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Law expert warns passports could be needed to cross border

Queen’s University professor of law, Dagmar Shiek said a Brexit vote on June 23 could lead to the introduction of passport controls along the North’s border with the Republic. Picture by Steve Parsons, Press Association
Seamus McKinney

A EUROPEAN Law expert has predicted passports could eventually be needed to cross the border if the UK votes to leave the EU.

Queen’s University professor of law, Dagmar Shiek said a Brexit vote on June 23 could lead to the introduction of passport controls along the North’s border with the Republic.

“Because all this leaving of the European Union which is discussed in the UK is driven by fear of migration then there will probably be controls," said Professor Shiek, who holds the Jean Monnet chair of EU law and policy at Queen’s.

“Whether the person comes into the UK as an Irish citizen or another citizen which means you might need a passport. I would suspect that’s going to be the case,” she added.

In an earlier paper on the EU referendum, Professor Shiek said the EU would be expected to control its borders, including the border between the North and Republic.

“Any UK citizen crossing the border to the Republic of Ireland would be a non-EU citizen after all. How this will play out exactly is, of course, subject to negotiations between the EU and the UK.

“Suggesting that nothing will change is either naïve or deliberate misinformation,” she said.

Professor Shiek’s opinion has been echoed by both Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and the Republic’s Foreign Minister, Charlie Flanagan. However, Northern Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers has suggested no border controls would be needed in the event of a Brexit vote.

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