Masked Men Set Northern Ireland Bus on Fire in Brexit Protocol Protest
Masked men hijacked a bus in Northern Ireland at gunpoint before setting it on fire, an attack likely linked to the ongoing wrangling over Brexit and the disruption it has caused in the region.
The incident coincides with a Nov. 1 deadline set by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party for the U.K. and European Union to make progress in solving problems caused by their divorce. DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson condemned the “thuggery and terrorism” of the perpetrators.
Loyalists have claimed to have carried out the attack to mark the passing of the DUP deadline, the BBC reported, citing Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.
Following the split from the EU, the U.K. agreed to an effective customs border in the Irish Sea in order to avoid creating a hard border on the island of Ireland. But that has angered unionists in Northern Ireland, who argue the settlement treats the region differently to the rest of Britain.
The attack is another illustration of how difficult it will be for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reach a compromise with the EU that will satisfy all sides affected by post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland. The U.K. government has said proposals put forward by the bloc are insufficient to fix the problems.
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