The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, yesterday compared two London Boroughs, Camden and Westminster, to the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the former Mayor of London spoke about the effective use of technology installed between the boroughs for the Congestion Charge.

Whilst Mr Johnson has been criticised for drawing a crude comparison, his comments highlight the very real issues facing the UK in its Brexit negotiations. The Government is opposed to a customs union with the EU on the one hand yet wishes to maintain no customs border with the Republic of Ireland on the other. Labour however has recently announced that it would seek to negotiate a new customs union with the EU. Presumably, any such union would reduce the need for the introduction of so-called hard borders, particularly between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Like the Beast from the East, the Brexit debate continues to threaten to throw air, rail and road travel into chaos. Only time will tell whether icy blasts give way to sunny spells.

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