World N Ireland sees 3rd night of unrest amid post-Brexit tensions
Brexit Antagonism Escalates as EU, U.K. Go Another Round
When the U.K. and European Union shook hands on a trade deal late last year, few expected the new relationship to be plain sailing. And as with many divorces, antagonism between the sides has refused to fade. © Bloomberg Graffiti on a building reads "No Irish Sea border" in the Sandy Row area in Belfast, U.K., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. On Tuesday, U.K. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove condemned the EU's threat to impose border checks on Northern Ireland, warning it had provoked anger on all sides of the political divide.
LONDON (AP) — Police and politicians in Northern Ireland appealed for calm on Monday after a third night of violence that saw Protestant youths start fires and pelt officers with bricks and gasoline bombs.
The flareups come amid rising tensions over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland and worsening relations between the parties in the Protestant-Catholic power-sharing Belfast government.
U.K. Stokes EU Tension With Unilateral Northern Ireland Move
The U.K. inflamed tensions with the European Union by reneging on part of their post-Brexit settlement, saying it would unilaterally change trade rules relating to Northern Ireland. © Bloomberg A docking berth at Larne Port in Larne, Northern Ireland, U.K., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned a time may be coming to recognize that Brexit negotiations have failed, as he prepares to travel to Brussels for crisis talks on a future trade deal.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said officers were attacked in Londonderry on Sunday night, and there was also unrest in two pro-British unionist areas near Belfast. Police said most of those involved were teenagers.
Chief Superintendent Darrin Jones condemned the “senseless and reckless criminal behavior that (does) nothing but cause damage to the community.”
The disturbances followed unrest Friday and Saturday in unionist areas in and around Belfast and Londonderry, also known as Derry, that saw cars set on fire and projectiles and gasoline bombs hurled at police officers. Police said 27 officers were injured, and eight people have been charged, the youngest a boy of 13.
Britain’s economic split from the European Union at the end of 2020 has shaken the delicate political balance in Northern Ireland, a part of the U.K. where some people identify as British and some as Irish.
UK PM's loose talk on Brexit reverberates in N.Ireland
In the febrile build-up to Britain's Brexit deal with the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there would only be a trade border down the Irish Sea "over my dead body". Northern Irish justice minister Naomi Long, of the centrist Alliance Party, noted that Johnson and Lewis "denied the existence of borders, even as those borders were being erected".A de-facto border does exist, however, and what one minister called Johnson's "fantasy" promises to pro-UK unionists in Northern Ireland are back in contention after the territory was convulsed this month by its worst violence in years.
A new U.K.-EU trade deal has imposed customs and border checks on some goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. The arrangement was designed to avoid checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland, an EU member, because an open Irish border has helped underpin the peace process built on the 1998 Good Friday accord.
The accord ended decades of violence involving Irish republicans, British loyalists and U.K. armed forces in which more than 3,000 people died. But unionists say the new checks amount to a new border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.
Belfast in turmoil as Brexit stokes tensions in Northern Ireland
Rioters waged a running battle with police in Belfast on Thursday night -- tossing petrol bombs, setting fires and dodging jets from water cannon as a week of unrest showed no sign of letting up. Hundreds of boys and young men gathered from early evening in a western neighbourhood in the Northern Ireland capital, which has been riven by violence over Brexit and domestic politics. Masked and in hooded tops, they hurled rocks, bricks and glass bottles at police barricades where riot officers formed ranks with armoured Land Rovers.Petrol bombs burst into flames in the street and fireworks were aimed into police formations, exploding and smothering their lines in thick smoke.
The Democratic Unionist Party, which jointly governs Northern Ireland with Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, has called for the Brexit deal to be scrapped.
Unionists are also angry at a police decision not to prosecute Sinn Fein politicians who attended the funeral of a former Irish Republican Army commander in June. The funeral of Bobby Storey drew a large crowd, despite coronavirus rules barring mass gatherings.
The main unionist parties have demanded the resignation of Northern Ireland’s police chief over the controversy, claiming he has lost the confidence of their community.
Mark Lindsay, chairman of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, said the “political atmosphere” was being used as an excuse for violence, orchestrated by banned paramilitary groups.
“Older, more sinister, elements use the youth and use children…to achieve their aims,” Lindsay told BBC radio.
Why Northern Ireland faces a surge of violence for ten days .
© SIPA For more than a week, clashes multiply in Northern Ireland between Unionists, Republicans and Police. The entry into force of Brexit appears to have set firepower, in a region to be borne by thirty years of quasi-civil war. eleven days of clashes. The Northern Ireland is for eleven days the scene of clashes between loyalist and republican rioters and the police, a wave of violence that many consider to have seen for several years.