October 20, 2019 / 7:18 PM / a month ago

N.Ireland's Orange Order discourages protests over Brexit deal

BELFAST, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The head of Northern Ireland’s influential Orange Order said on Sunday he did not want to see violent street protests by unionists in the province against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, despite feelings that they had been let down.

The deal struck with EU leaders last week has been met by fierce opposition from pro-British politicians in the region, including Johnson’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) allies, who say it weakens Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom.

“I wouldn’t like to see loyalist violence. I think this is a time for cool heads, and violence only plays into the hands of republicanism,” Orange Order Grand Secretary Mervyn Gibson told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Writing by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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