Closest sitting MP to the Irish border Gregory Campbell says hard frontier is not workable

DUP MP Gregory Campbell
DUP MP Gregory Campbell

DUP MP Gregory Campbell, speaking as the sitting MP who lives closest to the Irish frontier, has claimed that a hard border would be “utterly impossible to police”.

The East Derry representative, who resides in the Waterside, said people living along the border would simply ignore any attempted imposition of an obstructive boundary.

“I live closer to the Northern Ireland border than anyone else in this chamber,” said Mr. Campbell on Wednesday.

He asked Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, if he agreed a hard border was unworkable.

“On this bogus issue of a hard border, do the Minister and all his Government colleagues, the Irish Government and the EU negotiators understand that any talk about a hard border, even in principle, is irrelevant because it would be totally and utterly impossible to police 310 crossing points? Even if that was tried, everyone locally would know how to circumvent them,” he said.

Mr. Lidington replied: “I am particularly conscious that in Co. Londonderry people commute to and from work, businesses supply customers and people travel to and from the doctors across the international jurisdictional border. For people to be able to go about their everyday lives, it is important that we reach the kind of agreement to which our Government and the Irish Government are committed.”

Abstentionist Foyle MP Elisha McCallion lives closer to the border but does not take her seat at Westminster.