Republic of Ireland threatens 'seamless' N.I. border, with permanent Armed Support Unit
The Irish deploy armed police permanently to Northern Ireland border area
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2020
Where is the EU on this hardening of the border by the Irish, unconnected with Brexit?
One of the three red line issues which the EU has used to prevent a rational and reasonable Withdrawal Agreement and trade deal with the United Kingdom has been the border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland. The EU has claimed constantly that it respects the Good Friday Agreement and accuses the UK of jeopardising it.
We can now reveal that the Republic of Ireland has been increasing its armed presence in the border area between the Republic and Northern Ireland for the last year. This has culminated in the deployment of a crack group of some 25 armed Irish Gardai officers to patrol the border with Fermanagh.
This all began in September last year (2019) – long before the UK-EU trade talks even started. In September of this year (2020) Garda Commissioner Drew Harris told members of Cavan’s Joint Policing Committee that work was almost finished on a new base for the unit, which is to become permanent. According to local media sources there will be five sergeants and up to 25 officers permanently assigned to the base, patrolling the border around Fermanagh.
© The Gardai
This is now an armed border again, and not an invisible one
In view of the sensitivity of all discussions relating to the status of Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic, and the citizens of both countries, we wish to make it clear that there are at present no permanent physical barriers at the border itself.
Nevertheless, the presence of so many armed police from the Republic patrolling the border in the Fermanagh area cannot be said to contribute to a frictionless line between the Republic and Northern Ireland. If citizens of each country are subject to being stopped on a regular basis, then this is hardly seamless.
We must stress that this measure by the Gardai is unrelated to Brexit, and unrelated to the Coronavirus.
In addition to the above, the Irish police announced on 26 September 2020 that they would forthwith be operating “rolling cross-border checkpoints” in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Where are the EU on this? Where are the howls of outrage from Brussels?
At no time has the United Kingdom proposed any similar move of a permanent armed police unit that would ‘harden’ the border. The UK has also said that it will not introduce any hard border as a result of Brexit.
So far there has not been one word from the EU about the new permanent armed border presence by the Republic of Ireland.
The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has always been the No.1 ‘red line’ which the EU has used to punish the UK – both in the Withdrawal Agreement and in the subsequent trade negotiations. The EU Commission, EU Parliament, and EU Council has used it to paralyse the prospect of any reasonable agreement between the EU27 and the United Kingdom, and has in effect weaponised what was a very long, painful, and sensitive peace process on the island of Ireland.
We look forward to a very prompt statement from the EU Commission about the Irish Republic’s actions.
The truth about the EU’s fictitious Northern Ireland issue
Newer readers – either members of the public or MPs - may wish to read our now-famous one-pager on the Irish question. We were able to secure the endorsements of eight other Brexit organisations for this work.
It summarises “Why the Irish Border is No Barrier to a Brexit Deal” and is full of facts. We recommend it to everyone.
Right: Click on the image to download our one-page PDF.
The border issue was always first and foremost about the free movement of people. There has always been a border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland because of the different VAT rates, personal tax rates, corporation tax, fuel rates, national laws, and many other things.
If the Irish Gardai are deploying a permanent and significant armed presence to the border, with the reasons having nothing to do with Brexit, this means stopping and checking people. And it’s an EU member state – the Republic of Ireland – that is doing this.
If the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement is not being broken by the introduction of a permanent armed Irish police unit then how can the absence of British customs checks on the Irish Border constitute a threat to the Agreement?
The truth can only be that there is no proposed breach of the Belfast (Good Friday) agreement by the United Kingdom in the event of no (free trade) deal with the EU – or that if there is a breach it is being made by the Irish Government.
The hypocrisy and duplicity of the EU
Naturally we are not commenting on the need for an armed police presence in response to public need. What we are highlighting is that the actions of the Republic are contributing to an inevitable ‘hardening’ of the border – something about which the EU has always taken a holier than thou attitude.
The EU played virtually no part in the Northern Ireland peace process, even though it sometimes tries to make it sound as if it is the guarantor of (relative) peace there. Aside from the governments of the UK and RoI and the leaders of the respective political parties in Northern Ireland, it was Senator George Mitchell and the US which played a pivotal role, not the EU.
The court of world opinion
It is our opinion that most international politicians and commentators – if they were told the facts – would support the United Kingdom over the Northern Ireland issue. It just takes the Government to start communicating properly about such matters.
This is one of the reasons that we sent two of our most recent reports to President Trump, Vice-President Pence, Presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. You can read them here and here.
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[ Sources: A confidential source from N.I. | Northern Sound | Fermanagh Herald ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat Oct 2020
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