Ruth Davidson hits out at Boris Johnson for ‘casual disregard’ over Irish border

Posted On: 
1st March 2018

Ruth Davidson has condemned Boris Johnson’s ‘casual disregard’ over the fractious Irish border issue after he equated it to boundaries between London boroughs.

Ruth Davidson said "serious minds" were needed to solve the outstanding issues on Britain's exit from the EU
PA Images

The Foreign Secretary sparked controversy earlier in the week when he threw out EU warnings that Northern Ireland would have to remain in the customs union if there is no other way of avoiding a hard border, by comparing the 310 mile frontier with that of Camden and Westminster.

Mr Johnson argued that such a solution would not be needed on the island as money is taken “invisibly” from drivers travelling between the capital’s two boroughs.

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When asked about the issue by the Daily Telegraph, the Scottish Tory leader is said to have “rolled her eyes” and said the issue required “serious minds”.

“I think that was an unfortunate analogy,” she said.

"This is a serious and technical issue that requires serious minds to give it the correct amount of thought. It’s not really one for casual disregard.

“But there is a genuine willingness on both sides to make this work, not just Irish-British but also at the European level.”

Ms Davidson also took aim at Mr Johnson’s later admission in a letter to Theresa May that "it is wrong to see the task as maintaining 'no border'" on the island of Ireland after Britain quits the EU.

And she warned that the Prime Minister’s speech on her Brexit tomorrow would present the “ultras” on both sides of the European debate with some “hard truths”.

She added: “The Prime Minister has been pretty clear on [a hard border in Ireland]. She will not countenance it.

“I believe there will be some hard truths in the Prime Minister’s speech on Friday to ultras on both sides about what is achievable and what is fantasy. And the Prime Minister will make those clear.

“The Prime Minister won’t do and will articulate that she won’t do anything that will put the sanctity of the United Kingdom in difficulties and will not put a border in the middle of the Irish Sea. That is a line she will not cross.”