Brexit minister: Common travel area between UK and Ireland should be maintained


BELFAST, Northern Ireland – The minister in charge of overseeing the UK’s break from Europe has insisted he doesn’t want a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

David Davis was in Belfast for a series of meetings on Brexit on Thursday.

He spoke to First Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir and also met with a group of business leaders at Stormont.

Mr Davis said the common travel area, which allows the free movement of people between the UK and Ireland, should be maintained.

“We have had a common travel area throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland for many, many decades before we were part of the EU and we will maintain that common travel area afterwards,” he said.

“We managed to do that without an immigration problem in that time.”

Secretary of State James Brokenshire added that there is a strong will from both the UK and Irish governments to see no return to the borders of the past.

He said it has suited both “very, very well for decades” and pledged to work towards making sure “that benefit is retained”.