Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.53 17 Jun 2021


Share this article


There’s a warning that Northern Irish unionists will take their protests to Dublin if there aren’t major changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The unionist and loyalist community in the North is continuing to object to the post-Brexit arrangements around trade between the UK and Northern Ireland.

New DUP leader Edwin Poots wants the Protocol removed, saying it has put “absurd barriers placed on trade with our biggest market”.

Advertisement

Hundreds of loyalists have taken place in anti-protocol protests in the North, including a large demonstration in Portadown earlier this month.

On The Pat Kenny Show, unionist activist Jame Bryson - author of Brexit Betrayed and editor of Unionist Voice online newsletter - said he expects similar scenes in the Republic if the Protocol stays in place.

Unionists warn that protests will move to Dublin if NI Protocol remains in place

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

He said: “Save for there being a quite remarkable turnaround in terms of the Northern Ireland protocol in the coming weeks… I would imagine most definitely those protests will be taken south of the border, certainly following the 12th of July.

“Minds are turning to Dublin with the unionist and loyalist community at the conduct during the negotiations of Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney - especially the actions of Mr Varadkar when he went to the EU and took with him almost as an exhibit the prospect of IRA bombs.

“I do think it is fair to say… that the potential that violence would be visited by others… was used by the Irish Government [as leverage in] negotiations.”

Mr Bryson said “you could pave the Irish Sea border in gold” and it wouldn’t make a “blind bit of difference” to himself or other unionists.

He said those who identify as unionists believe the Protocol is a “fundamental breach of the constitutional agreement of Northern Ireland”.

He argued: “What it essentially sets out is almost a hybrid British-Irish or British-EU status for Northern Ireland.

“Those of us who are constitutionally British and part of the Union are entirely opposed to that, because it does feel it orientates us into an economic united Ireland - entirely against our will.

“There’s not a solitary unionist elected representative at any level of politics… who consents to the imposition of this arrangement.”

'We don't trust Boris Johnson'

The EU has insisted the UK must implement the Protocol, and so far there’s been little progress in talks around post-Brexit issues.

Boris Johnson, meanwhile, has said the British government will do “whatever it takes” to ensure uninterrupted trade between the North and Britain if there’s no progress in EU-UK talks on the protocol.

Mr Bryson said: “We don’t trust Boris Johnson - you’d be a fool to trust Boris Johnson. But Boris Johnson is so unpredictable that if ever there was a British Prime Minister who’d wake up one morning and decide to tear up an international treaty… it’s Boris Johnson.

“People including the Irish Government are trusting Boris Johnson that he won’t tear up this international treaty - I’m not convinced that he won’t, and I think you’re going to see increased instability in Northern Ireland until that happens.”

He added that there’s no regret about unionists backing Brexit and that the only regret is how “the British government has betrayed the unionist people in Northern Ireland.”

Main image: Loyalists take part in an anti-Northern Ireland Protocol rally in Portadown, Co Armagh. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Share this article


Read more about

Brexit Jamie Bryson Northern Ireland

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Newstalk Breakfast

Newstalk Breakfast

07:00-09:00

Share

Up next

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

07:00-08:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

08:00-09:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on