border, she was concerned the open border cannot be maintained if there is no customs union and strong immigration controls.

“So far I haven't heard anything apart from soothing words that it will be ok,” she said.

“Part of me says that has to be underpinned with something infinitely more concrete than the desire that everything will be alright. We need to start hearing how it will be alright.”

Describing the open border as a hard-fought “joy”, she said some form of ID would be needed eventually and that would make her “deeply, deeply unhappy”.

She added that the lack of a power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland could be “very costly” in the long run, as Brexit was going to “reshape the future for generations to come” and the people and politicians needed to be “feeding the debate”.

Categories: Politics, International.
Tags: Brexit.

Top Comments

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  • Clyde15

    I don't think the N.Irish are dumb enough to take advice from an anti-British Troll.

    Aug 27th, 2017 - 09:25 am +1
  • Clyde15

    How the hell do you know my opinion on Brexit OR how I voted.

    I have an anti-British attitude when I was born here, worked here and live here ?

    What an arrogant SOB Troll you are !! Pig ignorant into the bargain !!

    Aug 27th, 2017 - 07:43 pm +1
  • bushpilot

    NativeAhole,

    The British have been and are an economic powerhouse and the whole world knows this.

    Only a retarded moron could be ignorant of that. Shit, you are stupid!

    You really just hate white people that's really more likely the case. It is also clear you are rather pissed off about the UK leaving the EU.

    Are you a Spaniard that's angry about Gibraltar?

    Pray tell! What powerhouse Latin American banana republic are you from whose people are known round the world for their financial acumen. Har, har, har!

    Aug 28th, 2017 - 04:02 am +1
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