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24 November 2023

Boris Johnson links Dublin ‘race riots’ to immigration fears

24 November 2023

Boris Johnson has labelled the violent scenes in Dublin “race riots”, and suggested that “achingly liberal” countries like Ireland now have concerns about the pace of immigration.

The former UK prime minister used his weekly Daily Mail column to drawn on the disorder in the Irish capital to make the case for the UK to take tougher action to curb net migration.

It comes after the latest data showed a record number of arrivals to the UK last year.

Mr Johnson also pointed to the electoral success of veteran anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.

Writing in the newspaper, he said: “People will not accept demographic change at this kind of pace — even in the most achingly liberal of countries and capital cities.

“Look at what is happening in Dublin, where that lovely and happy city seems to have been engulfed by race riots.”

The violent scenes in Dublin saw Garda cars, buses and trams set alight and shops looted and damaged.

The clean-up was continuing on Dublin’s thoroughfare O’Connell Street on Friday, with burned-out buses lifted away by cranes while broken glass and missiles were cleared.

The violence in the Irish capital, which involved far-right elements, flared after a knife attack on three schoolchildren and their care assistant outside a school in the north inner city at about lunchtime on Thursday.

Mr Johnson continued: “The people of Ireland and Holland, in my experience, are among the nicest, kindest, most generous in the world; and yet there are plainly large numbers in both countries who are starting to worry that something has gone wrong, and that the EU system of free movement — a border-free Europe for the entire 450 million-strong territory — has too many downsides.

“Well, the whole point of Brexit is that we are no longer in the same legal subservience as Ireland and Holland.

“We have the powers to sort it out, and to change our immigration rules — which is exactly why the British people voted to take back those powers in 2016. We can do it now.”

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