December 20, 2018 / 1:54 PM / a month ago

Irish PM - hard border only a problem if Britain changes rules post-no deal Brexit

FILE PHOTO - Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) and Defence Minister Leo Varadkar attends a news conference after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Thursday that “difficulties” around a hard border with Northern Ireland would arise only if Britain left the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and subsequently changed its laws.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin, Varadkar said that problems would only arise if the UK “crashes out of the European Union at the end of March and then decided in some way to change their customs and regulations.”

“It’s all very well for people to say that nobody wants a hard border - nobody wants it in Dublin, nobody wants it in Belfast, nobody wants it in Brussels or London - but if you don’t have alignment on customs and regulations you get into real difficulties,” he said.

Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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