Protest outside British embassy in Dublin over Johnson’s Brexit strategy

Around 100 people attended rally against planned suspension of parliament

Some of the protesters outside the British embassy on Merrion Road, Dublin on Tuesday evening. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Some of the protesters outside the British embassy on Merrion Road, Dublin on Tuesday evening. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

A protest has taken place outside the British embassy in Dublin over the proroguing of the UK parliament.

UK citizens who have made their home in the Republic of Ireland took part in the Brits Not Out demonstration on Tuesday evening.

Around 100 people turned out, with many expressing their frustration over Brexit in general as well as the planned suspension of the House of Commons by Boris Johnson.

Addressing protesters, Andy Pike attacked the prorogation move as “shameful”.

“The thing I value as a British person living abroad is UK parliamentary democracy, and to see the current state of play with the Government trying to suspend parliament for five weeks, which is unprecedented in peace time, solely for the reason of preventing MPs legislating to stop a no-deal Brexit is shameful. It is shameful and it should stop,” he said.

“The elected representatives in Westminster should be free to pass legislation, and what’s more the UK government should honour it.”

Mr Pike continued: “One of the reasons we wanted to come down here tonight as British nationals happily living in Ireland, committed to Ireland, was to say that the Government in Westminster at the moment is not acting in our name.

“The EU was born out of two world wars, it has delivered an unheralded era of peace by and large within Europe. The EU is not Britain’s enemy, it is Britain’s friend. Ireland is not Britain’s enemy, it is Britain’s friend.

“Whatever happens now, we need to make sure that the good relations built over the last 20 years are not eroded by opportunist politicians and that if Brexit does happen it has to happen with a deal and that means a deal that contains the (Border) backstop.”

One of the protest organisers Grace Williams, originally from Carlisle, who has been living in Ireland for 13 years, said it was a platform for people to express their frustration.

“We decided to form this protest as a platform for people to come together and to discuss their frustrations, and say we don’t think the prorogation of parliament is acceptable, that we think politicians need to be given the opportunity to debate and to come up with acceptable solutions to lessen the impact of Brexit on both the UK and Ireland,” she said.

Another participant was Andrew Newland, from Kent, who has been living in Co Clare for 25 years.

“I came down from a sense of frustration because since this whole process has begun I felt we have had no say whatsoever in what was going ahead. As a British citizen living here for more than 15 years, I had no vote in the referendum which I think is in itself totally undemocratic considering the implications for any UK citizen living in Europe,” he said.

“I am particularly angered by the recent actions of the Johnson regime, effectively trying to seize control of Parliament without a proper vote on whatever Brexit agreement there might be.”

The group behind the demonstration, Brits Not Out, was recently formed by British staff members of the public service union Forsa. - PA