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Border control proposals impractical and too costly

Published 12/08/2015

I should like to add to the debate raised by David McNarry MLA in his call for the British Government to close the land border between the UK encompassing Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

I suggest the closing of the border to stop an increasing number of illegal migrants/immigrants entering Northern Ireland will not happen.

There are two main reasons for the border to remain unattended by the UK Border Force:

1: The special relationship between the UK and the Irish Republic, established in 1971 that also includes the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man, namely the Common Travel Area (CTA). Basically this arrangement allows for the free movement of travellers within the CTA without passport control;

2: To establish effective border control between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland would necessitate closing many minor roads and establishing border posts. Any proposal for the erection of double fencing with dog patrols similar to that of the Channel Tunnel at Calais would be absurd. The whole process may not only prove impractical, but the present Government would shudder at the enormous cost.

Should the Prime Minister be unsuccessful in securing changes to the EU system of free movement in order to reduce net migration to the UK, and the British electorate subsequently vote to leave the EU, while the Irish Republic remains a member state, then Mr McNarry may well see his dream come true in spite of the cost.

MW WOODS

Bangor, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph

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