Dorries: The Irish border issue “does not exist”

Nadine Dorries and Alastair Campbell debate the Irish border issue on Peston's new show (Image: ITV)

Nadine Dorries and Alastair Campbell debate the Irish border issue on Peston's new show (Image: ITV) - Credit: Archant

Alastair Campbell has hit out at Tory Brexiteer Nadine Dorries after she accused Remainers of trying to 'weaponise' the Irish border issue.

Dorries, who is a member of the Tory backbench European Research Group, claimed that the Irish border issue 'does not exist' and called it a 'red herring'.

She said the issue was being used to 'obfuscate' the Brexit negotiations.

She told ITV's Peston programme: 'The Irish border question has got to stop being put forward as a red herring.

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'The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) produced a paper this week which showed quite clearly that this is being put forward as a red herring, which is being weaponised and is being used to obfuscate and make the negotiations more difficult.'

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Alastair Campbell, who was also on the show, was quick to rebuke the Mid-Befordshire MP.

'The Irish border problem is real, and if there was a solution to it we would have found it by now,' he explained. 'It is mind-blowing that your wing of your party is so cavalier about the genuine impact on the peace process.'

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He added: 'If you want to wreck the peace process and wreck the UK that will be on your hands.'

Dorries persevered in trying to prove her point – she claimed that 'modern technology' can 'monitor and chart traffic and goods going across'.

'People talk about the Irish border rather than talking about a hard border, or the Irish 'backstop'. We don't need any of those.'

Campbell was once again astounded by the Brexiteer's claims. 'The technologies aren't available. It is mind-blowing, mind-blowing.'

Dorries also used the programme as a platform to call for Theresa May to resign.

She said: 'I think that if we don't, I say it in sorrow because I was delighted when Theresa May was prime minister and I have been saying for many, many months to people, 'trust her, she will deliver'.

'Sadly she has let me down and she's let other people down because she isn't delivering, she isn't delivering because she has handcuffed herself to this Chequers deal.'

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