Protest held in London against Northern Ireland Protocol
Protesters took to London’s streets Sunday against the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Brexit agreement and keeps Northern Ireland in the Customs Union with the EU, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
People gathered in Trafalgar Square and marched to the Prime Ministry and Parliament, demanding the cancellation of the protocol, which they argued threatened the union of the UK.
They carried banners with various slogans, including "Stop the Northern Ireland Protocol,” “United we stand, divided we fall” and “One crown, one nation, one United Kingdom."
After laying a wreath at the World War I Memorial, they handed a letter to the Prime Minister's Office with their demands.
One of the demonstrators told Anadolu Agency that they wanted to show their support for maintaining the union of the UK with the protest, stressing that the UK is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The demonstrator noted that all four are under the jurisdiction of the UK, adding Northern Ireland deserves the same treatment, the same rights and the same international treaties and Europe should listen to this and act accordingly.
Another argued that the protocol has a negative impact on Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Protocol necessitates border checks on any animal and plant-based products including frozen meat and processed meat products before their transport to Northern Ireland, which is aligned with EU rules and regulations.
The protocol creates a de facto trade border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
The UK left the bloc on Jan. 31, 2020 as a result of a 2016 referendum that ended the country’s more than 40-year-long membership in the European club.
The agreement signed by the sides included the Northern Ireland Protocol, which practically avoided a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Northern Ireland saw sporadic street protests earlier this year by loyalist groups who reject the protocol and any checks on goods coming from the other parts of the UK.
Dozens of police officers were injured and a public bus and cars were burnt during the rallies.
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Jeffrey Donaldson last month outlined his willingness to bring down Stormont (the Northern Ireland Assembly) if the protocol is not changed substantially.