Brexit: Group calls for mass demonstrations against return of hard border

A group of residents have called for mass demonstrations along the Irish border the day after Brexit.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 12:31 pm
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 1:35 pm

Border Communities Against Brexit, supported by pro-Remain political parties, unveiled a new billboard at Stormont announcing the planned day of protest with just 25 days to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union.

Politicians from Northern Ireland’s main pro-Remain parties also turned out for the event, including representatives from Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Alliance Party.

Border Communities Against Brexit group spokesman Declan Fearon announced several locations for the border demonstrations on March 30, including at border crossing points in Co Down, Co Fermanagh, Co Tyrone and in Londonderry.

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Border Communities Against Brexit launch a new billboard at Stormont and announce a day of protest on March 30 against a hard border. Pic by Rebecca Black/PA Wire

He said their purpose in coming together is to press to ensure there is no return to a hard border in Ireland.

“From 2016, when a clear majority in the north (of Ireland) voted to remain within the European Union, border communities have lobbied extensively in Dublin, London and Brussels and indeed here at home,” he said.

“We have organised large-scale protests on the border itself which has helped give a voice to local people who are very frustrated and feel disenfranchised by the Brexit process.

“March 29 is the date by which the Tory Government is due to take Britain and indeed ourselves here in the north out of the European Union.

“While there has been much talk about delays and extensions of the withdrawal date, the political machinations at Westminster have completely ignored the views, needs, fears and desires of the people here in Ireland, in particular those living in the border region who will be so adversely affected by Brexit.

“Brexit and a hard border have the potential to cause devastation to our economy, our industries, jobs and especially to the farming sector, to the free movement of people crossing the border every day in our communities to work, study or to trade.

“Border Communities Against Brexit remain focused on ensuring that Irish voices from the border area continue to be heard in the crucial days and weeks ahead.

“To that end we have organised a significant people’s demonstration against Brexit at various points along the border for Saturday March 30.

“These mobilisations will take place at the Old Dublin Road in Kilcarn, on the old Newry to Dundalk road, at Belcoo/Blacklion, Moybridge and Aughnacloy, Lifford and Strabane and Coshquin in Derry.

“We are asking everyone living along the border on either side to make an effort to attend your nearest demonstration. We are calling all trade unions, all representative groups, civic leaders and citizens to join with us and demonstrate our anger at being taken out of the European Union.”