Research by the Liberal Democrats and PoliticsHome has shown how crucial a soft border is between Ireland and Northern Ireland, specifically in relation to emergency service call-outs.
A series of freedom of information requests has shown that 182 ambulances and 270 fire engines crossed into the Republic during 2016-17 in response to 999 calls, highlighting how a hard border could potentially leave people with far slower emergency responses if the UK leaves the EU in a no-deal Brexit.
Commenting on these findings, Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:
“This research shows just how essential smooth border traffic is in Northern Ireland, and why it is so essential for Theresa May and the EU to sort this mess out.
“These call-outs are likely in many cases to be matters of critical importance, life or death potentially. Every second counts. Nothing should jeopardise cross-border cooperation and if it is lost, that will rightly doom May’s legacy.
“The Liberal Democrats demand better. The Prime Minister must get back round the table with the negotiators, she has got to deliver a deal which works for Northern Ireland and the border communities on both sides in order to ensure there is no collateral damage to her calamitous Brexit.”