Seeing how a no-deal brexit seems more likely than ever before, has the EU presented any plans for the UK-Ireland border in case of a no-deal brexit?

I am particularly interested in plans by the EU regarding a hard border or plans that can avoid a hard border even in a no-deal scenario.

  • 3
    Do you genuinely mean the EU, or just Ireland? Ireland's official policy is still "There cannot be a hard border, so we aren't preparing anything".
    – origimbo
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:35
  • @origimbo I mean actual preparations by the EU. For example, here is a press release on plans for no-deal in other policy areas. It does mention the PEACE program, but I'd like to see details on how it would be implemented in the no-deal scenario.
    – JJJ
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:51
  • Afaik every EU country is in charge of their own borders, the EU doesn't have any direct role in that. This means that technically it's not the EU that has to plan anything for the UK-Ireland border but Ireland.
    – Erwan
    Jan 29, 2019 at 16:45
  • @Erwan the EU plays an important role on the outer borders. Think of Frontex in the east and the south. In the NI border case, the EU has always been involved given its goal is to promote peace, freedom and prosperity. The EU has also stated it stands by to support Ireland after the brexit vote (I cannot find a source ATM).
    – JJJ
    Jan 29, 2019 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


A summary of items found while googling:

  • A summary webpage on Brexit and Ireland. This details the agreements that have been made but not ratified - the Withdrawal Agreement, and the "backstop" Protocol. Does not cover "no deal".

  • Smart Border 2.0: a plan for minimally intrusive border checks, but as far as I know this is not ready for implementation. This is the nearest answer to "plans to avoid a hard border", and is roughly the "high tech border" that David Davis keeps mentioning.

"There will be a need of a Customs and Border solution post-Brexit on 29 March 2019 at 23.00, regardless of political solution and Brexit negotiation results. It will have severe consequences if such a Customs and Border solution is not designed, developed and implemented to facilitate the movement of people and trade."

  • The Joint Report: "In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement."

i.e. the UK government has agreed to "Brexit in name only" until this is resolved, and not immediately start importing US hormone beef etc. However this is only an agreement by the executive; normally that wouldn't be significant but at the moment it matters that Parliament has not agreed to it.

  • The Commission says there will "obviously" be a hard border but provides no detail, while in the same article the Irish government denies having plans for this.

  • A paper on the various electricity and gas markets. While these are likely to continue operating even if the legal basis becomes unclear (q.v. the gas pipeline happily operating across the warzone in Ukraine), that could break down in the event of a dispute, and it makes it impossible to build improvements without clarification.

  • Further sources (see "related")

  • Are you sure you meant q.v.?
    – hkBst
    Jan 30, 2019 at 14:50

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