Belfast Telegraph

Trimble's border plan 'dangerous and magical' insists MP

By Staff Reporter

Anti-Brexit campaigners have rubbished Lord Trimble's suggestion that mobile phone technology and sat nav tracking could solve the Irish border question as somewhere between "magical and economically dangerous".

The former First Minister has thrown his weight behind the so-called 'Max Fac' option for resolving the border problem that has dogged Brexit negotiations.

This 'smart border' proposal argues that technology such as mobile phone and GPS technology can track lorries carrying goods, together with the computer-based customs clearing.

Lord Trimble said: "Fears over a 'hard border' are only as strong as the refusal of those who do not engage with a workable technological solution."

He also advocated the UK playing no further part in negotiations until the EU side offered further concessions to the government.

However, Ian Murray MP, a leading supporter of the People's Vote campaign, said: "David Trimble's frustration about the Irish border is understandable, but his suggestions on fixing the problem vary between the magical and the economically dangerous.

"He proposes a technological solution which, even as he admits, requires 'polishing' and offers no means of enforcement without border checks.

"For if smugglers, or anyone else, fail to use his mobile phone-sat nav combo, what are the authorities supposed to do about it?

"His other proposal - that the UK should boycott talks until it gets what it wants risks economic catastrophe.

"As it is plain that no Brexit is going to match the claims that were made for it, including over the Northern Ireland border, it becomes more and more imperative that we have a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal so that everyone, including the people of Northern Ireland, can decide on whether Brexit is right for the UK."

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