Northern Ireland news

Sajid Javid offers Republic 'hundreds of millions' to fix Brexit border

Sajid Javid told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday the UK has a `moral duty' to foot the bill. Picture by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

THE REPUBLIC has been offered "hundreds of millions" of Euro to fund a technological solution to the Irish border, by British home secretary Sajid Javid.

Mr Javid, who is campaigning to be the next prime minister, made the pledge yesterday, insisting "the solution exists, we've done the homework".

He is one of 11 candidates to replace Theresa May as prime minister and has received the endorsement of Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

Mr Javid said "you don't need a magic solution for this" and the UK has a "moral duty" to foot the bill.

"Most people would understand you need cooperation on both sides of the border for this to happen," he said.

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"The key is Ireland. I would offer to pay for the new alternative arrangements on the border, it would be in the hundreds of millions.

"I would propose to do that because economically it's right and morally it's right."

A spokeswoman for the Republic's government said it would not be commenting on the proposal.

However, Seamus Leheny of the Freight Transport Association said it was "impossible to figure out the cost of something when we don't know what it is".

Haulage chief Seamus Leheny said it is `impossible to figure out the cost of something when we don't know what it is'

"For Sajid Javid to think that by throwing a random sum of money at a problem that it will go away demonstrates a lack of understanding of what the particular issue is with the border. We need to ensure goods are still able to cross the border post Brexit as they do today.

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"On a typical day we have over 13,500 lorries crossing just six of the 300 border crossings therefore it's vital we get a deal to ensure continued trade that avoids the need for customs and regulatory controls on both sides of the border."

In March, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee chairman Andrew Murrison said "bespoke arrangements" could be made to avoid physical infrastructure on the border.

"My committee took good evidence to suggest that technical and systems-based solutions to ensure the border looks and feels as it does today are do-able but they require trust and goodwill," he said.

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