Tuesday 20 March 2018

Anti-Brexit protesters stop the traffic

Border Communities Against Brexit organised the protest
Border Communities Against Brexit organised the protest
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

An anti-Brexit protest on the border near Dundalk yesterday saw traffic grind to a halt as a number of vans, trucks and tractors formed a "go-slow" convoy on the main motorway between Ireland and the North.

Mock customs officers from the UK and Ireland wearing traditional greatcoats waved down traffic in front of a stage customs hut. Horns blared, truck drivers in the queue pretended to pull their hair out and waved pieces of paper supposed to be travel documents. Lines of people waved placards proclaiming "Stop: Customs".

Declan Fearon of Border Communities Against Brexit, organisers of the demonstration, said: "The people here do not want to contemplate the reinstatement of spikes and roads being closed and of customs checkpoints - but it looks like that is where we are going."

He said protesters were trying to make their voices heard in Westminster and Dublin.

The group says a return to a customs border would be a "huge step backwards" for local communities.

They fear that a hard Brexit will affect ordinary communities in the North badly, adding that farm incomes will be hit particularly hard and jobs will be lost.

During the Troubles there were only 20 places where the Border could be crossed, but there are now thought to be as many as 250 - as the peace settlement brought the reopening of huge numbers of roads. Since the end of the conflict traffic has passed largely unimpeded between the northern neighbours.

Sunday Independent

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