A Brexiteer has provoked laughter after he claimed that the Irish border problem can be solved by using satellites and drones instead.
Tom Harwood from Guido Fawkes was in a debate on talkRADIO with Remain champion Femi Oluwole when he made the bizarre suggestion.
Discussing the backstop, Oluwole said: “As a matter of principle, the backstop is there if we leave the EU, we cannot decide one day then decide screw this we’re going to walk away and going to trash the Good Friday Agreement. That is the point of the backstop.
“Now if we were able to negiotiate a proper trade deal then we wouldn’t need the backstop and the backstop would never come into effect.
“The fact we are pushing to remove the backstop sends a strong message to the EU that we plan to walkaway from our responsibiltiies under the Good Friday Agreement.”
Harwood, however, used comments from the Irish government in which they said they would try to find ways for their people to perform checks “away from the border”.
He insisted: “All it takes is political will to fix it.”
Asked what he meant by checks away from the border, he said: “At the point of sale that’s when checks happen.”
Oluwole, however, failed to see how that solution resolves the issue. He asked: “What stops smuggling?”
A perplexed Harwood shrugged: “You track vehicles.”
“You track vehicles? So what stops somebody with a lorry with products that won’t be legal in the EU simply driving into the Republic of Ireland? Tracking vehicles means you have to have something on the vehicle to track it. If you’re a smuggler you’re not going to be part of that system. I’m going to put a chip in my vehicle to make sure the police track my illegal activity.”
But Harwood protested: “That’s a 1960s view of how you track things. Most things are tracked aerially.”
As the presenter tried to intervene, Oluwole continued to question the Brexiteer. “So you want there to be drones in the air?”
“Or satellites,” responded Harwood. “I mean we can track fish paths across the pacific ocean, but you’re saying we can’t track a few roads.”
“This is riduculous!” responded the Remainer.
“I can’t believe you’re laughing at Simon Coveney, Leo Varadkar, and the Irish government, and what they were sayign yesterday. This is extradorinary, this is zealatry.”
But Oluwole said “as a long term solution this will not cut it.”