AP NEWS

Protesters at Irish border highlight Brexit as peace threat

January 26, 2019
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Demonstrators hold banners on the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border, near Newry in Northern Ireland, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Protesters angered at the prospect of a hard Brexit built a mock wall across part of the Irish border, the theatrical gesture on Saturday was the centrepiece of a County Down demonstration against future border checks. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

LONDON (AP) — Hundreds of people assembled near the Irish border to highlight the risks Brexit poses to peace in Northern Ireland.

The protesters gathered near Newry in Northern Ireland on Saturday to reject the possibility of a “hard” border with ID checks and customs controls going up between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.

Some created a mock border checkpoint where actors dressed as soldiers and customs officers showed what such a protected boundary might look like.

There is concern on both sides that a guarded border could jeopardize a hard-won coexistence since a 1998 agreement largely ended decades of sectarian and nationalist violence.

The British and Irish governments don’t want a hard border, but the European Union has said it’s likely unavoidable if the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal.