UKIP: Brexit would see army patrols on Ireland border

by Jack Schickler | 09.05.2016

Regular readers will know that InFacts does not always agree with UKIP, or with the Daily Express. But David McNarry, the head of UKIP Northern Ireland, has just said something that is at least half right. Contemplating what Brexit would mean for the border between northern and southern Ireland, McNarry predicted militarisation. “I support patrols, active patrols. We need to have the Army asserting our sovereignty”, he told the Daily Express. “If you leave [the border] then it’s wide open for migration, for the clever traffickers, for the criminals.”

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There is a powerful logic in McNarry’s position. If Britain leaves the EU and stops being open to all EU citizens, it will have to guard the Irish border – otherwise it will become the route for EU citizens to enter the UK illegally. Whether the need to guard the border is a good thing is of course a different matter. Ireland’s internal border has enjoyed passport-free travel for nearly a century. As InFacts has previously argued, Brexit could certainly threaten the precarious balance in Northern Ireland.

Edited by Sebastian Mallaby