Protestors out in force at border anti-Brexit rally

April 1, 2019

Hundreds of people attended an anti-Brexit public protest at Carrickarnon on Saturday to show their opposition at the British government’s handling of the process that has now descended into chaos, prompting concern and uncertainty, particularly for those living and working in border areas.

The rally was organized by the Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) who reiterated the pledge that people in the North will continue to oppose any ‘hard border’ and insisted there must be no dilution of the Backstop agreement as negotiations on how Britain plans to leave the EU continue this week at Westminster.

A BCAB spokesperson said: “The staggering mess that hard Brexit supporting politicians have managed to deliver in the past week with the failure of the Tory Government supported by the DUP, means we have more uncertainty.  Europe looks on bewildered at the lack of cross party consensus and the continual political infighting with horror.

“We in border communities have a clear message – we voted Remain and we support the Withdrawal Agreement.  It is far from perfect, it is not close to being as good a deal as remaining in the EU, but it does give us all certainty for the future.

“Our [rally] speakers from across civic society all had the same message – we will not accept a hard Border, we demand that our rights be respected, and most importantly the Irish government cannot leave the people in border communities and in the North behind.

“There must not be, in the week ahead, any dilution whatsoever of the agreed Backstop, we will not accept that,” the group insisted.

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy commended BCAB for organising the series of rallies against Brexit held across Ireland on Saturday and revealed he will travel to Brussels today (Monday) where he will join other European leaders in a meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

A mock customs checkpoint was set up as part of the Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) anti-Brexit protest held at Carrickarnon on Saturday (Photo credit: Newray Pics).

Speaking from the event at Carrickarnon, Mr Murphy said: “As a result of the British political circus at Westminster last Friday, we are now moving closer to a no deal crash out Brexit.  The behaviour of the DUP has been reckless and outrageous – they are fixated with playing games at Westminster at the cost of farmers, the economy and ignoring the democratic wishes of the people of the north who voted to remain. 

“Sinn Féin, led by Martina Anderson MLA, has been leading a diplomatic offensive in the EU against Brexit for over two years — as a result of Sinn Féin’s influence, people now understand what the Good Friday Agreement and all of its parts means, and the disastrous impact that any hardening of the border would have.  People turned out at this weekend’s rallies across Ireland to express concerns at how the British government have undermined businesses, the economy, the community and voluntary sector, students and many others.

“The message from Carrickcarnon on Saturday was clear; the backstop, as included in the Withdrawal Agreement, remains the bottom line as the bare minimum protections for Ireland.  The Sinn Féin leadership will travel to Brussels on Monday to meet with Michel Barnier and other European leaders to ensure they continue to act in the interests of Ireland in the result of any crash-out Brexit,” he added.

© 30 Mar 2019 Northern Ireland — Border Communities Against Brexit. Hundreds gathered on Saturday afternoon at Carrickcarnon close to the Old Dublin Road to protest against BREXIT picture