The British Labour Party’s shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, has warned DUP MP, Gregory Campbell, that those arguing for a ‘technical solution’ to the Irish border don’t understand the frontier.
The East Derry MP asked Mr. Starmer, an ex-human rights advisor to the Policing Board of Northern Ireland, if he understood how difficult it would be to police the border.
Speaking in the British House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr. Campbell asked: “When he was at the border in NI, was he able to see the complete and total complexity of that border, with the hundreds of crossing points and has he grasped the total impossibility of anyone anywhere constructing a hard border that could not be avoided with ease?”
Mr. Starmer said he had visited the border often having worked in the North for a half decade.
“I was and I have. I have visited that border many times. I visited it with the Police Service of Northern Ireland many times when I was working there for five years - as it policed the area around the border, which has particular issues - and I have been there since on a number of occasions,” answered the Labour Party Brexit point man.
He went on to criticise those championing a so-called ‘technological solution’ to the border issue.
“I am well aware of the nature of that border. I am also well aware of the fact, in relation to that border, that it is a mistake to think that the only issue is, technically, how to get people or goods over a line in the road,” he declared.
Mr. Starmer said he believed the open border was emblematic of peace in Ireland.
“That border is the manifestation of peace: it is a settlement between two communities. Therefore, the very idea that this is just a technical exercise does not understand the nature of that border.”