UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left)  and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have spoken by phone this evening.

Tonight.

On the blower.

“They shared perspectives on the Withdrawal Agreement. The Prime Minister indicated that the Withdrawal Agreement in its current form will not get through the House of Commons, that the backstop would need to be removed, and that an alternative solution is required.

“The Taoiseach reiterated the EU27 position that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened, and emphasised the importance of the legally operable guarantee to ensure no hard border and continued free trade on the island of Ireland.

“The Prime Minister made clear that the Common Travel Area, which long predates the UK and Ireland joining the EU, would not be affected by the ending of freedom of movement after Brexit.

“They agreed that their teams would maintain close contact over the coming weeks, while recognising that negotiations take place between the UK and the EU27 Task Force.

“They also agreed to meet in Dublin in early September.”

Government statement tonight

Johnson tells Varadkar that Common Travel Area will remain after Brexit (RTÉ)

Pics: Getty

57 thoughts on “Contact

  1. eoin

    “The [British] Prime Minister made clear that the Common Travel Area, which long predates the UK and Ireland joining the EU, would not be affected by the ending of freedom of movement after Brexit.”

    What a load of cobblers.

    French person, travels by plane from Paris to Dublin. Takes a bus from Dublin to Belfast. If Priti Patel says the UK is closed to EU nationals (excluding the Irish), how will she stop this?

    Also, Londoner (Brexit UK) travels to Dublin (EU), Ireland has an obligation to uphold the terms of the single market and customs union. So that Londoner will be denied entry.

    The CTA is not compatible with the single market/customs union of which Ireland is part and after 31 October, the UK isn’t. That’s black and white.

    1. some old unicorn

      If we are going down the road of who ‘looks’ Irish or British- why stop there? Lets have a religious divide too- Catholics can travel freely one way and Protestants the other. Muslims and vegans- don’t even think about it.

      Silly nonsense.

    2. BrianW

      Not necessarily. We are not in Schengen so that Londoner will be asked for passport on landing in Paris. But absolutely correct about other way – if gobshite Patel wants her closed border on 1st Nov then they must stop everyone travelling south to north.
      Brits are completely bluffing this

          1. scottser

            no scoops, i didn’t – i’m up to me neck in chores at home. i got the fix with lunny and irvine though. did you get up yourself?

    3. Cian

      As I’ve said before. The CTA isn’t just about physical border crossings. It is mostly about employment, education, health, and pension entitlements between Irish in UK and UK in Ireland.
      Today, all of in the EU, and you still need to show a passport to fly from into UK.

        1. Cian

          You need to be able to prove to a customs official that you are an Irish citizen and thus don’t need to have a passport (if they are aware of this fact). The usual level of evidence is a passport.

          Granted, you might get away with a drivers license. But you need some official photo ID.

          Saying that, most (all?) airline require a passport to travel from Ireland.

          1. scottser

            Nope, you might have to show a passport to an airline but not to a customs official. You will need proof of address and photo ID though.

          2. Batty Brennan

            “But you need some official photo ID.”

            Cian, this is completely false. Kindly point to the UK legislation which backs up your assertion.

          3. Cian

            @Batty
            There are no passport controls in operation for Irish and UK citizens travelling between the 2 countries. You do not need to have a passport to enter the other country. However, all air and sea carriers require some form of identification and some regard a passport as the only valid identification. Immigration authorities may also require you to have valid official photo-identification which shows your nationality. As you are being asked to prove that you are an Irish or UK citizen who is entitled to avail of the Common Travel Area arrangements, it is advisable to travel with your passport.

            https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/moving_abroad/freedom_of_movement_within_the_eu/common_travel_area_between_ireland_and_the_uk.html

          4. Cian

            @Batty
            what are you on? granted, I didn’t find a UK legislation – but it is a reputable source.

            I said: “But you need some official photo ID.”
            My evidence: “valid official photo-identification which shows your nationality.”
            I said “The usual level of evidence is a passport.”
            My evidence: “it is advisable to travel with your passport.”

          5. Batty Brennan

            Cian

            What I am “on” is idiots like you who spew uninformed nonsense on subject such as this. Expect to be challenged when you talk poo. If you don’t want to be asked to substantiate your ridiculous claims, don’t make them.

            Allow me to save you from further futile searches. You won’t find legislation to back up your claim because it doesn’t exist.

          6. Cian

            @Batty – so what part of what I said is wrong? I have provided evidence from a reputable source.

            If you (assuming you are Irish) arrived in, say, Gatwick from Dublin with no identification – do you think you would be allowed to pass through Customs?

          7. some old unicorn

            @Cian

            You need to be able to prove to a customs official that you are an Irish citizen and thus don’t need to have a passport (if they are aware of this fact). The usual level of evidence is a passport.

            Wrong- if you are from NI you can produce a UK driving license but still be Irish so a driving license is not proof of citizenship one way or the other.

            You are not required to present a passport when travelling to and from GB- and the reason is that otherwise, they would be treating NI differently to GB which has been the DUP’s bone of contention ever since the Brexit vote.

          8. Cian

            Well, I did say “you still need to show a passport to fly from into UK.” So I’m not talking about sailing or driving to the UK.

            I am also aware that private airfields don’t generally have passport control or customs. But that is the exception. How many people fly into the UK by main airport Vs private airports. Either way customs and immigration procedures must be “complied with” for all private flights. The captain must inform the police at least 12 hours before the journey.
            (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/contents)

            Your turn: what percentage of travellers flying into the UK use private airfields (and can avoid customs/immigration) versus main airports (and have customs/immigration)

          9. Listrade

            @Cian, I’d also add that I frequently fly over to UK via Liverpool and Birmingham, I only show passport to carrier on way over, no passport checks for ROI flights at the airport.

            Smaller airports, or at least easier to establish a gate and exit route for the ROI flights, but at UK end there is no passport check on arrival.

          10. Batty Brennan

            Cian

            I made no claims as to the number of people who travel between Ireland and the UK by private aircraft, vessel, or by road. Rather, I have shown you the glaring hole in your hypothesis by pointing these out.

            I am intimately familiar with the provisions of the TA 2000, and its predecessors in the PoTA with regard to travelling around these islands. Nothing in any of those pieces of legislation since inception of the PoTA in 1974 requires a traveller to produce photo ID.

          11. Cian

            Here is the legislation that allows immigration officers ask anyone entering the UK for identification – be they a British citizen or not.

            Immigration Act 1971 – SCHEDULE 2
            3 (1) An immigration officer or designated person may examine any person who is embarking or seeking to embark in the United Kingdom for the purpose of determining whether he is a British citizen and, if he is not a British citizen, for the purpose of establishing —
            (a) his identity;
            (b) whether he entered the United Kingdom lawfully;
            (c) whether he has complied with any conditions of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom;
            (d)whether his return to the United Kingdom is prohibited or restricted.


            4 (1) It shall be the duty of any person examined under paragraph 2A or 3 above to furnish to the person carrying out the examination all such information in his possession as that person may require for the purpose of that or any other person’s functions under that paragraph.
            (2) A person on his examination under paragraph 2A or 3 above by an immigration officer, or on his examination under paragraph 3 above by a designated person, shall, if so required by an immigration officer or designated person —
            (a) produce either a valid passport with photograph or some other document satisfactorily establishing his identity and nationality or citizenship;
            and

          12. Listrade

            Except for the Common Travel Agreement, means we don’t have to. Check out the Department of Foreign Affairs website:

            “There are no requirements for passport controls in operation for Irish and British citizens travelling within the Common Travel Area i.e. between Ireland and the UK. However, as regular passengers would be aware, all air and sea carriers require some form of identification and some carriers regard a passport as the only valid identification.”

          13. Cian

            @Listrade
            It’s a Catch-22
            Only Irish & British citizens are exempt from showing a passport. How do you prove you are an Irish/British citizen?

          14. Listrade

            Easy, your PSC.

            Or same way you do at Liverpool airport, Birmingham, East Midlands, Hollyhead, Liverpool Port…you don’t.

            They have a passenger manifest. The CTA means that information is shared. They would (and I’ve witnessed it) isolate individual passengers to check. Harder at larger airports, but for UK and Irish citizens a driver’s licence would be valid unless they had reason to suspect it was false.

            By habit we have our passports and we show that, some airlines only accept passports.

          15. Cian

            @Listrade
            Public Service Card doesn’t show Nationality.
            A Pole living in Ireland could have a PSC, but isn’t entitled to CTA.

            A drivers licence has country of birth, so could work. Or a passport. ;) Which the airlines insists on, so you should have on your person.

          16. Cian

            Sure, if you want. CTA doesn’t require passport check for UK/Irish citizen.

            Do you agree that Irish/UK citizens may be asked to provide evidence of their Irish/British nationality to allow them enjoy the CTA privileges?

            The CTA does not prevent Ireland or Britain from checking passports on entry.

          17. Listrade

            “The CTA does not prevent Ireland or Britain from checking passports on entry.”

            Sure…but no one was making that argument. I’m more than happy to agree to any true statement that I haven’t actually said in the past, present or future.

          18. Cian

            Having looked further into this I now believe that the CTA has nothing to say about passports.

            The recent Memorandum of Understanding says “The CTA allows Irish and British citizens to move freely between Ireland and the UK.” But it doesn’t define what freely means.

            If the officials in Birmingham airport want to wave through a plane-load from Ireland without stopping them – that is their right.

            If officials in Gatwick airport want all Irish and UK citizens to provide photo-ID to immigration officials, that is also their right (as provided by the immigration act) – and doesn’t contravene the CTA.

  2. eoin

    It’s nonsense that will be hitting the road in 73 days time.

    Just like Boris has reneged on his Churchillian commitment not to talk to EU leaders about Brexit until the backstop has been abandoned, the commitment to the CTA falls away in the face of an EU common market which the UK has decided to leave, apparently without a deal.

    RTE is reporting this nonsense, fine, but I look forward to a real broadcast journalist challenging this govt about how the CTA will work in the case of a no deal Brexit [spoiler alert: it won’t]

    1. MaryLou's ArmaLite

      Neither wants to be the one to say No Deal means the CTA is gone because they then get the blame – think of it being kinda like bottom burps, he who smelt it dealt it !!!

  3. shayna

    I don’t know if BS readers are old enough to remember the border back in the day. Two big crossing points were Strabane/Lifford and of course Newry. With the M1 such as it is, how can it be policed? It wasn’t that great. The British Army asking me my name, etc… at Newry, I was just going to Croke Park.

    1. gemmy

      a clue to all this was a full blown sectarian war in the north
      Imagine the sheer carnage without police or army
      Examples like bloody Sunday knee capping bombs in omagh
      My god when subversive attacks happened in paris the army moved onto the streets and believe me names were asked from soldiers and ID demanded especially if you looked Muslim

      As for the policing like you I would say I am clueless of how to police without upsetting the usual suspects

      I think it will have to be a European force

    2. martco

      (lamh suas)
      my da drove an artic for a living
      when I was still in primary school once a year usually before Christmas he’d write me a sicknote & off we went crack of dawn, I can’t describe the excitement of it!
      up thru Newry & the queue, on to Lisburn or further to some place beside Boucher rd.
      he’d have a list of stuff to get for friends, relatives & the neighbours…I can remember some of it clearly…car tyres, hifi stuff, trainsets, a colour tv, a piano, all sorts I imagine couldn’t be got here or could be at considerably larger cost. I also remember the checkpoint & the big observation tower at Newry, the helicopters, seeing a gun for the first time. A relative from Carrickmacross would meet him up there & after rounds of soup & sandwiches lead us back across the border somewhere (not Newry…I remember one time the road was literally the width of the truck) I’d always fall asleep long before Alexandra Basin where the recipients of said items were waiting…half asleep I would be loaded into the back of the brown Mk1 Escort he had at the time & home thrilled & wrecked after the big adventure. I still have the stylophone I was treated with on one of those jaunts (it still works great!)

      1. Batty Brennan

        Thanks for sharing, martco. It’s important to keep our minds focused on the human element of all this poo.

    3. Spaghetti Hoop

      I certainly remember both. Humiliating experience to stand on the side of the road with your parents while an armed foreign soldier searched your vehicle and pocket contents.

    4. some old unicorn

      Yes shayna I remember the check outside Newry but apart from the inconvenience, what real purpose did it serve?

      All of the by roads were open so anyone up to lets say err sharp practices just used them instead. It cost a lot of money to maintain and was completely useless- likewise the look out posts.

      Johnson needs to get real- they couldn’t seal it then and definitely won’t be able to seal it now.

      1. shayna

        I’d nothing to declare, or hide – so used route 1. It was a palaver/ordeal. The checks took so long, people switched off their cars and smoked cigarettes on the road. In Strabane/Lifford, a little kid made money selling punnets of strawberries to the queuing cars.

        1. some old unicorn

          Ah yeah but Newry checkpoint was only for tourists- a quick trip around into Forkhill and you were half way to Dundalk- sure all you needed to do was just follow the traffic.

          It sound comical now but smugglers back then were ‘thinking outside the box’ long before bullpoo bingo- you never assumed a vehicle was being used for its intended or apparent use- welders made a great living.

  4. GiggidyGoo

    I’d the CTA agreement is still valid, then the Anglo Irish Free Trade agreement would also be?

      1. martco

        ha! now that demand has to be contained in some Jacob Rees-1837 document pile somewhere, wha :)

    1. Batty Brennan

      In reply

      Dear Mr. Alexander DePfeffel Johnson,

      Thank you for your letter of the 19th inst.

      Regrettably, we are unable to entertain your offer. None of us believe you. You have zero credibility at this stage. The deal on the table is the best you will ever get. Take it and be grateful for our generosity.

      You lost. Get over it.

      The European Union of sane states.

  5. baz

    Paddy used to be shrewd, Varadkar foolishly the messenger boy for Federal EU rather than looking out for the citizens of the Republic . A Germany in recession will cut a deal with the UK and Varadkar will be forced into a climb down which will in turn end his time as Taoiseach

    1. some old unicorn

      Oh please- the very idea that someone must produce a passport in order to freely travel on the island of Ireland will cause more civil unrest than the troubles ever did- guaranteed.

      Some people don’t hold passports and never will- they are still Irish.

  6. baz

    Paddy used to be shrewd, Varadkar foolishly the messenger boy for Federal EU rather than looking out for the citizens of the Republic . Germany in recession will cut a deal with the UK and Varadkar will be forced into a climb down which will in turn end his time as Taoiseach

  7. some old unicorn

    How do you differentiate between ‘mainland’ Europeans and Irish? The very idea that someone must produce a passport in order to travel on the island of Ireland will in itself cause more civil unrest that the troubles ever did.

  8. Scundered

    Neither UK or Ireland want a border, so they should both refuse to engage in this farce and tell the EU to shove it.

Comments are closed.