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Theresa Villiers challenged on Stranraer border controls if UK leaves EU

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers is campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union. Picture by Ann McManus

SECRETARY of State Theresa Villiers has admitted there will be risks involved with potential border checkpoints between Northern Ireland and Scotland if the UK leaves the European Union.

The Tory MP, who wants the UK to leave the EU, said she recognised it would be "very controversial" to introduce border controls for ferry passengers at Stranraer.

But she said she believed there would be "ways in which we would manage the risks around the common travel area".

The Brexit-supporting secretary of state is campaigning for the UK to leave the EU ahead of the referendum.

Ms Villiers said she recognised there were concerns about post-Brexit border controls between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

But she said she believed "there are ways in which we would manage the risks around the common travel area".

"We've managed to do that for a hundred years or so, we did it before EU membership she told the News Letter.

"I am absolutely convinced that we would find ways to manage these risks after a UK exit if that happened."

Asked if it was inconceivable that there would be a passport control between Northern Ireland and Scotland, Ms Villiers said: "Well, I can see that that would be very controversial.

"There are a range of ways that we could manage and continue with the common travel area which I'm sure wouldn't necessitate the sort of checks that you're talking about."

Ms Villiers has previously dismissed suggestions that border controls would be introduced in Ireland if the Republic was in the EU and Northern Ireland outside.

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