Sunday Life

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Loyalists protest at Belfast livestock checkpoint

Anti-Irish Sea border campaigners have held a protest against in the Belfast docks for the second week in a row.

The small demonstration on Saturday afternoon was outside a Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs livestock checkpoint on Duncrue Street.

It was lead by ex-TUV and independent unionist councillor Jolene Bunting, who gathered with around half a dozen supporters at the gates of the inspection yard.

Last week Ms Bunting and others mounted a similar protest at the gates of the Port of Belfast on Dock Street in the Sailortown area.

Speaking to Sunday Life, Ms Bunting said: “We have held a small protest against the Irish Sea border.

“This is where they come for the checks to take place in order for them to enter Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, when coming from mainland UK.

“I think it’s an absolute disgrace that any traffic from the UK to another part of the UK is being stopped.

“The government need to deal with this now because the people of Northern Ireland will not stand for separation between ourselves and the UK.

“Men and women have fought and died for hundreds of years in order for us to have our birth right as British citizens to remain part of the United Kingdom.

“That is being slowly but surely taken away from us and we aren’t going to sit back and allow that to happen.”

She added: “We are pleading with the government to listen to us now rather than leaving this any longer.”

When asked what she would pose as an alternative to the Northern Ireland Protocol, Ms Bunting said: “The border should be where the border is.

“We have had a border with the Republic of Ireland now for 100 years, there is no reason why the EU, if they want to do the checks, it can do them at the border with the Republic of Ireland.

“The mainland has had a much better Brexit than we have, we haven’t had Brexit at all.”

The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed between the British government and the EU and ratified by Parliament.

It kept Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market which means that checks must be made on goods coming here from GB if they follow different product standards from those set by the EU.

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