Border protests take place over threat to invoke article 16

Hundreds of people took part in border protests today calling on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to drop the threat to invoke Article 16.

The five protests took place as talks continue in Brussels between the EU and the UK government to reach an agreement on how the Northern Ireland Protocol will work.

The border protest at Carrickcarnon, Co Louth and Flurry Bridge, Co Armagh, drew up to 200 people and featured a recreation of old customs huts which are feared returning with a hard border.

Up to 200 people attended the protest in Carrickcarnon in County Louth

John Doherty of Re-Gen Waste Management said his Newry-based company employed 250 people but would not be able to operate in the South if there were customs checks.

Local Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard said the protests should call on the UK government to drop its threat to invoke Article 16 and “let common sense prevail”.

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher said the EU had shown flexibility, but said the UK government was “uncompromising” and “dogmatic”.

The protests were organized by Border Communities Against Brexit, whose President Damian McGenity said the Northern Ireland Protocol brings economic benefits to the two northern communities.

Mr. McGenity pointed out that North / South trade increased by 61% while South / North trade increased by 47%.

And that Coca Cola announced an investment of 200 million euros in a packaging plant in Belfast while the pharmaceutical company Almac had announced 1,000 jobs in Northern Ireland.

The other protests took place at the border posts of Blacklion / Belcoo, Moybridge / Aughnacloy, LIfford Bridge and Bridgend / Derry.

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