Loyalists march on Downing Street demonstrating against the Northern Ireland Protocol between the UK and EU

  • The group met in London’s Trafalgar today before marching to Downing Street
  • They were protesting against Northern Ireland Protocol agreed in Brexit talks
  • The protocol was implemented to avoid a hard border between NI and RoI
  • But some have been pushing for it to be scrapped because of the trade barriers it has created on products crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain

British loyalists marched in London today demonstrating against the Northern Ireland Protocol between the UK and the European Union.

The group met in London’s Trafalgar Square and marched down Whitehall to Number 10 Downing Street to rally against the protocol that was agreed during Brexit negotiations to protect the 1998 Good Friday agreement. 

The protocol was implemented to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the EU’s single goods market.

British loyalists marched from Trafalgar Square to Houses of Parliament and Downing Street protesting the Northern Ireland Protocol between the UK and the European Union today

The group met in London’s Trafalgar Square (pictured) and marched down Whitehall to Number 10 Downing Street

Pictured: A lorry is checked at Larne harbour which is one of the main entry points between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom on September 7, 2021. The protocol was put in place to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods

But unionists have been pushing for it to be scrapped because of the trade barriers it has created on products crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain.

Pictures from the capital showed a number of unionists, some waving the Union Jack and dressed in red coats, carrying a banner that read: ‘Stop the Northern Ireland Protocol. United we stand. Divided we fall.’

The group gathered in Trafalgar Square before setting off towards the Prime Minister’s residence, where the banner was held outside the gates.

Flag bearers, some with medals on their chests, led the way, while other held signs including one which read ‘NI is the UK not EU’. 

The EU appeared ready to surrender the Northern Ireland ‘sausage war’ on Friday as Brussels sought to ease the tense row over post-Brexit trade.

British products entering Ulster will be granted an exemption from the bloc’s rules on third-country goods under plans expected to be revealed by the European Commission next week.

The two sides have been at loggerheads this year over a ban on chilled exports crossing the Irish Sea, caused by Northern Ireland’s special post-Brexit trade status.

Britain is attempting to have the wider Northern Ireland Protocol rewritten to ease goods trade and resulting social tension, something the EU is refusing to do.

However, reports from Brussels yesterday suggested that Brexit commissioner, Maros Sefcovic, is preparing to unveil the EU’s plans next week, which will include a ‘national identity’ exemption for UK produce.  

The plan would have to be signed off by the EU27 before it came into effect. 

The group gathered in Trafalgar Square before setting off towards the Prime Minister’s residence, where the banner was held outside the gates (pictured)

The two sides have been at loggerheads this year over a ban on chilled meat exports – including sausages – crossing the Irish Sea, caused by Northern Ireland’s special post-Brexit trade status

Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, said the White House has significant concern’ about UK plans to unilaterally suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol before Christmas.

It came as one of Joe Biden’s top aides warned today that Boris Johnson’s row with the EU over Northern Ireland risks creating ‘a serious risk to stability’.

Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, said the White House has significant concern’ about UK threats to unilaterally suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol before Christmas.

His comments came after Brexit Minister Lord Frost set a November deadline for a solution to the protocol deadlock, warning the EU the UK ‘cannot wait forever’ for border checks to be improved. 

He said there will be a ‘decision point’ early next month when it will become apparent if it is possible for the two sides to agree a solution to resolve ongoing disruption to intra-UK trade.  

London has threatened to unilaterally suspend the agreement if Brussels does not agree to scrap the protocol and replace it – something the EU is refusing to contemplate.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Sullivan said: ‘The United States government, as President Biden said in the Oval Office with Prime Minister Johnson, strongly supports the Good Friday agreement, believes it must be protected, believes that peace and stability in Northern Ireland must be protected.’ 

Brexit minister Lord Frost (pictured at the Tory Party conference last week) is expected to warn that the European Union must go further than scrapping its prohibition on British sausages to resolve the dispute.

‘The Northern Ireland protocol was agreed between the EU and the UK and our view is that the two sides should work together in a constructive way to find a deal and a way forward. 

‘Without something like the Northern Ireland protocol and with the possibility of the return of a hard border between NI and the Republic of Ireland, we will have a serious risk to stability and to the sanctity of the Good Friday agreement, and that is of significant concern to the US.’

However, the Government is likely to pick up on his talk of ‘something like’ the protocol as a tacit suggestion that a suitable alternative might be acceptable to the Biden administration. 

The Government has repeatedly threatened to trigger Article 16 of the protocol which would allow Britain to unilaterally walk away from some of the rules. 

However, such a move would spark a furious response in Brussels and would likely lead to a legal challenge. 

Under the terms of the current agreement, Northern Ireland remains in the EU’s single market and follows the bloc’s rules on goods, including food standards and animal safety.

At the time, EU negotiators said this was the only way to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

But Britain has repeatedly knocked back Brussels’ demands to match the bloc’s food, plant and environmental standards.

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