Campaigners with a simple message “we will never, ever accept a Hard Border on this Island never, ever again’
Hundreds of campaigners gathered at Carrickarnon last weekend to make their voices heard with a simple message “we will never, ever accept a Hard Border on this Island never, ever again.’
The demonstrations had been organised by local group Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) and took place at five locations across the border.
Chairman, Damien McGennity said: “We are utterly fed up for months listening to daily negativity about the Protocol. We are here today to stand up for the Protocol, to say to the British government implement what you have agreed.”
“To the EU, we say yes, be flexible, come up with workable solutions, and if the UK gov triggers Article 16, then you must stand together, solidly, shoulder to shoulder with Ireland, and especially with those of us living in Border Communities.”
“The UK must fully understand that triggering Art 16 is a huge act of bad faith, and a total disregard for the Good Friday Agreement. We have a guarantee; a guarantee of no Hard Border, this is the guarantee of the Protocol, which we in BCAB spent almost five years campaigning for, we all gathered here on this spot 5 years ago in October 2016.”
He added: “Nothing less than a guarantee of No hard border will ever be acceptable to us.”
He said that businesses had reaped the benefits, adding “We have seen a 61% increase in trade north to south, and a 47% increase in trade south to north. Business are moving from south to north because of the Protocol, business are expanding such as Almac with over 1,000 jobs, while Coca Cola’s packaging partner just announced a £200 new million factory in Belfast.
Declan Fearon from BCAB added; “Boris Johnson’s Government has beenpursuing a reckless course in negotiations with the EU around the Protocol, including threats to trigger Article 16.
“Recent British Government statements and actions are posing a very direct threat to the Peace Process, the all-island economy and raising once again the horrific prospect of a return to a hard border in Ireland.
We are calling on Boris Johnson to Back off, and to Protect and implement the Protocol.
“Communities, businesses, workers, farmers and students along the border want the Protocol to be implemented in order to protect jobs, livelihoods and community life on this island.
“The protocol has mitigated the worst effects of Brexit for communities such as ours.
“The majority of people and political parties in the North opposed Brexit and support the Protocol as the key mechanism to prevent a Hard Border and protect the all-island economy and Good Friday Agreement.