Don’t forget your passport if you’re crossing the border…

Given the level of hand-wringing concern being publicly expressed about the possibility of border controls post-Brexit, disingenuous or otherwise, here’s a topical and relevant story courtesy of the BBC.

A County Armagh vegetable grower says businesses need more clarity about border controls, after eight of his workers were detained by Irish police on their way to work.

The men, all EU nationals, were stopped at Dundalk on Monday morning as they crossed the border in a work van.

They were on their way to pick leeks in the Republic of Ireland’s County Louth.

The checkpoint was set up as part of a day-long operation run by the Irish police’s National Immigration Bureau.

It saw all south-bound traffic being filtered off the motorway at Dundalk.

The workers, seven Romanians and one Lithuanian, had no identification documents.

They were driven to Dundalk Garda (Police) station where they were held for several hours.

A Garda spokesman said such operations had been ongoing for several years.

He said that under Irish immigration law, non-Irish nationals are required to carry documentation.

And as the BBC NI political editor, Mark Devenport, notes

Many of the Stormont Remain politicians are reluctant to accept that Brexit is a done deal, as they continue to hope it can be derailed by their court challenges or some other unforeseen event. But the clock is ticking, and the likely consequences on the border are very real.

The politicians are saying radically different things about Brexit but the public in Northern Ireland deserves both its Leave and Remain representatives to start thinking seriously about the practicalities.

Indeed.

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  • Katyusha

    He said that under Irish immigration law, non-Irish nationals are required to carry documentation.

    Good job we’re all Irish nationals then, or most of us, anyway.
    Not sure what passports or border crossings have to do with this, either. They couldn’t identify themselves when questioned. But then, “Gardai hold people who can’t prove who they are or whether they are even allowed to be in the country for several hours, until their boss calls the station and provides a reference” isn’t such a catchy story.

    Or at any rate, it’s not significant enough for RTE to report on it, nor the Irish Times, the Indo, the Irish Examiner, or even the Irish News. I guess it’s either a slow news day at the BBC, or Brexit has altered their sense of perception somewhat. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • Paul Hagan

    The fact is while ‘Brexit’ may be a done deal in political terms (in that it will happen) there are vastly different options on offer. If politicians are “saying radically different things about Brexit” it’s because these options in terms of the border (and other matters) are just that: radically different. If they want to start talking about the practicalities they might also want to work-out what they want from any Brexit deal – and how to get it.

  • Korhomme

    Haven’t we all done the same? 😉

  • WindowLean

    “A Garda spokesman said such operations had been ongoing for several years.”

    Clearly a response to Brexit, then

  • James Henry

    “under Irish immigration law, non-Irish nationals are required to carry documentation.”
    In that case, surely anyone not carrying documentation must logically be an Irish national.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Nope, this is typical in EU/EEA countries. Clearly Irish law was not changed in the last couple of months to please the English.
    Free movement is only granted to documented EU/EEA migrants, and an Irish person could be detained in the EU on suspicion of being an illegal British migrant.

  • Kevin Breslin

    That would have nothing to do with the labour’s nationality. Locals can just as easily be screwed that way.

  • Simian Droog

    No they must identify themselves as such. There’s hardly a country in Europe I’ve been to wear its the law that you carry ID at all times. Why should Ireland be any different.