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Tory conference: Republican dissidents will not give up, warns Wallace

By Adrian Rutherford

Dissident terror groups are still recruiting, a Government minister warned yesterday.

Security Minister Ben Wallace told an event at the Tory conference that "potent and dangerous individuals" were in operation and were here for the long-term.

Mr Wallace said: "(Dissident republicans) are definitely there and are not going to go away.

"The ones still active are definitely potent and dangerous individuals who have killed prison officers and police officers in the last few years."

He also dismissed fears Brexit would lead to a rise in violence, stressing that terrorists had not sought to exploit the situation.

"They didn't seem to become more or less active," Mr Wallace added. "No one is taking their eye off the ball."

Lord Carlile QC, David Cameron's former independent reviewer of terrorism, previously claimed a hard border with the Republic could lead to trouble

Asked if terrorism could make a return, Mr Wallace said: "Yes it could come back. If we have a Brexit negotiation that creates a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, I think that we are potentially asking for a great deal of trouble."

Lord Carlile, one of the UK's top legal experts, said the number of active terrorists was "quite small" and stressed that the security services knew who they were.

"I think we have that under control, provided we haven't Brexited out of the Good Friday Agreement," he said.

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