Passport jpg

UK passports will be required for border jobs

The British government’s recent rendition of a post-Brexit passport


By Anthony Neeson

The post-Brexit “Irish border” will not be policed on its northern side by Irish/EU passport holders.

And Sinn Féin have accused the British government of preparing for a hard border after Brexit.

This comes after it was reported that only people holding United Kingdom/British passports can apply for new “Border Force” jobs based in Belfast.

The application pack for the jobs states that they are “only open to UK nationals.”

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Under the Good Friday Agreement people born in Northern Ireland have the right to Irish, British or dual citizenship.

The border job passport requirement would appear to be forcing people to make a choice in the context of the new jobs.

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy said the requirement reinforced the belief that the British government was “clearly planning to impose their hard Brexit border across the island of Ireland.”

Said Murphy: “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,” said the Newry and Armagh representative.

Continued Murphy: “There can be no Tory/DUP Brexit border across Ireland. This is a deeply damaging, disruptive and dangerous position, rejected overwhelmingly by the people of this island.

“It also points to the Tory-DUP pact’s growing disregard for the Good Friday Agreement, which allows citizens to determine their own identity free from discrimination.

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

“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.”

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said that progress needed to be made in the coming months on the border issue during Brexit discussions between the UK and EU.

Speaking in Luxembourg he said: “We are putting down a marker which says that if there isn’t significant progress towards trying to find a wording that puts in place an operational backstop in the withdrawal treaty, well then we have to ask some very serious questions as to whether it’s possible to do it by October.”