April 8, 2021


There has almost been a week of ongoing violence and riots in Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom has removed itself from the European Union through Brexit, and people are not happy in Northern Ireland. This anger was compounded by the decision by police to not prosecute the leaders of Sinn Fein, an Irish nationalist party, for breaking COVID-19 restrictions.

Northern Ireland Riots in Brief

On Wednesday, riots continued to destroy parts of Northern Ireland and Belfast. Angry rioters were throwing gasoline bombs, bricks, and lighting parts of the city on fire. Seven police officers were wounded on Wednesday in West Belfast.

At first glance, it does not make much sense why people in Ireland are angry with the country’s leadership. The Northern Ireland executives are meeting on Thursday to figure out a way to combat the violence.

These riots are detrimental, so an outsider may not understand the turmoil that is occurring in the nation. Let’s take a deep dive into why people have been burning Northern Ireland to the ground for nearly a week.

Why Are the Riots Occurring?

Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in 2016, but developments are just beginning to occur under Brexit. The United Kingdom left its trade agreement with the European Union in place, but Northern Ireland has removed itself from the UK.

The Loyalist party in Northern Ireland is not happy about the new trade agreement in the country. Northern Ireland stayed in the EU’s market after Brexit was enacted. Some changes were implemented on January 1st, which have started to affect the supply chain in Northern Ireland.

There is now a border for goods, making it difficult for commodities to enter Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. This is because Brexit established a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the Republic.

The new trade relationship has limited the food supply and slowed online orders.

Loyalists in Northern Ireland did not want to leave the UK, so the disruption in trade has caused a severe backlash. Northern Ireland is not associated with southern Ireland, so the national identity is fading away, and Loyalists are not happy.

The trade situation just magnified this anger that was already present. Unionists in Northern Ireland have joined forces with the Loyalists.

Unionists were happy to leave the European Union, but they do not like the new trade agreements with the UK because it has affected the entire country. Everyone wants Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland again and retake its place in the United Kingdom.

The Northern Ireland government has stated that they understand the anger, but violence should not be the answer. Unfortunately, it does not appear like the violence will stop until Northern Ireland rejoins the UK or a change is made to the trade relationships.

On Wednesday, a bus was set on fire in Belfast. If the violence is not fixed, there will be deaths from these protests. However, the violence is expected to continue throughout the rest of the week, which will take the length over a week in duration.

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