Patrick Kielty will today offer Westminster politicians an ‘idiots’ guide’ to explain why Northern Ireland should have no hard border with the Republic.
Insisting that the people of Northern Ireland don’t want a hard Brexit, the comic, married to Cat Deeley, will accuse leading Brexiteers – Boris Johnson, David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg – of not caring about his country.
Kielty’s statement will be read out at a pro-EU meeting ‘Brexit and the Border, in the Ulster town border town of Newry on the impact of leaving the EU.
The meeting, organised by Remain-supporting group ‘End the Chaos’ and Gina Miller will see panelists from both sides of the border discuss the impact to the island of Ireland of the UK departure from the EU.
In a light-hearted but passionate address to the audience, Kietly, whose father was murdered by Loyalist para-militaries, explains why the ‘Irish border’ issue is so important to both the province’s Unionist and Nationalist communities.
He said: ‘Prime Minister – if you really care about Northern Ireland, please listen to what’s being said here today and what people here voted for – not once but twice.
‘We don’t want a hard Brexit. We don’t want Canada Plus. Or Northern Ireland Minus. We don’t want Chequers. We don’t want checkpoints.
‘And we don’t want to take back control of our border. We happily gave that up over 20 years ago to live in peace.
‘When we opened our border we also discovered something that you’ve sadly forgotten – the people living on the other side are exactly the same as us.
‘That’s why we want to live together as neighbours and friends without people trying to drive us apart.
‘You should give it a go Mrs. May. It’s called the European Union.’
The End the Chaos events are intended to allow local people to have their say about Brexit, organiser Gina Miller claims.
She said: ‘The party conferences have ignored this fundamental question [of the Irish border]and the desperate concerns of people living in the north and south of Ireland.
‘It’s high time the practical consequences of the all the Brexit scenarios are put under the spotlight.
‘That means getting outside of the Westminster bubble and going to Newry, where the impact of a hard or no-deal Brexit will have a devastating human cost.’
Last week the comedian, who grew up in County Down, issued a scathing lesson to Brexit cheerleader Boris Johnson of the reasons why there should be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in a series of tweets.
And he highlighted how Northern Ireland had already been granted special legal status, such as the right to rule on abortion and same sex marriage.
Today he will say: ‘Last week I politely told Boris Johnson how Brexit will change Northern Ireland – OK, maybe not that politely.
‘I’m still waiting for a reply yet he continues to tell people who don’t know what he also doesn’t know.
‘He wants them to believe that Brexit will have no effect on lives in Northern Ireland.
‘What he actually means is that Northern Ireland will have no effect on his life whatever happens. He’s not alone.
‘David Davis says we’ve nothing to worry about because you can buy a pint in Belfast with Euros. Yes, you can David. Just not at a same sex wedding reception.
‘Jacob Rees Mogg wants us to ‘inspect people at the border’.
Well Jacob, why not come over and give it a go yourself?
‘We’d love to see you try to ‘inspect’ a Louth registered cattle van driven by a farmer called Slab.
‘And Theresa May wants us to believe the Northern Irish border can be solved by technology.
‘Thankfully people from border counties know the truth.
‘They know that the Good Friday Agreement built the peaceful society we have today by allowing Unionists to look to the rest of the UK and Nationalists to look to the rest of Ireland without borders or boundaries.’
Over a series of tweets Kietly, who is married to TV presenter Cat Deeley, offered a brief history of how the UK and Ireland’s membership of the EU helped broker the Good Friday Agreement that ended the Troubles.
He wrote: ‘Dear @BorisJohnson, There is no better Brexit when it comes to the Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland. As you seem bamboozled by all this Paddywackery here’s a few pointers for your next stab in the dark.
‘Northern Ireland is made up of a majority of Unionists (as in in the Conservative and Unionist Party) and, believe it or not, a rather large minority of Nationalists (as in Irish Nationalists).
‘These Irish Nationalists don’t see themselves as British but rather inconveniently as Irish (who knew?).
‘For the past two years we killed each other because of the these differences which means Northern Ireland is nothing like Camden or Westminster.
‘The Good Friday Agreement ended the that violence by the following devious magic.
‘Unionists were guaranteed that Northern Ireland would be part of the UK until a majority voted otherwise.
‘The Irish border was removed and the island linked so Nationalists could pretend they were already living in a United Ireland (yes, Tony Blair did slight of hand much better that you).
‘This cunning plan was sold to us on the basis that we were all part of the EU therefore fixation on nationality was so last World War.
‘Implementing the Good Friday Agreement was torturous (think Brexit with actual bombs, not metaphorical suicide vests) but we finally made it. Yet 20 years later NI [Northern Ireland] remains a divided society.
‘Thanks to your glorious Brexit vision Northern Ireland will become divided as some form of economic border checks will become part of daily lives.
‘If those checks take place between NI and Ireland, the Nationalists who were once happy being part of the UK will change their minds.
‘If they [economic border checks]take place in the Irish Sea some Unionists will be livid.
‘Your Brexit lies have opened a Pandora’s box for Northern Ireland. It’s one reason why the majority of people in NI voted to remain in the EU (almost as if they knew more about the fragile equilibrium of their politics that you).’