These Plans For A High-Tech UK Border Wall Might Even Be Dumber Than Trump's

Zeppelins are part of a proposed solution to the UK-Ireland border problem after Brexit. Aktuelle-Bilder-Centrale, Georg Pahl/Wikimedia Commons.

James Felton 13 Sep 2017, 17:43

Trump's plan for a border wall has a lot of problems. It will cost a lot and be really, really bad for a lot of endangered species. In terms of level of derp, it takes a beating.

Well, now the UK have given it a good old try. Plans formulated by a think tank for a high-tech border between the UK and Ireland have been met with derision, because essentially the plan is to have drones and airships patrol the border like we're living in a steampunk dystopian future.

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After Brexit, there could be a problem with the border between the UK and Ireland. Currently, people are free to move between Northern Ireland and Ireland as both are part of the EU, but that could change after the UK leaves.

The UK government are trying to avoid a hard border with Ireland, but this is dependent on negotiations with the EU.

A proposed solution from the Legatum Institute is to deploy drones, airships, and hot air balloons to patrol the border at all times. They say that "persistent surveillance of the border region" could be achieved through a combination of these unmanned arial vehicles and aerostats (airships or hot air balloons). 

The think tank propose that cameras mounted on these air-vehicles could monitor the entire border, along with ground radar systems. A much higher tech solution than "a big wall".

However, the suggestion hasn't gone down well so far with British people online, with many mocking it for how bizarre the idea is.

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Brexit secratary David Davis, in charge of Brexit negotiations on behalf of the UK, has insisted previously that a "non-visible" border could be maintained with Ireland after Brexit through technology and a trade deal.

The Legatum Institute raised the possibility of patrolling the skies in a paper titled "Mutual Interest: How the UK and EU can resolve the Irish border issue after Brexit". In the paper, they also suggest ground-based solutions, such as unattended ground sensors, cameras, and ground-wave radar. The think tank is considered influential with some government ministers, according to the BBC.

The Legatum Institute admitted that the air-based solutions were "subject to a number of limitations, not least weather and cost."

It remains to be seen whether the UK government will adopt these proposals, but many may be wondering whether an idea that requires zeppelins to patrol the skies is really an idea worth pursuing.

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