'You ludicrous haunted pencil': Jacob Rees-Mogg attacked for suggesting post-Brexit Irish border should be 'like the Troubles'
'It’s hard to believe that a senior politician is so ill informed about Ireland and the politics of the Brexit Irish border issue that he could make comments like these'
Conservative MP and Brexit enthusiast Jacob Rees-Mogg has come under fire following remarks in which he proposed a system in which the Irish border be inspected as they were during the Troubles.
"Ireland would not be a free-for-all, it would be perfectly possible to continue with historic arrangements to ensure that there wasn't a great loophole in the way people could get into the UK, to leave us in just as a bad a position as we are currently in," Rees-Mogg began.
Asked to elaborate on a so-called 'blue tunnel,' Rees-Mogg pointed to a difficult time in history in a bid to justify his proposal.
"There would be our ability, as we had during the Troubles, to have people inspected. It's not a border that everyone has to go through every day, but of course for security reasons during the Troubles we kept a very close eye on the border to try and stop gun-running and things like that.
"It's not inconsistent to have a border that people can pass through but that you are keeping an eye on," added Rees-Mogg.
Jacob Rees-Mogg suggests that after Brexit, people crossing the Irish border should be subject to 'inspections, just like during The Troubles'. pic.twitter.com/pEnBNBBasU
— Stephen Ruth (@stephen_rth) August 24, 2018
His comments were quickly condemned, not least by Irish Tánaiste Simon Coveney who blasted Rees-Mogg's proposal on Twitter on Saturday evening.
"It’s hard to believe that a senior politician is so ill informed about Ireland and the politics of the Brexit Irish border issue that he could make comments like these," said Coveney.
"We have left 'the troubles' behind us, through the sincere efforts of many, and we intend on keeping it that way."
It’s hard to believe that a senior politician is so ill informed about Ireland + the politics of the #Brexit Irish border issue that he could make comments like these. We have left “the troubles” behind us, through the sincere efforts of many, + we intend on keeping it that way. https://t.co/yuZYDFiWOq
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) August 25, 2018
Any idea why they were called ‘The Troubles’ and not ‘The Smooth Sailings’, you ludicrous haunted pencil? https://t.co/V9VtoEBv5R
— Damien Owens (@OwensDamien) August 25, 2018
As negotiations continue between the United Kingdom and the European Union, with the UK set to leave in March of 2019 if a deal is not struck by October or November.