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Former PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde scaremongering over risks to border of a Brexit, rages DUP MP Sammy Wilson

By Ed Carty

Published 01/06/2016

Former PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde
Former PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde

Sammy Wilson has accused former PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde of treating voters like ignoramuses after he warned the UK would be less safe if it left the EU.

The East Antrim MP and Brexit campaigner said Mr Orde was part of an elite using scare tactics to sway the vote their way.

He also insisted the border with the Republic would not be closed because the Common Travel Area (CTA) was too valuable to Dublin.

"I think Hugh Orde is wrong," Mr Wilson said. "It does not surprise me. He's part of that elite who want to try and scare people - that's what it's all down to. It increasingly angers me the disdainful way in which they are treating this campaign. They treat the people as ignoramuses who can be bamboozled by speculation.

"People need to ask themselves, who loses most from losing the CTA? The Republic loses maybe more, and for that reason it can be preserved."

Mr Orde used a letter to the Irish Times to call for Brexit leaders to set out how border security would be handled if the UK left the EU.

"In terms of the border, the argument to leave becomes farcical," Mr Orde said. "It's inevitable that controls would have to return. If you shut the front door, leaving the back open would be stupid."

But Mr Wilson accused the former PSNI head of resorting to personal abuse of Northern Ireland Secretary of State and Brexit supporter Theresa Villiers after he said she "continues to keep her head firmly stuck in a peat bog" over the issue.

"When someone has to become personally abusive in that way, it's usually a fairly good sign the argument is weak," the DUP MP claimed.

He also called on Mr Orde to listen to statements from political leaders in the Republic on the issue.

"Taoiseach Enda Kenny this week has not been definitive in his view that there would have to be border controls - there could be, there might be, there's a possibility, and we have had some more positive comments that the CTA would be kept," Mr Wilson said.

"Mr Orde should listen to the ambivalence of people who would want to sound a more certain note on this.

"What is there in it for the Irish Republic not to keep the CTA and keep the current safeguards that exist?

"Are they going to open their ports to people from outside the Irish Republic or the UK, then hope that those people will go to the UK for work?

"There's been a despicable campaign by the Remain people... telling outright lies, scare tactics, treating the public with disdain and bringing in all these big hitters and those who appear to have some standing in society so that somehow the lumpenproletariat will fall into line."

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