May 22, 2022

More than 30 bands paraded in Co Armagh Town before the crowd was addressed by several speakers, including East Antrum DUP MP Sammy Wilson and TUV leader Jim Alastair.

Hosted by Mid / South Armagh Grassroots Unionist Collective, the rally is the latest rally to be held at Market Hill since the controversial post-Bridget trade agreement was agreed between the British government and the European Union.

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Unionists are angry that Britain has become an internal border between the UK and Northern Ireland, affecting the free flow of trade.

Thousands gathered at Market Hill for the rally. Photo: Arthur Ellison / Peacemaker Press

Commenting on the rally, Wilson compared the EU’s actions to those of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

“The Irish maritime border imposes the will of the nationalists on the Unionists. It tramples the principle of cross-community consent, undermines the Act of Union and violates the constitutional settlement in Northern Ireland.

“Through the Northern Ireland Protocol, the European Union is, in fact, integrating Northern Ireland as much as President Putin has already annexed part of Ukraine and is trying to further undermine the country’s independence. Is.”

Mr Wilson added: “Boris Johnston has rightly led a campaign to stop Putin from undermining the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people, and he has an even greater responsibility to be the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Violates the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people to prevent the annexation of Northern Ireland by Brussels.

Friday night was a big turnout for the Northern Ireland anti-protocol rally at Market Hill. Jamie Bryson was among those who attended. Photo by: Arthur Ellison / Peacemaker Press

“No doubt, while the protocol hurts the economy of Northern Ireland, even more fundamentally, it divides us from the country we belong to, it hurts democracy and the United Kingdom. Enforces foreign laws in this part of India.

“The danger is so great that there is no room for the Unionists to score points against each other, divisive tactics and words to demoralize the Unionist population and it will be the worst loss that any Unionist politics can take.” Dan can do it to make political investments. From this constitutional risk. “

“Foreign sovereignty over any part of Britain is not compatible with being an integral part of that country,” said Jim Alastair.

Addressing the large crowd, Mr Alastair said: “The basis of the Unionist co-operation, as stated in the Ulster Day Declaration, is, in our words, ‘an unchangeable position that the protocol must be rejected’.”

Photo of TUV leader Jim Alastair during the rally. Photo: Arthur Ellison / Peacemaker Press

“The need for such a rejection has not changed. The reason is that through the Northern Ireland Protocol, the EU gains sovereignty over economic and trade matters in Northern Ireland, which makes us subject to its rules – which We cannot change – and the European Court of Justice.

The TUV leader added: “Thus, any ‘landing ground’ that brings us into the EU’s single market is not ‘the best of both worlds
‘, but it holds us firmly in the EU world, which The UK has been designated as a ‘Third Country’, while we are subject to EU rules and jurisdiction. This is a non-starter.

“Anyone thinking that you can be part of the EU’s single market and be subject to its customs codes while at the same time not being subject to its sovereignty is a dangerous deception.

“Thus, in order to move forward in any acceptable way, the European Union needs to relinquish its illegitimate sovereignty over Northern Ireland. There can be no compromise on this constitutional requirement. It is not a matter of hypocrisy or hesitation. Protocols are deprived of the right to expect exchanges from anti-unionists.

East Antrum MP Sammy Wilson was one of the speakers at the Market Hill rally. Photo: Arthur Ellison / Peacemaker Press

Although the Common Platform demonstrated somewhat unionist opposition to post-Bridget trade arrangements, at one point during Mr. Wilson’s speech, Mr. Alastair called on the people to stop making fun of the DUPMP. Had to step up.

On the night of the blizzard, Mr Wilson compared the EU’s dealings with the NI in the Brexit process to Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.

However, his comments were often heaped on him as angry mob members accused his party of undermining the Brexit process.

Mr Alastair urged the crowd to listen to the speakers, saying: “I urge you to listen to the speeches. Here are the people who are against the protocol.

Mr Wilson thanked them and told the crowd: “We are on the same side. We did not follow the protocol, the British government came up with the protocol and enforced it.

Loyal activist Jamie Bryson also attended the protest rally.

Pictures of speakers Sammy Wilson, Moore Holmes and Jim Alastair during a rally on Market Hill. Photo: Arthur Ellison / Peacemaker Press

He said: “It was a great pleasure to see so many unionists and loyalists come out against the protocol that undermined the union. With the temperature is constantly rising.

“We are heading for a prolonged hot summer in the absence of a solution. While the command paper last July managed to reduce the temperature during the summer, in the absence of clear delivery, no one with such promises again.” Don’t be silly

“It is important that we eliminate the notion that there is no scope for access to the ‘best of both worlds’ dual market as an acceptable landing zone. This is not the case. Should be done and this requires pure adherence to Article 6 of the Acts of Union.

Mr Bryson said he did not think there were “any” opportunities “in the protocol, adding that” even if they were there, they would be fully weighed down by the constitutional breach. ” Would it be good for a man to gain the whole world but lose his life?

“It is important that we have a united unionist and loyalist front against the protocol. This includes encouraging and empowering new voices and building a broad movement. This campaign can only be rooted in basic principles. , Whose key act of union needs to be reinstated.

At a rally in Portdown on Wednesday, I set out to present my views on why the removal of the protocol is not enough and to outline the fundamental reforms of the Belfast Agreement that should precede any Unionist power. Could reliably advocate for a return to the partnership. “

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