Bridgend rally in support of the Protocol to take place on Saturday

The Border Communities Against Brexit group is organising a rally at the Bridgend border crossing tomorrow Saturday, November 20 at 3pm.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 3:32 pm
Dermot O’Hara, from Border Communities Against Brexit, at a rally at Bridgend last year.

The rally has been called, the group says, to highlight the positives of the Protocol arrangement and to demonstrate opposition to the potential triggering of Article 16.

Speaking prior to Saturday’s event, Dermot O’Hara, the local BCAB co-ordinator said: “We are a very interconnected island, with over 40 million vehicle movements across the border North-South and South-North annually.

“Just begin to imagine the societal and economic impact on everyone living on this Island if that border had to be managed to protect the Single Market.

“Those of us living in the border region remember the awful infrastructure from our past, that’s where that must remain, in our past, only in our memory.”

Mr. O’Hara insists that the Protocol ensures there is no hard border in Ireland, and ensures there are no barriers for cross border workers.

It also, he states, creates a positive environment for joint partnerships such as the NW Gateway Triangle of Derry, Strabane and Letterkenny and creates a competitive economic environment in Derry with access to both the UK and EU markets.

He argues that since the Brexit referendum in 2016 the issue of the border has been the central concern of the European negotiators and that the border communities played a pivotal role in ensuring it remained the pivotal issue until it was adequately solved. 

If the Protocol is changed, by altering it whether by primary legislation or by some other legal method, the entire Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) Agreement would be rendered null and void, he argues.

Mr. O’Hara continued: “We as a society have moved on so much since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the trick of the Protocol was to ensure that our land border does not need to be managed, that the huge volume of traffic that moves across it and around our island can do so without checks, so life can be as normal as possible.

“The majority of people and political parties in Northern Ireland support the Protocol, and more broadly have seen economic growth, with some businesses now moving from South to North to benefit from the unfettered access to the UK market and that of the EU.

“Today’s society needs strong economic growth, needs jobs but especially the conditions to create and maintain those jobs, the Protocol does this.”