Tensions over Brexit in Northern Ireland have sparked fears of the formation of new “extreme” loyalist organisations.
NORTHERN IRELAND is facing a deadly escalation in Brexit tensions, according to a senior scholar, who warns of the rise of new radical Loyalist paramilitary formations.
Dr. Aaron Edwards, author of ‘UVF: Behind the Mask,’ is concerned that growing Brexit concerns over the Northern Ireland protocol may breed violent new paramilitary groups. Earlier this year, Northern Ireland was rocked by a series of violent riots, spurred in part by Loyalist rage over new customs barriers between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Dr. Edwards cautioned that the Protocol’s continuous “radicalization” could attract more young people to paramilitarism and lead to the creation of new deadly terrorist groups.
“Within Loyalist paramilitary organisations, the risk for splitting away, for fragmentation, is always there,” Dr. Edwards told this website.
“I believe we’re seeing more of that, and it’s a dangerous development and a track for younger Loyalists to follow.
“Younger people who may not have previously been involved in paramilitary activities but now see how they can use it to line their own wallets and profit.”
He continued, “Another thing that could occur is if Loyalist paramilitary forces simply collapse, call it a day, and there are rumors that they will dissolve at some point.”
“However, what replaces them is an open question,” the University of Leicester scholar continued.
“We could see new paramilitary groups develop if we see greater radicalization and extremism surrounding the Northern Ireland issue.
“As a result, I’m not going to claim it won’t happen.
“I believe there is always the possibility of something going wrong.”
In the face of outrage from Northern Irish unionists and Brexit supporters across the UK, Loyalist campaigner Jamie Bryson encouraged Boris Johnson’s government to “plunge the knife” into Northern Ireland protocol.
While the UK government had “drawn their sword and honed the blade” in negotiations with Brussels, Mr Bryson said it was time for Britain to move unilaterally to end the Brexit Protocol’s “constitutional absurdity.”
“I think the British Government has drawn its sword and sharpened the blade, but unhappily they haven’t driven it into the heart of the protocol yet,” Bryson told this website.
“I mean, it’s a wonderful start, but it’s almost like a drunk man removing his coat outside a pub in a fight.”Brinkwire Summary News”.