International interest in Larne views on protocol controversy

The implications of the Northern Ireland Protocol post-Brexit have caught the attention of members of the international media who have been speaking to Mid and East Antrim representatives.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:51 pm

French television company ARTE TV and American radio station World have been in Larne recently talking to elected representatives.

In an online piece which translates as “Northern Ireland: Checks at sea fuelling tensions”, Coast Road DUP Councillor Andrew Clarke told the French broadcaster of his concerns over “some of the problems the NI protocol is causing for businesses and the impact that could have on jobs and prices for consumers”.

“We also touched on the political instability it is causing, and the lack of democratic accountability within the Protocol,” he said in a social media post.

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Graffiti.

Larne Lough Alliance Councillor Danny Donnelly commented online that he had been sharing his opinions as “an Alliance Party of Northern Ireland councillor in Mid and East Antrim about Brexit, the NI Protocol and the recent issues at Larne Port”  with World.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council took the decision to withdraw 12 environmental health officers from duties at the Port of Larne on February 1 due to concerns over threats to their safety which is now the subject of a DAERA hearing.

It followed an upsurge in what the council called “sinister and menacing behaviour” including the appearance of graffiti in the local area referencing increasing tensions around the Northern Ireland protocol and describing port staff as targets.

Tensions have been rising post-Brexit with graffiti opposing the Northern Ireland Protocol first appearing on a gable wall at Redlands Road opposite Larne Harbour saying ‘All border post staff are targets’.

It is understood that a protest took place in the harbour area of Larne on Thursday evening.

Described as a “Larne NI Protocol Protest” on social media , the post says that it will “show the breadth of support for ending the Northern Ireland Protocol which undermines the integrity of the United Kingdom”.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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Click here to read: Mid and East Antrim Council ‘affirming opposition to NI Protocol’

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