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Boris Johnson tells €795-a-ticket Dublin conference that 'nobody will implement' a hard border

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 11/01/2019 Rónán Duffy
Boris Johnson . REUTERS/Toby Melville © Thomson Reuters Boris Johnson . REUTERS/Toby Melville

BORIS JOHNSON TOLD an audience at a pricey, business-friendly “self-empowerment” conference in Dublin that “nobody will implement” a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The former UK foreign secretary spoke for about 25 minutes at the Pendulum Summit in the Convention Centre Dublin before a question and answer session with RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson.

Conservative MP Boris Johnson at Dublin's Pendulum Summit. © Provided by Journal.ie Conservative MP Boris Johnson at Dublin's Pendulum Summit. During his speech, Johnson argued that politicians are too wary of taking risks and claimed that the media has a tendency to exaggerate them.

Ahead of his on-stage appearance, Johnson had held a meet and greet with some holders of ‘Diamond’ tickets for the event.

The summit has a number of different ticketing levels, ranging from €795-€950, with prices for the Diamond tickets kept under wraps, depending on the applicant.

Conservative MP Boris Johnson  REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne © Thomson Reuters Conservative MP Boris Johnson REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne Johnson repeatedly told the audience that he did not see infrastructure being established on the Irish border regardless of the manner of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Johnson said that there are technological solutions to the border issue that have not being explored.

Britain's ex-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson  Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via REUTERS © Thomson Reuters Britain's ex-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via REUTERS ”Nobody will implement it. We should not abandon attempts to find a technological solution to the border without even trying,” he said during his speech.

Our two countries should be bold together. I know together we can organise it in the interests of business. 

In his conversation with Dobson, which frequently consisted of both parties speaking over one another, Johnson denied that all goods coming to Ireland from the UK would have to be checked.

“That is entirely a matter for Ireland and if you choose to insist on every lorry and orders coming from the UK to be checked in that way, that’s a matter for you,” he said.

Conservative MP Boris Johnson speaks at the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) annual party conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland November 24, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne © Thomson Reuters Conservative MP Boris Johnson speaks at the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) annual party conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland November 24, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne “And that by the way is not what your prime minister has indicated that he wants, that may the the policy of RTÉ but that is not what you wanted, I don’t believe that is in the interests of Ireland. And more importantly, I don’t believe for one second that that is what will happen.”

Johnson also denied that he wanted to see the UK exit the EU without a deal, saying that he wanted a “worked out Canada-style trade deal”.

He described the option proposed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May as a “terrible deal” and reiterated that he would vote against it on Tuesday.

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