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Stop and search zones planned for Northern Ireland border after Brexit

Stop and search zones are being planned for the area around the Irish border. (Brian Lawless/PA)
Stop and search zones are being planned for the area around the Irish border. (Brian Lawless/PA)

"Stop and Search zones" are being planned for any area within one mile of Northern Ireland's border after Brexit.

The measure is part of the government's 'Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill' which will introduce the areas as part of anti-terror checks around the border.

If the bill is passed police and border officials will be able to "“stop, search and detain" anyone suspected of "hostile activity" around the northern side of the border.

SDLP Brexit Spokesperson Claire Hanna said that proposals would be "grotesque assault on border life" and the Good Friday Agreement.

“The UK government appear to neither care nor understand the anxiety they are causing here. At this point in the Brexit negotiations there is very little we could put past this government who seem prepared to sign up to almost anything in the name of Brexit, and oblivious to the tension these proposals create. Despite two years of platitudes, the UK Government and their DUP sidekicks have taken absolutely no opportunities to provide meaningful reassurance on post-Brexit arrangements. To make these provisions at this time is unbelievably tone deaf," the South Belfast MLA said.

“It is an affront to the peace Agreement that Theresa May would allow any hardening of the border, let alone providing for ‘stop and search’ zones.

“As the months go by and the Government becomes increasingly closer to crashing out of the European Union, people here are again those most likely to be the casualties of their incompetence.

“The SDLP have been consistently clear that Northern Ireland must stay part of the Single Market and Customs Union in order to prevent any border either on this island or down the Irish Sea.”

SDLP MLA Claire Hanna
SDLP MLA Claire Hanna

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