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No return for Irish border, urges Joanna Lumley


Joanna Lumley at the Millennium Forum in Londonderry

Joanna Lumley at the Millennium Forum in Londonderry

Joanna Lumley at the Millennium Forum in Londonderry

Joanna Lumley has said the Irish border should not be allowed to return.

The British Absolutely Fabulous actress said frontiers are invented and called on people to oppose the reinstatement of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

After Brexit in March 2019 the UK's only land border with an EU state will be on the island.

Lumley said: "I don't think we, and that means all of us here, should allow that border to be returned, just simply don't allow it.

"Say no, we will do something else but that border will not return."

The actress was visiting Londonderry, one of the border cities that will be worst hit if hard frontier controls are reintroduced on porous and invisible crossing points.

Lumley was born during the dying days of the Raj and India was her family's home for several generations.

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She recently produced a new travelogue on India, the latest in a series of televised global wanderings, and said she was getting slightly addicted to travel.

The Irish border is high on the EU's list of priorities for Brexit talks, with the British Government proposing that the vast majority of small businesses should be able to trade unimpeded.

The UK has pledged to seek frictionless arrangements as part of the EU divorce settlement.

Lumley said: "People say, 'oh, but it is Brexit and stuff' - the European Union was set up by men and people who have made the rules, it can be picked apart by people who make the rules.

"It does not exist, the border does not exist, borders actually don't exist in the world.

"We have invented them, we have named these people this name and those people that name, got a piece of paper to go between, 'oh, your government does not like this'."

She said a speaker from Ethiopia had been denied access to speak at the Londonderry conference.

She added: "What is happening to us? This is crazy, so the first thing we say is that there will be no further border, we go on, we deal with whatever it is, the border will not come back."

Lumley was in the city as part of 20th anniversary celebrations for charity Children in Crossfire, which helps impoverished young people in the developing world.

The actress praised the organisation's work, adding: "We can pick up arms and fight or we can put them down and dance."

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