British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday promised a “practical solution” on the Irish border after Britain leaves the European Union in a bid to allay fears about a return to tough checks.
She spoke on her first visit since taking office to Northern Ireland, which has what would become the United Kingdom’s only border with the EU after Brexit.
“Nobody wants a return to the borders of the past,” May said in Belfast, where she met Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
“What we do want is to find a way through this that is going to work and deliver a practical solution for everybody,” May said in televised comments.
Cross-border relations with the Republic of Ireland are a prime concern for Northern Ireland in negotiations on Britain’s departure from the European Union, and May said Belfast would be involved in the talks.
Britain and Ireland share an open-border Common Travel Area (CTA) that dates back to the 1920s, continuing arrangements from before Irish independence.