Brexit protest in Northern Ireland

On the 18th of February 2017 , activists from the groupBorder Communities Against Brexit” affected the traffic between Ireland and Northern Ireland by protesting against potential border legislation. To make their point, the protesters created retro customs post border. They wanted to show how historical the idea of borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland was but also how difficult the circulation would be after a return of border control.

Ireland and the United Kingdom signed a called “Common Travel Area” in 1923 which allowed free travel. This contract was break during the Troubles and there were only 20 check points by which people could travel between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Reopening the borders has been a very important part of the process of peace between the two countries.

Despite the declarations of Theresa May in January assuring the people that there would be no “hard border” between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the population are concerned. Brexit is not only about leaving the European Union, it was also about rejecting free borders.

It seems like keeping the same politics would raise some objection from the supporters of Brexit denying their victory would be anti democratic. Although, in the case of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the situation might be different. Indeed, 55,8% of the people of Northern wanted to remain inside the EU which created a new division between this region and England. Northern Ireland’s situation has been a difficult one since the 20’s and any change could greatly affect the fragile peace created during the Good Friday Agreement.

For the sake of democracy, Brexit should be applied but for the sake of peace and friendship between peoples, the legislation concerning Ireland and Northern Ireland should remain the same. Creating any new division would be a deadly choice.

– Anna

Images labelled for reuse and free from rights.

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