We are in the midst of 10 days of unrest in Northern Ireland.
Some people are protesting a decision not to prosecute Sinn Fein leaders over breaking coronavirus restrictions and attending a mass funeral.
Other loyalist groups are protesting about the Northern Ireland Protocol on Brexit, which puts a de facto border in the Irish sea between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain and places checks on goods travelling from Britain to Northern Ireland.
This came despite concerns that frictionless trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was needed to ensure peace between the two was maintained.
Brexit playing a role in the unrest has not surprised people who advocated for Britain to remain in the EU in part to avoid situations like these from unfolding. Yet, proponents of the policy were adamant that Brexit would not lead to sectarian violence.
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Now that this has regrettably happened, there are a number of Brexiteer quotes about Northern Ireland that have aged terribly.
1. Kate Hoey
Former Labour MP and the Kate Winslet to Nigel Farage’s Leonardo DiCaprio is being bashed, for instance, after a comment piece she wrote in 2016 has ended up showing terrible foresight when she predicted that Northern Ireland wouldn’t be affected by Brexit at all.
2. Boris Johnson
In 2018, while foreign secretary, Boris Johnson compared the Irish border with the boundaries of London’s traffic congestion charge zone, when discussing moving goods over the border without checkpoints.
He said there was “no border between Islington or Camden and Westminster”, and yet traffic fees were collected. At the time, he was mocked, and now – given the violence – there is even more cause to cringe at his comments.
3. Jacob Rees-Mogg
In 2019, Jacob Rees Mogg dismissed concerns about the Irish border: “Making the Irish border the be-all and end-all of our departure from the European Union is not in the interests of the Republic of Ireland,” he said.
4. Arron Banks
In 2018, Brexit bankroller and the co-founder of Leave.EU, Arron Banks had this to say:
5. Arron Banks...again
An in 2019 he hadn’t changed his mind:
We wonder what he thinks about that now.
6. Steve Baker
The backbench Tory MP was the Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union between 2017 and 2018 and stopped at nothing to persuade people that there was no issue with the policy.
These are just six and we dare say that many more will resurface in the days to come.