Labour MP Kate Hoey says Ireland will have to pay for post-Brexit hard border
Dublin should have to pay for setting up customs posts between the Republic and Northern Ireland if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal, a Labour MP has declared.
In incendiary comments, Kate Hoey also called on the politicians in the Republic to be "more positive" about Brexit.
Her intervention came as a senior Irish politician warned that any new watchtowers along the border with Northern Ireland would face paramilitary attacks within a week.
Appearing on Radio Four's Today programme this morning, Vauxhall MP Ms Hoey - who was a leading Leave campaigner in the EU referendum - said: "If it ends up with a no deal we won’t be putting up the border. They will have to pay for it because it doesn’t need to happen."
Ms Hoey, who was born in Northern Ireland, said Dublin should be “more positive” in its approach to Brexit since it was “in their interest to make this work”.
A row has erupted over the future of the Northern Ireland border after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar threatened to hold up Brexit talks without written assurances that the frontier will not be hardened.
Ireland and the EU have suggested a new trade border with at the Irish Sea - effectively splitting Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. But the Tories and the DUP have rejected that proposal.
Also appearing on the Today programme, Irish senator Neale Richmond - who speaks for the Irish senate on EU affairs and chairs its Brexit Select Committee - said any kind of border controls “will be a target”.
“You put up one watchtower or put up one customs patrol and they will be a target,” he said.
“I would argue they would be attacked within a week of their going up.”