On Air Now
In Conversation With Steve Allen 6am - 7am
23 August 2019, 17:17
Watch this Englishman try to patronise a woman living on the Irish border by telling her there is no risk of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.
Valerie, who lives on the Irish border, told Shelagh Fogarty she is worried about violence increasing with a no-deal hard border after Brexit.
She said: "The border thing is a real example of a divided Ireland. It will give the IRA ammunition to say, look, we've got something to focus on here."
Simon, from England, disagreed with her and responded by saying: "Valerie, it was a UK-wide referendum and I'm not sure why you're getting concerned about the border or whose giving you those concerns because there's already a border for tax, VAT etc.
"There is a border, it's just not a hard border - and nobody is talking about a hard border or implementing one. People have been selling ghost train tickets on this issue.
"Let Boris Johnson and his government work with the EU and Northern Ireland to solve the Irish backstop issue so that we don't actually have to have one."
The Englishman even went on to say: "You might be interested in reading the prosperity report, backed by Nicky Morgan and Greg Hands, which goes into many many ways that will solve this issue."
Simon also said he doesn't know why Valerie was making the link between the Brexit vote and terrorists, asking: "Are you saying we should bow down to terrorism?"
Valerie reacted by saying: "I'm not saying that, I'm saying we have lived with no border really - easy travel between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland."
Simon interjected: "That's not going to change, Valerie."
Valerie said: "Sorry, it will."
Simon came back with: "No it won't change."
At this point Shelagh Fogarty intervened and said: "Simon, let Valerie speak. Go on Valerie."
Valerie said: "I don't know what your solution is. There has to be some kind of a boundary. It's pie in the sky to say there isn't going to be a border and there will be free travel because there won't."
Shelagh Fogarty intervened and said "I think what Valerie is alluding to, and other people have alluded to it as well, is that one of the great achievements of the Good Friday Agreement is that the issue of identity in the North and South of Ireland, but particularly in the North of Ireland is deeply political.
"The lifting of any need for a hard border in Northern Ireland allowed those who wished to be Irish to travel freely as Irish and not have to be engaged in the British state in any way.
"If you change the nature of that border, you change the nature of that process of identity, and there are risks in there for Northern Ireland for the very specific reasons that all of us know."
Watch the full exchange in the video at the top of the page.