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Tánaiste says Ireland ‘deserves better’ than UK customs post proposal at Irish border

Tánaiste says Ireland ‘deserves better’ than UK customs post proposal at Irish border

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has dismissed a UK proposal to create a string of customs posts along both sides of the Irish border in order to replace the backstop.

The proposal was contained in a so-called “non-paper” which had been submitted by the UK negotiators to the EU Brexit Taskforce.

In a tweet last night, Mr Coveney said that the non-paper was a non-starter.

The Tánaiste added that it was now time the European Union had what he described as “a serious proposal” from the UK government, if a deal on Brexit was to be achieved this month.

Mr Coveney concluded by saying that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland “deserves better”.

Opposition politicians have been united in their condemnation of the UK proposal.

Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary flatly rejected the UK non-paper, saying a hard border, with its infrastructure, is something which “we cannot tolerate on our island”.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said the UK proposal was absolutely out of the question – describing it as “vexatious and almost menacing”.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin, meanwhile, described the plan as “entirely unacceptable”, adding: “I don’t think anyone would table such proposals with a view to securing an agreement.”

Richard Boyd Barrett, of People Before Profit, said the UK proposal illustrated the “complete disregard which Prime Minister Johnson has for the political and economic future of Ireland”.