Margaritis Schinas, the Chief spokesperson for the European Commission, was delivering a regular media briefing yesterday (January 22nd) when he was asked the results of a no-deal Brexit.
Much to the dismay of the media, Schinas stated that it was “pretty obvious” that Ireland would have a hard border in the event of a No-deal scenario.
“I think it is pretty obvious you will have a hard border,” said Schinas.
“Our commitments to the Good Friday agreement and everything we have been doing for years with our tools, instruments and programmes will have to take inevitably into account this fact.”
The comments were rebuffed by Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, in a statement released yesterday, (January 22nd).
Here's the Commission chief spox saying, if pushed, he speculates that in no deal 'it is pretty obvious' you will have a hard borderhttps://t.co/yDab4yQ17i— JPCampbellBiz (@JP_Biz) 22 January 2019
“Regardless of Brexit, the British government will always have responsibilities as co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement to ensure that, even in a no deal, there will not be a return to a border." He noted.
The statement added that trying to avoid a hard border would be increasingly difficult to achieve with no withdrawal agreement, noting it would require “very difficult discussions” with EU partners.
“We are under no illusions about how challenging that would be.” The statement continued.
The statement concluded by reaffirming the Irish public that the government are not planning for the occurrence of a hard border.