Aontú Councillor Denise Mullen has rejected leaked British government proposals for checks on both sides of the border.

Councillor Mullen stated:

“British government proposals for border checks shows that that Boris Johnson and his cabinet have a grossly inflated notion of their ability to force Ireland and the EU as a whole to do a u-turn on the redline position that there must no physical infrastructure that would harden the border.

“Boris Johnson has said that it’s the ‘reality’ that there will be British custom checks in Ireland. If Boris Johnson really believes that, it’s clear that it is he and his government who are completely out of touch with reality. There is no way that a hardening of the border in any form is acceptable to the people of Ireland, north and south.

“The harm that border infrastructure would do to people’s lives, in terms of work, economics, social and cultural affairs, on either side of the border is unfathomable. At this late stage in the day, the disregard that the British government has for people living in border communities and for people’s whose livelihoods are based directly or indirectly on north-south trade is outrageous and damaging for all people.”

Speaking earlier, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated:

“The British government know full well that any type of border infrastructure, whatever form it takes, is unacceptable to the people of Ireland, north and south. The fact that even at this late stage the British government is pursuing the option of border checks illustrates just how far removed they are from the reality of Irish people’s lives.

“It is becoming more plain for everyone to see that whatever distorted understanding the British government has of Ireland, their attitude towards people here is even worse.

“The rupture of livelihoods north and south that will be directly and indirectly caused by an aggressive Brexit is unacceptable. If Britain, and England in particular, wishes to leaves the EU, that’s their prerogative, but any effort to harden Britain’s partition of Ireland in the process must be resolutely confronted.

“The fact is that for the two decades Ireland was becoming an increasingly a highly integrated unit, with strong economic and other links developing across the border. This diminished the impact of the border in everyday life. The border, it could be said, was slowly withering away, although more work was certainly needed to bring that withering to its conclusion.

“Now the British government is intent on unravelling all the positive developments of a withering border. The Brexit process has thrown into light the blatant infeasibility of partition continuing where the every day lives of people across Ireland is concerned. The Irish government must begin to prepare for the future and initiate a New Ireland Forum to map out the way towards Irish unity.”