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22/09/2021

'Derry Girls Against Borders' take campaign to London to call for no hard border in Brexit deal

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A new pressure group from Derry that is calling on political leaders to ensure there is no hard border on the island of Ireland, or in the Irish Sea after Brexit takes effect, is bringing its fight to London. The campaign has gained considerable attention and support from thousands of people across Ireland and the UK. Tonight the group will hold a meeting in the London Irish Centre at 7pm, Thursday 20th September, in a bid to 'wake up' those with power to the 'realities of the human cost of Brexit borders'. The group aims to ask the governments in Dublin, London and Brussels and those with power in Belfast to listen to the voices of people from the island of Ireland and particularly those in border communities who believe their way of life is under threat. The group is calling for cast iron solutions at the Autumn summit. Founder Tanya McCamphill said: “Two years after the referendum on exiting the European Union there still is no agreed solution to prevent borders on the island of Ireland or down the Irish Sea. “It is widely recognised that a hard border in Ireland or down the Irish Sea would cause significant social, economic and political challenges, yet still there is no agreed solution. “Our campaign reflects a growing anxiety that our way of life is under threat. For us, the issue of Brexit borders is much greater than trade or economics. It's about the lives of ordinary people - people who live day to day with the realities which politics imposes. "We are in London asking for help to wake up those with power to the realities of the human cost of Brexit borders." The group is opposed to any borders on the island of Ireland or down the Irish Sea and represents a cross-section of the community in the city who are becoming increasingly anxious that the voices of people from Northern Ireland are not being heard at the Brexit negotiating table. They will call on political leaders to ensure that the fears and concerns of all peoples are heard, and that an agreement at the EU Autumn Summit will ensure no hard borders are imposed after Brexit takes effect. Ms McCamphill added: “We hear a lot of rhetoric and promises that there will be no hard border. In spite of that we have been given no cast iron solutions. We cannot be expected to just allow people to put their lives on hold and wait worrying about their futures. “For a long time we have been able to move freely from Derry to Donegal, Armagh to Louth, Belfast to Edinburgh, London to Dublin and so on. A hard border in the Irish Sea or in Ireland will impact on everyone’s freedom and the increasingly good relations that we have been fostering across these islands. “Derry Girls Against Borders want to empower the people who will be affected and we are not prepared to sit back in the hope that a solution will be reached. The impact of Brexit borders on our lives is much bigger than trade and economics. It’s about the emotional, psychological impact also and the significant challenges any change will pose to our way of life. Where we come from things are complex, they are delicate and they require thoughtfulness. That thoughtfulness requires engagement and it requires listening to those who will be affected. “The freedoms and flexibilities we currently have protect our way of life, they protect the shared sense of belonging people right across our communities have. We do not believe that those concerns are part of the debate yet and they must be in order to achieve a satisfactory solution. “All we are asking is to be heard - and for those right across these islands to help us be heard. You don’t have to be from Derry - or be a girl - you just have to care. Help us, make them listen and stop Brexit borders.” To sign the Derry Girls Against Borders petition on change.org, click here: https://www.change.org/p/dublin-london-belfast-and-brussels-hear-our-voices-and-stop-brexit-borders To follow the campaign on social media: Twitter: @DerryGirlsAB Facebook: www.facebook.com/DerryGirls Instagram: @derrygirlsagainstborders Pictured above: A cross section of those who have shared their stories with Derry Girls Against Borders on how a Brexit border here will adversely affect their lives.

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