Sajid Javid Offers To Fund New Technology 'In Entirety' To Avoid Hard Irish Border

10 June 2019, 09:25 | Updated: 10 June 2019, 09:38

Conservative leadership candidate Sajid Javid tells LBC he would pursue a deal to leave the EU, adding he would offer to pay all costs involved in keeping the Irish border open if the UK left without a deal.

The Home Secretary told Nick Ferrari it was his priority for the UK to leave the European Union with a deal, adding that "whilst no deal can not be taken off the table, the focus should absolutely be the deal."

But when asked about keeping the Irish border open if the UK did not secure a deal, Mr Javid said he would "absolutely abide" by the Good Friday Agreement.

"As Home Secretary, I'm acutely aware of the problems both of the past and the tensions that still exist," he said.

"And as Prime Minister I would be absolutely committed 100% to the Good Friday Agreement and would not do anything that would change that border by putting any kind of infrastructure on it.

"Even if it was a no-deal outcome, I think we would have to absolutely abide by that agreement and not change the status of that border."

Sajid Javid in the LBC studio
Sajid Javid in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

When Nick asked the leadership hopeful how the Irish border would function in a no-deal scenario, Mr Javid said his department has been looking at existing technology to have checks away from the border.

"It can be done, I've seen how it can be done," he said.

"It can be put together in a couple of years."

Mr Javid also said that he would "offer to pay for the entire cost" of the border system for both Britain and Ireland, saying it would be "worth the economic price" if it helps achieves a deal.

"It's morally right that we pay for it," he said.

"We are committed to the Good Friday Agreement and given that we are changing the status quo, we should offer to pay for the outcome."

But as Nick pressed the Home Secretary on what those costs might be, he said it was "hard to estimate".

"I think set up costs would be up to £500million and annual costs could be up to a couple hundred million for both sides, and I think we should offer to pay forever."

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