Anti-Brexit campaigners have brought traffic to a crawl on the main road between the North and South.
Mock customs checkpoint set up to stop traffic. Go-slow kicking off on M1 below. pic.twitter.com/ne9wgjoFml— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) February 18, 2017
Protesters staged a noisy motorway go-slow near Dundalk using lorries and tractors to highlight the impact of predicted customs checks on the local economy.
A trailer-load of sheep going to market and passport-toting residents took part in a “checkpoint” staged to highlight the detrimental impact of any such border.
It was a theatrical affair: mock border officers wearing traditional greatcoats waved down traffic in front of a mock customs hut and horns blared as truck drivers in the queue waved fake travel documents.
Vintage signs proclaimed “Stop: Customs” and a rusty Second World War-era bicycle near the fake customs hut sent the message that a hard border was a return to the past.
Kitchen maker and demonstration organiser for Border Communities Against Brexit, Declan Fearon, said: “We are really in the eye of the storm of Brexit and we intend to make sure that this does not happen.
Major disruption on M1 northbound now. Around trucks and tractors now in go-slow. pic.twitter.com/BUw48rUaC5— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) February 18, 2017
“We never want to see this community going back to what it was before.”
Three such protests taking place along border today. Hope it's warmer at the other ones. pic.twitter.com/mZS2uFhfly— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) February 18, 2017
Fearon added: “The people here do not want to contemplate the reinstatement of spikes and roads being closed and of customs checkpoints and it looks like that is where we are going.”
More than 20 years ago there were 270 crossings along the 300-mile border between the North and South.
UK prime minister Theresa May has pledged no return to the heavily secured border of the past for the North.