Northern Ireland news

Conor Murphy: British government 'wants to impose hard border after Brexit'

Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy said the British government is trying to impose a hard border. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

A NEW Border Force recruitment drive is evidence the British government is planning to impose a hard border after Brexit, a Sinn Féin MLA has claimed.

Hundreds of jobs are being advertised as part of a recruitment campaign for the force, which deals with immigration and customs checks.

Newry and Armagh MLA Conor Murphy said the drive showed the "British government are clearly planning to impose their hard Brexit border across the island of Ireland".

"It shows that the Tories see a hard border as the predetermined outcome of the Brexit negotiations despite the fact they have already agreed to an option to avoid it," he said.

Among the jobs advertised are 21 positions based in Belfast - but eligibility criteria requires all applicants to have a British passport.

Mr Murphy said the right of citizens in Northern Ireland to determine their own identity is enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement.

"Not only are they ignoring the democratic expressions of Irish citizens, they're also actively excluding them by reserving these posts solely for citizens with British passports," he said.

"This is naked discrimination of a public sector position, and a statement of intent to impose a Brexit border in Ireland. Sinn Féin reject both these discriminatory plans unreservedly."

The British and Irish governments and the EU have insisted they want to avoid a hard border.

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