February 19, 2020 / 2:34 PM / a month ago

France wants customs controls in Irish Sea in post-Brexit talks

FILE PHOTO: French Junior Minister for European affairs Amelie de Montchalin leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting and an official presentation of the pensions reform bill at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - France on Wednesday said it was imperative that negotiations over a future trade relationship between Britain and the European Union included customs checks in the Irish Sea.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson struck a divorce deal with the EU last October that leaves the United Kingdom’s province of Northern Ireland inside the UK customs area but all EU procedures will apply to goods arriving there.

“There must be controls in the Irish Sea”, France’s junior minister for European affairs Amelie de Montchalin told a hearing at French Senate.

Northern Ireland shares a land border with its southern neighbor, the Republic of Ireland, which remains an EU member state. Britain left the EU on Jan. 31.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Richard Lough

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