Former Larne Mayor calls for ‘tasty’ EU cold meat wrangle protest on the Twelfth
A leading Orangeman in the Braid District and a former Mayor of Larne has called on a symbolic protest on the Twelfth of July in which all those taking part in parades can get involved.
Tom Robinson JP says the ‘protest’ does not involve public demonstration but will be enjoyable for everyone.
It follows a possible chilled meat ban linked to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is due to take effect after the grace period expires at the end of September.
The former Ulster Unionist politician, who was a long-serving councillor in Larne, wants unionists to show their buying power by purchasing Northern Ireland and British meat.
“I have been very frustrated to see the whole wrangle initiated by the European Union over input of British meat products to Northern Ireland which is, after all, an integral part of the United Kingdom,” he said.
“I have thought long and hard of some way ordinary unionist people can show their annoyance about this, and I have come up with a plan which will allow them to protest in their own gardens but also have their protested registered at the supermarkets and the butchers shops.
“The backstop and Irish Sea Border are a total affront to normal democratic practice and constitutionally unsound. At the root of it all is that Europe clearly believes, as French President Macron said that Northern Ireland is not really a part of the United Kingdom. This flies in the face of the constitutional position of Northern Ireland and the democratic views of the population there.
“Sometimes in the big political issues it is what people see as relatively inconsequential matters that assume such major importance that they come to dominate the debate. Such is the case over import of chilled meat from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland.
“Our ‘beef’ with Europe whatever happens is that we are being treated almost as a feudal serfdom, with no accountability for the measures which the EU deems fit to impose on us. We have seen issues over bringing puppies to Northern Ireland to be trained as guide dogs, there are still problems over trees being brought across the channel from the rest of the UK, and who knows what the next bureaucratic bungle will throw up.”
A total of 19 lodges from Larne District LOL No 1 and nine bands are set to take part in a localised Twelfth in the town on Monday. Click here
Mr Robinson added: “This year our demonstrations will be in smaller venues, with smaller numbers, and they will be over sooner than normal, so I would appeal to all those involved in lodges, bands and as spectators to go home on the Twelfth afternoon and start the barbecue if the weather allows, or just cook inside if it doesn’t. But the main thing is to stock up on quality Northern Ireland and GB meat for your tea on the Twelfth, and enjoy in a very symbolic way being a proud part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”
Mr Robinson quipped: “Our message should be that we have a ‘beef’ with Europe and they need to ‘meat’ our desire to be treated better than has been the case. We are decent people and we won’t ‘lose the bap’, but there is a lot of annoyance out there from others so I appeal to politicians to get this situation sorted as soon as possible.”
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.