Simon Coveney: 'Technical solutions' cannot solve post-Brexit border issue

The Republic's foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney has warned "technical solutions" cannot solve the Brexit border problem. Picture by Brian Lawless, Press Association

CAMERAS and other technology cannot solve the post-Brexit border problem, the Republic's foreign affairs minister has said.

Speaking in Brussels yesterday, Simon Coveney said "technical solutions" including cameras and pre-registration alone will not fix the border issue.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has repeatedly mentioned options including trusted trader schemes, automatic number plate recognition and pre-tagged containers as an alternative to a hard border.

But Mr Coveney told RTÉ: "What we do not want to pretend is that we can solve the problems of the border on the island of Ireland through technical solutions like cameras and pre-registration and so on".

"That is not going to work," he said.

The Irish and British governments and the north's executive have insisted no one in Ireland wants a hard border.

But no plans on how to avoid the return of customs posts have yet been agreed.

Mr Coveney reiterated the importance of free movement yesterday.

"Any barrier or border on the island of Ireland in my view risks undermining a very hard-won peace process and all of the parties in Northern Ireland, whether they are unionist or nationalist, recognise we want to keep the free movement of people and goods and services and livelihoods," he said.

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