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Brexit and the border… May 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…what about this? From the IT this morning:

Border controls between the island of Ireland and Britain are inevitable if there is a Brexit, according to official sources on both sides of the Irish Sea.
A strict new regime for travel between the two islands is already under consideration if the UK votes next month to leave the European Union.

So… rather than beefing up the border on this island in the event of Brexit…

The impossibility of sealing the 500km border between Northern Ireland and the Republic has put the focus on new travel arrangements.
Such a move would mean British citizens travelling from Northern Ireland would be subject to customs and border controls at air and ferry ports in Britain.

…let’s just redraw it around the island! Sounds like someone is flying a particularly unpalatable kite (for some), presumably to make a point… Though if correct, and more than a kite, what does that tell us about sovereignty, etc..?

Comments»

1. 6to5against - May 30, 2016

I’m sure this is a kite-flying attempt at supporting the remain vote. But its probably worth noting that it is only really describing the situation as it now stands.

The truth as I understand it is that at the moment, anybody flying from NI to Britain has to produce a passport. The fact that this is there as a security issue rather than a border control hardly matters, does it? And the NI/ROI border has been left entirely open for years. I often wonder how unionists feel about this, and why its never been raised by them

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deiseach - May 30, 2016

“The truth as I understand it is that at the moment, anybody flying from NI to Britain has to produce a passport. The fact that this is there as a security issue rather than a border control hardly matters, does it?”

I’m sceptical about this, although it’s possible given the lack of joined-up thinking when it comes to travel between these islands. My wife is afraid of flying, so we have almost always used the ferry to travel back and forth. The first time we did it, way back in 2002, we got the bus from Liverpool to Dublin. We were asked in Holyhead to unload our bags and go through security. I told her with a vindictive grin that my bags would be checked because I was wearing a GAA shirt. I wasn’t being serious but I was stopped. I thought it was probably a coincidence but lo and behold I was stopped on the way back! Her outrage was hilarious. That’s just an anecdote, but it’s a fact that every time we have taken the bus there is a security check going in both directions at Holyhead while we have never been stopped when we go by car. It’s probably a function of That One Time Someone Dodgy Got Through On A Bus, and it’s not hard to imagine a future where a government formed on the back of making Brexit work would scapegoat people travelling from ‘Éire’ for any lack of success in driving down inward migration.

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RosencrantzisDead - May 30, 2016

Heathrow and Gattwick, I recall, had a fast-track lane at border control where you only had to produce your boarding card to show you travelled from Ireland. This was a relatively recent innovation and I have no idea if it is still in operation. Other than that, the Common Travel Area existed between NI and ROI and on paper everywhere else.

Another thing, often it is the airlines who insist on the production of a passport before they will permit you to board. This is because they are fined if they transport anyone who seeks to enter a state illegally.

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sonofstan - May 30, 2016

Entering the UK these days from anywhere other than ireland can be a nightmare. Border Force do their best to maintain fortress Britain and it’s taken me well over an hour to get through passport control on more than one occasion.

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6to5against - May 30, 2016

I know that its the airlines that demand production of a passport, and that they have reasons for doing so, but it doesn’t change the reality that a passenger therefore needs a passport to travel. Its a de facto passport check, that affects most people travelling from NI to Britain, but does not affect people travelling between NI and the rest of Ireland.

I accept that its a bit more mixed in terms of ferry traffic. I think I was checked last time I made that journey but it was certainly very casual.

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WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2016

Unbelievably casual. Just incredible really if you’re in a car. I couldn’t work out the logic either way. No one imports stuff to Ireland? No one imports stuff to Britain?

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WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2016

Sorry, I should note I’m not complaining.🙂

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2. sonofstan - May 30, 2016

The weird fact is that back in the ’80s / early 90s when I last travelled as much as I do now between our two islands, you didn’t need a passport either at airports or on the ferry – at the height of ‘the troubles’. Now, you effectively need one for every crossing. You don’t get checked flying from ireland into UK airports but you do the opposite direction, and anyway the airlines demand it. And, only in the last year or two, passport checks at both Holyhead and dublin port have become the norm.

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sonofstan - May 30, 2016

I might add though you only get passport checks as a foot passenger on the ferry as far as I can tell…

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deiseach - May 30, 2016

Yep. Countless times I’ve driven through Holyhead or Fishguard thinking that, strictly speaking, those gas cannisters for the camping stove count as an explosive…

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depps - May 30, 2016

You don’t actually need a passport, any kind of photo ID is legally sufficient both to get on the plane and to get past the Gardai at passport control (although i think Ryanair might insist on a passport, but that is just their own policy rather than the rule).

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deiseach - May 30, 2016

I had an uncomfortable moment recently when I travelled through Holyhead as a foot passenger. Having travelled over in the car, my wife was staying in Blighty after the birth of her nephew for another week. I was heading back to work and decided it would be a good idea not to saddle her with our son and the thought of having to get a passport just to fly didn’t appeal – if nothing else, it would be a nightmare getting him to sit still for a passport photo. Duly we arrived at Holyhead and I realised I had no ID of any description for him. The chap at security did hum and haw for a second, but he had no reason to stop us, no alerts that someone might be engaging in people smuggling, so he let us through (it probably helped that he is the spit of me). I should really have brought his birth cert and will do so next time, but the moral of the story is that a] it is possible to travel with no documentation at all, and b] the whole thing is being done in a scattergun fashion which is likely to be a red rag to the Ukip bull if they get wind of it.

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benmadigan - May 30, 2016

europeans can use their ID cards for travel to the UK, Ireland and UK-Ireland

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benmadigan - May 30, 2016

had papers (passport, ID etc ) demanded on the bus from Belfast to Dublin regularly until the last couple of years. Don’t recall checks on the Dublin-Belfast bus. (Was checked along with all the other passengers, it wasn’t just suspicious-looking me!!)

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WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2016

🙂

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3. Gewerkschaftler - May 30, 2016

You clearly get a dodgier class of person (like me who had me bagged sniffed by a rather fetching cocker spaniel last time in Rosslare) coming over on foot.

Shouldn’t our customs be worrying more about contingency-planning for the plagues of boils and hails of frogs that will result from Brexit and/or Bremain.

Brexit is like coffee in the Daily Nazi – it would give everyone cancer and at the same time strangely cure it.

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4. 6to5against - May 30, 2016

As well as checking foot passengers more than others its always been my experience that customs/immigration/security people follow a stereotyping policy to a laughable degree.

In my youth I sported long unruly hair for a few years and was checked and questioned every time I went near an airport. Since I got what was left of my hair cut, I have never been stopped.

My son reads a series of books called CHERUB, which seems to be a set of spy stories where the spies are kids, chosen on the basis that they avoid suspicion. Since beginning that series he delights in noting how I am occasionally searched – albeit it – briefly at big sporting occasions etc, whereas he is ushered through without question.

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5. FergusD - May 30, 2016

Passport story – about 7 years ago we went on a holiday to Egypt, cruise on the Nile to see the monuments (fantastic!!!), with our younger son. His (UK at the time I think) passport had a photo taken when he was about 14. Passport control coming home the guy looks at it, looks at son, looks at photo, looks at son, and says it isn’t him in the photo! Gets another security guy to look, then another. All agreed, it wasn’t son no 2. I stood next to him, they agreed there was some resemblance, but they weren’t convinced. It was looking like we would be staying longer in Luxor. On of the security guys then softened but said “Why you change your face?” Which is now a family saying. They let us go. Phew.

Since then the sons have got Irish passports. None of us have had trouble entering the UK so far. I am hoping Brexit won’t happen and if it does won’t be a problem as regards passports for us. I kinda assume it would revert to times previous before UK/RoI joined the EU when we never had to show a passport when travelling by car/ferry. Common travel area.

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Dr. X - May 30, 2016

Trying to enter Moscow in 2005, I encountered a border guard who didn’t think it was me in my passport photo. Admittedly, I had gained some extra weight since that picture had been taken, so maybe “why you change your face?” might be applicable in that case.

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6. roddy - May 31, 2016

At the height of the troubles ,a member of the RUC’s notorious “special patrol group” stopped me on a lonely South Derry road.He gruffly demanded my licence and I handed it over.He barked – “this is a f—ing dog licence” to which I replied “sure am’nt I driving a ROVER”!

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WorldbyStorm - May 31, 2016

Boom boom!

I’m guessing you’re here all week! 🙂

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