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'Brexit makes hard Irish border inevitable'

By Darren McCaffrey, Dublin Correspondent
A hard border is inevitable if Britain leaves the customs union and politicians need to stop "sugarcoating" the truth, Ireland's main opposition leader has said.
Speaking to Sky News, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin also attacked Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for his "unhelpful" rhetoric and for misleading the British public.Mr Martin said: "The implications for the peace process are very real, and extremely damaging for the economic and social fabric of the island of Ireland."I think politicians have been over-doing the sugarcoating."Talking about frictionless borders - language that is incompatible with a hard border and Britain outside the customs union, you cannot have both."On the Foreign Secretary, Mr Martin said: "I think there is a time, when you are in public office, that you need to talk sense to the people and not consistently play political games."Asked whether he was misleading the British public, the Fianna Fail leader replied: "I think he has. He's not telling it straight.
'Brexit makes hard Irish border inevitable'

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Micheal Martin also criticised the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
"The whole idea of Britain going off and having free trade agreements with the rest of the world and doing this, that and the other."
It comes as a report by Irish authorities, published on Saturday, warned that the current open border is not sustainable if Britain leaves the customs union.The report concludes that staffing and infrastructure will have to be significantly increased and that upwards of eight customs checks and visible border controls may be required.Mr Martin also said Brexit would be a danger to Anglo-Irish relations."It is at risk, whether people want it to be at risk or not - and I don't think people do," he said."Let's not pretend. If Britain moves out of the European Union we are going down different paths and that will be particularly difficult for the north of Ireland."There are very serious dangers down the road in terms of Britain and Ireland going down divergent routes."While Fianna Fail are currently in a supply and confidence deal with the Republic's minority government, they are hoping to get back into power at the next election - which some predict might come as early as next year.
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