Protesters on Irish border issue dramatic Brexit warning

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"Whether it is threats of the Belfast Agreement being undermined or the future need for troops on the border, a lot of hot air has been produced by Dublin", commented Nigel Dodds MP, Deputy Leader of Northern Ireland's Brexit-supporting Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which supports Ulster's place in the United Kingdom and now provides Prime Minister Theresa May's minority government with its majority in Parliament.

The comments were also seized upon by the left-wing Sinn Féin, a party active in both Northern Ireland and the Republic which campaigns to unify the Isle of Ireland under Irish rule, with its president Mary Lou McDonald, while calling the comments "reckless and irresponsible", using them as a pretext to call for a referendum in Northern Ireland on "Irish unity".

A mock checkpoint manned by protesters dressed as soldiers and customs officers was constructed close to the Irish border.

Speaking from Davos where he is attending the World Economic Forum, Mr Varadkar said it was "very unlikely" that Brexit would never happen.

"The problem with that in the context of Irish politics and history is those things become targets", he added.

"The backstop is a means to an end", said Varadkar.

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Instead, he turned the onus back on London to find solutions, asking why Ireland, "victimised" by Brexit, should be constantly asked to compromise.

"If that is the case then the only way to prevent such a scenario is by affording the Irish people their say in the form of a border poll on Irish unity", said Ms McDonald.

The demonstration has been organised by the group Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB).

However, as exit day on March 29th approaches without a deal in sight, the European Union has begun to crack, with lead negotiator Michel Barnier admitting: "We will have to find an operational way of carrying out checks and controls without putting back in place a border". "We are the people who will suffer the most".

"Let's take that rather than risk a no-deal Brexit".

"It is important we send a clear message to the Irish government and the EU27 that the backstop on the table is maintained in line with their pledges to avoid a hard border". We can not and should not be proposing going back there again.

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