Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Mass protest against no-deal Brexit hard border

“Our children don’t know where the border begins and ends, and that’s the way we want it to stay” – was the clear and concise message from the Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) protest at Carrickarnon on Saturday.

Hundreds from across the country turned out to register their opposition to the imposition of any type of hard border in the event of a no-deal Brexit when Britain leaves the EU in March.

Mock checkpoints were erected and armed ‘soldiers’ manned imitation watchtowers symbolising the potential consequences of a hard border, while temporarily erected concrete walls were demolished with sledgehammers to represent the defiance of protesters.  

Anti-Brexit slogans were scrawled on concrete walls as organisers sent out a clear message that a “hard physical border in Ireland” will never be accepted.

A spokesperson for BCAB outlined the impact on people’s lives and the economy should Britain crash out of the EU without a deal: “Be under no illusions, if we crash out with no deal, without the protection of the Backstop, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost right across this society, North and South. 

“Let us never stop reminding the British establishment, the Tory party and the DUP, we [in the North] voted Remain (56%).   Let us further remind them that the DUP does not speak for us, they represent less than 30% of the population, they are not our voice on Brexit.”

And quoting former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern ‘If you tried to put it there you wouldn’t have to wait for terrorism to take it down, people would just physically pull it down – the ordinary people’, the spokesperson added: “That’s is exactly what they did on Saturday, a nurse, a farmer a salesman – local people.

“The Backstop is an insurance policy so there will never be a hard physical border in Ireland again.”