Northern Ireland

Brexit: Hard border in NI 'inconceivable' for businesses

Irish border sign Image copyright PA
Image caption It was announced last week that the EU and UK have not reached agreement on the Irish border despite "decisive" progress on other Brexit issues

The head of one of Northern Ireland's leading food companies has said it is "inconceivable" that there could be a hard border as a result of Brexit.

Andrew Lynas, managing director of Lynas Foods, was speaking on the BBC's Inside Business programme.

He said putting customs controls in place would not work.

It was announced last week that the EU and UK have not reached agreement on the Irish border despite "decisive" progress on other Brexit issues.

The EU's negotiator Michel Barnier said the two sides had agreed on a transition period.

The so-called backstop option for the Irish border remains a sticking point.

That option would mean Northern Ireland essentially remaining in the single market and customs union if no other border solution can be found.

Mr Lynas said he hoped there would be a soft border.

He said: "My belief and my hope as I talk to other businesses people and leaders is they will see sense and there's going to be some soft version of Brexit in Northern Ireland.

"There has to be an open border in Ireland. It's inconceivable that we have anything else.

"We would have five 40ft (12.2m) lorries going down every single night to Galway and Dublin.

"To have any kind of paperwork, system, traffic means it's just inconceivable. It won't work."

You can listen to BBC Inside Business on Sunday at 13:30 BST.

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