If Trump were involved with Brexit, would he insist on a hard infrastructure (a wall perhaps) on the Irish border? One senses that in his way of thinking it would be the only way of keeping out illegal immigrants.

Paradoxically it is the hard right populists and Brexiteers who are moving heaven and earth trying to persuade the Government and the electorate that in the event of "no deal", no border of any kind would be required.

Would the Owen Patersons and Ian Duncan Smiths of this world care to speak up and confirm this?

Edit (17.51hrs GMT 4 Jan 2019).

Almost all responders and commenters so far have missed the point to the question. It concerns the putative deal which Theresa May is to do with the EU concerning the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Almost everyone in the UK agrees that it is undesirable for there to be a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the ROI. (This has to do with the history of "the troubles") However the "deal" would provide that in the event that the UK and the EU had not reached agreement on a trade deal by 31 Dec 2020, that the UK mainland would remain in the Customs Union, and Northern Ireland (only) in the Single Market. Failing agreement on that there would have to be a "hard border" in Ireland to administer customs duties, and migration.

Equally if the UK crashes out in March with "no deal", there will be no transition period and this will immediately give rise to the need for a hard border.

Now, the Brexiteer wing of the Tory party argue that a hard border would be unnecessary - that all movements could be tracked electronically. So what I am asking is why they don't tell Trump that he doesn't need a wall. Surely all these migrants can be tracked "electronically", can't they?

closed as off-topic by Steve Melnikoff, Drunk Cynic, Martin Schröder, richardb, user4012 Jan 4 at 13:13

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  • 3
    Are you aware of the Troubles and The Good Friday Agreement? There is a lot of history you seem to skip over. Ireland is considered part of the UK by some hardliners, keeping them out is the last thing you would want. – Polygnome Jan 4 at 10:10
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    @Polygnome I'm not aware of anyone prominent who believes that the Republic of Ireland is still part of the UK. – Paul Johnson Jan 4 at 12:23
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    @PaulJohnson none that believe that it is, but some that believe it should be – Caleth Jan 4 at 12:53
  • If I understand the conflict, I think there's a bigger chance that Ireland would build a wall if they could since they are the one that want to be independant. – the_lotus Jan 4 at 13:12
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    @WS2 it sounds less scary though. Have you ever heard Americans about migrants going to Canada and then cross the border into the US? Sure, the end result is the same, but it seems less scary. People are generally terrified when surrounded by a large fire, but it's actually the smoke that will kill you first. My point is, people aren't as rational as we'd like to think. – JJJ Jan 4 at 21:50

Populists assign blame for all your problems to some group, typically one without a voice to counter their claims. In the US that is immigrants, particularly from South America. In the UK it's the EU, specifically the institution, and migrants from eastern Europe.

So in the UK there is no need for a wall to keep Irish people out. In fact, since the Irish border issue jeopardises the whole thing, it's vitally important that it is resolved, and since no-one wants a hard border and the existence of one would likely harm the UK and may even lead to a break up of the union (with Northern Ireland leaving), they do not desire a wall.

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    Populists assign blame for all your problems to some group, typically one without a voice to counter their claims. => This explains a whole lot of seemingly incoherent behavior on the part of populist movements, or leaders. – Matthieu M. Jan 4 at 12:39
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    I've downvoted this answer for its mischaracterization of populism in the United States. – Drunk Cynic Jan 4 at 12:51
  • See edit to question. – WS2 Jan 4 at 17:54

Neither side want a border there at all. They just disagree as to how many countries should exist on the British Isles. If you asked someone from the UK if they need a wall to keep people out, they might laugh, and say "We already have a moat"

The extreme of one side want an independant Ireland to be the whole of one island, and don't care about the other islands.

The extreme of the other side want everything to be one country. In living memory it was.

Note that "Trump's acolytes in the UK" is a misnomer. There are UK politicians who have similar political opinions to US politicians, but "acolyte" implies working for an overlord.

I doubt Trump would advocate for spending piles of money on something no-one wants. From appearences, he is not personally against migration, legal or otherwise, but recognises that it can be politically useful to describe Mexico -> USA immigration as "a problem that needs a big solution".

Now he might say "Oh we will soon have some wall building experience, we can help you with this", but the audience for that statement is US people who want the Mexico wall, and presumably don't care about the exact situation being described. Saying things like that doesn't mean he thinks building a wall in Ireland is a good idea.

What "hard border" means in this context is any checking of traffic wishing to travel across the border. The USA / Canada border would be a "hard" border in this sense. The objective is not to stop people crossing, but to enforce the differences in rules for goods.

An analogy would be that Texas amicably splits from the Union, but desires to maintain it's current interstate commerce. The remaining states point out that it might have different regulations, e.g. for food safety, so goods crossing the (previously state line) border have to be checked.

  • 2
    This is more a defence of Trump than an answer to the actual question. – user Jan 4 at 11:33
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    @user, the OP asks "if Trump were involved" and that means trying to understand his thought process is part of the answer. That will become either a defense or bashing, depending on what one thinks about Trump. – o.m. Jan 4 at 11:48
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    @user I'm only saying that Trump is acting in his own interests. Is that defending him? In my opinion, the worst thing about Trump is that he isn't crazy – Caleth Jan 4 at 11:49
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    @user I read the answer as "he shut down the government and hurt the American people, not in order to achieve anything meaningful, but as a campaign ad", which isn't a particularly compelling defense for Trump. – Peter Jan 4 at 12:15
  • See edit to question. – WS2 Jan 4 at 17:55

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