British gov sorry for seeking to recruit ‘British only’ customs officers for NI
The British government has apologised to the Irish government for a recruitment drive for new customs officers for Northern Ireland that stipulated applicants must be British citizens only.
After the intervention of the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Whitehall said that the inclusion of the requirement was an “error”. The British government had been seeking to recruit 18 customs officers for Northern Ireland.
The Taoiseach Mr Varadkar said the requirement to be a British passport holder might be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement – because it recognises the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves or be accepted as Irish, or British, or both.
Irish officials raised concerns about the plans via the British Irish Intergovernmental Secretariat in Belfast and Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission also intervened.
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said: “I am pleased at the clarification by the UK Home Office that it was an error and was being corrected.”