Northern Ireland Office declines request for definition of PM’s ‘frictionless border’

RUC and British Army checking cars at the border in the 1980s
RUC and British Army checking cars at the border in the 1980s

Following expert advice that checkpoints will be unavoidable following Brexit, the Northern Ireland Office has refused to define what Theresa May’s ‘frictionless’ border means.

In a response to the Mail, a NIO spokesperson said the Prime Minister values the UK’s historic ties with Ireland and “wants to see a frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland”.

“There is a very strong commitment by all to secure the common travel area,” they explained. “In relation to ‘special status’, the government is working to get a deal that is best for all parts of the UK.

“As the Secretary of State has said, concepts of ‘special status’ for Northern Ireland would be the wrong approach.”

Customs experts said NI must remain in the EU customs union to prevent a ‘hard border’.