Is Labour moving towards a hard border in Ireland?

A cross-post from Patreon.

Labour's line on Brexit has hardened perceptibly in recent days, but only yesterday Jeremy Corbyn was still keeping his options open on the customs union. However, Labourlist reports that Shadow Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner has now suggested that remaining in the EU customs union would leave the UK a 'vassal state'.
Gardiner says that the UK must leave the customs union in order to 'regain control of our borders', but as a former Northern Ireland Minister, and an MP with many Irish constituents in Brent North, he must know that departure would create a chaotic situation on the UK's only land border.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney warned recently that if Britain left the customs union there was no solution in sight that would avoid a hard border and damage to the peace process. I set out some of the difficulties in this October post, which argued that paramilitaries and organised crime would inevitably be the major beneficiaries of a customs border in Ireland. 



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