Hard border could revive extremists in Northern Ireland

The chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland has warned that the return of a hard border in the event of a no-deal Brexit could revive paramilitary groups.

Simon Byrne told the BBC Radio 4 Today that the event of a no-deal Brexit could see a ‘drift back to almost a paramilitary style of policing’, warning that Northern Ireland’s political vacuum and uncertainty was becoming a ‘breeding ground for dissident hate’ and expressed concern at the ‘tempo and pace’ of dissident republican attacks.

Byrne said the PSNI had no intelligence that the UK’s departure from the EU was directly fuelling paramilitary groups but said ‘speculation around different forms of Brexit’ plus Northern Ireland’s political vacuum were heightening tension.

His claim follows a man in his 40s being shot in the legs on the 21 August in what police called a ‘paramilitary-style’ shooting, as well as a 54-year-old was also shot up to six times while sitting in his BMW at a service station in Waringstown, County Down on 19 August.


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