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NI Protocol threatens peace process: Pro-Brexit think tank poll reveals fears

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DEMONSTRATION: Jolene Bunting leads an anti-Irish Sea border protest

DEMONSTRATION: Jolene Bunting leads an anti-Irish Sea border protest

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

DEMONSTRATION: Jolene Bunting leads an anti-Irish Sea border protest

A poll by a pro-Brexit think tank shows more than 50 per cent of people think the Northern Ireland Protocol threatens the peace process.

The Centre for Brexit Policy (CBP) surveyed just over 2,000 of both leave and remain voters on the government’s Brexit deal.

It showed that 57pc of those polled believe the Irish Sea border risks sparking violence in the province.

Among those who voted against leaving the EU, 40pc think the protocol prevents Brexit happening in full.

When asked if it’s important that Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom, 53 pc said it was with 12 pc saying it wasn’t.

But 48 pc of those polled said they did not know if the protocol breaches the Good Friday Agreement, with 32 pc stating it did and 20 pc said it does not.

Chairman of the CBP and former Northern Ireland secretary, Owen Paterson, said the poll should serve as a wake-up call to the government.

“The polling shows that the British people understand that the protocol radically changes the status of Northern Ireland and is threatening its stability,” he said.

“Nobel peace prize winner and architect of the Belfast Agreement, Lord Trimble, has said consistently protocol breaches the principle of consent that the status of Northern Ireland cannot change without the consent of the people.”

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Chairman of the Centre for Brexit Policy Owen Paterson

Chairman of the Centre for Brexit Policy Owen Paterson

PA

Chairman of the Centre for Brexit Policy Owen Paterson

East Antrim DUP MP and CBP director of the CBP, Sammy Wilson, said: “The good sense of the British people is winning through and not for the first time.

“For all the smoke and mirrors of politicians and officials in the Republic of Ireland and Brussels, the public know that the hidden agenda here is to use the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland as a way of wrecking Brexit. They must not be allowed to get away with it.”

It comes as anti-Irish Sea border campaigners held a protest at the Belfast docks for the second week in a row.

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

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

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.”

The protocol keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market which means that checks must be made on goods coming to here from Great Britain if they follow different product standards from those set by the EU.


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