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Mass protest planned for Lifford Bridge today

WHILE Brexit has been delayed for at least a further two weeks, a protest against the UK’s decision to leave the EU is still going ahead at Lifford Bridge this weekend.

It is one of six mass protests being planned along the Irish border at 3pm on Saturday.

The demonstrations are being organised by Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB), with the support of the North’s pro-Remain parties including Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance.

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As well as Lifford, protests are also being held at Carrickcarnon in county Louth, Moy Bridge, Blacklion/Belcoo, Derry and Dublin.

The UK had been scheduled to leave the EU yesterday (Friday), but last week European leaders agreed to give British Prime Minister Theresa May an extension.

If the Prime Minister is able to get her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament, then the UK will be granted a short technical extension until May 22.

However, if she is unable to get the agreement through the UK has until April 12 to decide what it is going to do.

In the midst of so much uncertainty, West Tyrone MLA Michaela Boyle has called on the local community to mobilise in support of the protest being held on Lifford Bridge.

The Sinn Féin MLA said, “With the ongoing fiasco at Westminster, it is clear that whatever solutions people expected to come out of London are clearly not happening.

“Whether the Brexit date shifts or not we are still facing the major risk that arrangements of a seamless border that people have become used to over the last 20 years could be severely impacted.

“This community and communities like it across the border region have borne the brunt of partition for almost 100 years with communities dislocated, damaged livelihoods, freedom of movement disrupted, and natural trade and business links badly disrupted and of course the imposition of a very hard military border and all the repression that flowed from it is very much in peoples’ memory.”

Ms Boyle said there was “huge concern” about the way things had been shaping up since the Brexit referendum.

She said, “Border Communities Against Brexit have been very effective in providing a platform for locals to articulate their determination
that we don’t return to any manifestation of a border and in making sure this message is heard loud and clear in London, Dublin and Brussels so that we don’t become collateral damage for British policy in Ireland again.”

The MLA added, “I would therefore urge this local community to mobilise in large numbers for Saturday’s protest.”

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