Graffiti condemning Irish Sea border checks has been painted at a major Northern Irish port, while slogans were painted at different locations in Larne on Saturday, with one saying, “Larne says no to Irish Sea Border”.
Police reportedly arrested two guys following a call at about 9.40 pm on Saturday after receiving a report in relation to people spraying painting graffiti on property. The authorities also searched a vehicle in the area and seized a number of items.
This comes as inspections at Belfast and Larne ports were suspended last Monday amid concerns over the safety of staff which came after separate graffiti appeared threatening port staff.
Both UK and EU officials conduct checks required as part of Brexit’s controversial Northern Ireland Protocol at the ports to allow goods to flow to and from the UK mainland.
Police blamed the graffiti and menacing online comments on disgruntled individuals and small groups, and have clarified that there is no evidence of wider paramilitary involvement in threats.
Although some workers resumed work on Friday, inspections have not fully resumed. Meanwhile, the UK government and the European Commission will hold further talks that is aimed at finding solutions in the coming week.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove suggested extending a series of grace periods that are currently in operation that limit the level of red tape associated with the protocol.
Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said he would be open to limited extensions but said there could be no renegotiation of the protocol’s terms.