British PM condemns latest Northern Ireland violence


Others have attempted to characterise the violence on Brexit and Boris Johnson's failure to spell out the implications of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the trade disruption that has resulted in the wake of the transition period.

Rioters set a hijacked bus on fire and hurled gasoline bombs at police in Belfast in the fourth night of violence in a week in Northern Ireland, where Brexit has unsettled an uneasy political balance.

During several hours of disorder police officers were attacked, petrol bombs were thrown and a bus was burnt.

The focus of the violence, some of it committed by youths in their early teens, was a concrete "peace wall" in west Belfast that separates a British loyalist Protestant neighbourhood from an Irish nationalist Catholic area.

It was attended by 2,000 mourners - including Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill, the Sinn Féin vice-president - at a time when Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

He was joined by Colum Eastwood, the leader of the Socialist Democratic and Labour Party, who told BBC's Radio 4 Today programme that while he was "outraged" by Sinn Fein's behaviour the tensions were also a " direct result of a British Prime Minister who has lied to the unionist people of Northern Ireland".

Northern Ireland's politicians are meeting on Thursday at Stormont to consider a motion brought forward by the Alliance Party calling for an "immediate and complete end" to the violence.

Despite the united message, Northern Ireland's politicians are deeply divided, and events on the street are in many cases beyond their control.

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A post-Brexit U.K. -EU trade deal has imposed customs and border checks on some goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. The arrangement was created to avoid checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland because an open Irish border has helped underpin the peace process built on the Good Friday accord. They expressed outrage that a new generation was being exposed to, and pulled into, violence.

"This is nothing short of child abuse", she said.

Both Britain and the European Union have expressed concerns about how the agreement is working, and the Democratic Unionist Party, which heads the Belfast government, wants it to be scrapped.

"Those of us who are involved in politics need to make politics work, we need to be able to show that politics can deliver".

While Mrs Foster has accused the Police Service of Northern Ireland of undermining the rule of law and called for the resignation of the chief constable, critics have sought to blame the unrest on the DUP's inflammatory language. But unionists say the new checks amount to a new border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. They fear that undermines the region's place in the United Kingdom and could bolster ties with the Irish Republic, strengthening calls for a united Ireland.

The violence has been blamed on anger in response to a decision by the Public Prosecution Service not to pursue prosecutions against members of Sinn Fein who attended the funeral of Mr Storey a year ago despite restrictions over gatherings, as well as Brexit and localised issues in the south-east Antrim area. The funeral of Bobby Storey drew a large crowd, despite coronavirus rules barring mass gatherings.

Regarding the bus attack in Belfast, she added in a subsequent post on Twitter: "This is not a protest".