Mock bor­der posts erected on North­ern Ir­ish bor­der

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Anti-Brexit cam­paign­ers erected six mock cus­toms check­points along the North­ern Ire­land and Ir­ish Re­pub­lic bor­der yes­ter­day, in a protest over the pos­si­ble im­pact to peace, jobs and the free move­ment of work­ers. North­ern Ire­land, a Bri­tish prov­ince, will be the only land frontier be­tween the United King­dom and the Euro­pean Union once Bri­tain leaves and some fear that will mean a re­turn to checks at the bor­der where about 30,000 peo­ple cross each day for work.

The frontier was marked by mil­i­tary check­points un­til a 1998 peace deal ended three decades of vi­o­lence be­tween Catholic na­tion­al­ists seek­ing a united Ire­land and Protes­tant union­ists who wanted to keep North­ern Ire­land Bri­tish. Over 3,600 died in that time. “We want to stop the reim­po­si­tion of those bor­der posts,” said Bor­der Com­mu­ni­ties Against Brexit spokesman De­clan Fearon, lead­ing a protest in the town of Carrickcarnon be­tween the North­ern Ir­ish county of Ar­magh and south­ern county of Louth. “In many cases they di­vided peo­ples’ farms, they di­vided com­mu­ni­ties and parishes. Young peo­ple nowa­days have never known of that,” said Fearon, who runs a kitchen man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany three kilo­me­tres (1.86 miles) north of the bor­der.

In Carrickcarnon, some lo­cals dressed up as cus­toms of­fi­cers and caused tail­backs at a tem­po­rary road bar­rier where they called mo­torists into a mock cus­toms booth and searched ve­hi­cles be­side fake Bri­tish cus­toms signs that de­manded they stop. Signs telling mo­torists they were en­ter­ing the Euro­pean Union free travel zone were erected on the other side of the bor­der.

Hun­dreds protested from Carrickcarnon, which is less than an hour’s drive from Dublin air­port, to the bor­der be­tween the coun­ties of Done­gal and Derry, 160 km north-west. Over­all, 52 per­cent of vot­ers in the United King­dom voted in favour of leav­ing the EU in June’s ref­er­en­dum, but a ma­jor­ity - 56 per­cent - of those vot­ing in North­ern Ire­land sup­ported re­main­ing in the bloc. “In (the North­ern Ir­ish con­stituency) Foyle where I am 82 per­cent of peo­ple voted to re­main,” said Der­mot O’Hara, a charity worker protest­ing at the Done­gal/Derry bor­der. “The demo­cratic man­date of the re­main camp (in North­ern Ire­land) should be re­spected.” —Reuters

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