Brexit

Post-Brexit travel restrictions between Ireland and Britain inevitable warns Welsh first minister

A border crossing in the 1980s

WALES'S first minister has warned that the Common Travel Area between Britain and Ireland will be jeopardised by different post-Brexit immigration policies in the Republic and the UK.

Carwyn Jones was speaking ahead of hosting yesterday's British-Irish Council meeting in Cardiff.

The Labour Welsh assembly member said it was impossible to envisage how free movement between Britain and Ireland could be maintained once the UK left the EU.

Those supporting the Leave campaign, including former secretary of state Theresa Villiers, insisted ahead of last month's referendum that there should be no threat to the Common Travel Area, which has been in place for nearly a century.

However, Mr Jones said he could not see how it could remain in place.

"For the first time ever there'll be different immigration policies on both sides of the border," he told the BBC.

"The Common Travel Area was based on having a common immigration policy that's not going to be there any more."

Mr Jones also reflected on Brexit's impact on the Irish border.

"The motorway is there now – what do you do, close the motorway and have a customs holding area... do you have some kind of border control?"

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the Common Travel Area and free movement of people across Ireland must be maintained.

"Any new customs or travel restrictions with Britain must be based around Ireland, not across it," he said.

"There is no appetite for a return to customs check points in Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone or Derry – even the British secretary of state recognises that."

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