Dublin: row over British border controls regulation
The British government has approved a new regulation under which EU citizens who are not resident in Ireland will be required to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) before crossing the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The government in Dublin has condemned the decision, pointing out that in practice it will lead to stricter border controls for Irish and Northern Irish citizens too - contrary to the long-standing Common Travel Area agreement.
Another argument for unity
British Tory ministers have no right to limit people's freedom of movement on the neighbouring island, writes the Irish Independent:
“Things have gone all Brexity again, as though the world doesn't have enough to contend with. It is further proof of how insignificant Irish interests are, north or south, in the Westminster bubble. Because if non-Irish or non-British passport holders are to be checked crossing the Border, then it stands to reason that everyone must face some kind of inspection. ... And so the case for unity continues to grow. Here's yet another specimen of why a system of two jurisdictions on one small island is illogical, counterproductive and hostile to overall best interests.”
Pointless breach of the Northern Ireland Protocol
The Irish Times is also angry about the requirement:
“That is a breach of the spirit if not the letter of the protocol. The requirement for an online visa waiver is a pointless measure from a security point of view - there is no evidence in recent times of terrorists slipping in to Britain from the North - and will be completely ignored by non-Irish residents travelling backwards and forwards across the Border. It is conceivable that one of the few real-world effects of the change may be to make Northern Ireland less attractive to tourists.”