Hard border on island of Ireland will return under no-deal Brexit, warns Juncker

epa07418926 (26/66) A defaced sign designates the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on the A13 Road near Londonderry in Britain, 01 March 2019. Neither the UK nor the EU wants a hard border, and the Irish backstop is the mechanism that negotiators agreed upon to prevent that from happening. The open border, a now-invisible, 499-kilometer (310-mile) line running through countryside, farmland and bisecting main roads, is enshrined in an international peace deal that in 1998 helped to extinguish decades of sectarian and political violence in Northern Ireland; a period known as the Troubles. Over 3,000 people died during the Troubles, which saw unionist paramilitaries from largely Protestant areas, who identify as British, and republican militias from largely Catholic areas, who sought a re-unified Ireland, trade terror. Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, two years after Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50, the mechanism to notify the EU of her country's intention to abandon the member's club after the tightly-contested 2016 referendum. The results of that referendum exposed a divided nation. Leave won, claiming 52 percent of the overall vote. Voters in England and Wales came out in favor of leave, while Scotland and Northern Ireland plumped for remain. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL ATTENTION: For the full PHOTO ESSAY text please see Advisory Notice epa07418899 , epa07418900

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In an exclusive interview with Sky News, outgoing European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned a hard border will return on the island of Ireland if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

The European Commission president said he would not be the architect of no-deal but the bloc would have to act to protect its citizens’ health and safety.

He hit out at unnamed MPs who “are forgetting about the history” of the peace brought to Ireland by the Good Friday Agreement, but warned them if a hard border did return “history will be back immediately”.

He insisted: “The EU is in no way responsible for any kind of consequences by Brexit – that was a British decision.

“The EU is not leaving the UK, the UK is leaving the EU” he added.

Border between Northern Ireland and Ireland
A change in road markings and tarmac designates the border between the Republic of Ireland (R) and Northern Ireland (L) on the A13 Road near Londonderry in Britain, 01 March 2019. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

Via Sky News

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