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Colourful anti-Brexit demonstration rolls into Irish borderlands

The eye-catching stunt came as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal continued to divide the House of Commons.

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A colourful anti-Brexit demonstration has taken place at the Irish border.

The Bollocks to Brexit bus visited Dublin before crossing the border into Northern Ireland.

The distinctive yellow bus rolled into the Irish borderlands on Monday, and stopped at a former checkpoint hut which straddles the boundary.

Activist Madeleina Kay posed for photographs dressed as EU Supergirl, alongside Drew Galdron, aka Faux Bojo, who was dressed up as former foreign secretary Boris Johnston, at the exact point on the road where the border is drawn, amid beeps of support from passing motorists.

She then performed the campaign’s song Bridges Not Borders at the roadside.

Ms Kay, who has been campaigning against Brexit full time for almost two years after dropping out of her university course, told the Press Association they had taken the campaign to Ireland to “reach out to our Irish friends and oppose a hard border or any threat that Brexit makes to peace in Ireland”.

She said they had received a very positive response.

“We have been giving out stickers, and reasons-to-remain booklets and leaflets, and people have been wanting to stop and get photos,” she said.

EU Supergirl Madeleina Kay stands in front of the bus as it stops just across the border (Niall Carson/PA)

“Generally people are a lot more pro-EU (in Ireland), you see a lot more EU flags everywhere, people feel much more part of that European community and they think Brexit is madness.

“They are also very concerned about the impact that Brexit is going to have on the Irish economy and also the threat that it poses to the peace that has been achieved.”

She added: “I believe very passionately that Brexit is going to damage our country and it’s going to take jobs and opportunities away from young people such as myself, so I am standing up for my generation and we are saying bollocks to Brexit.”

Newry and Armagh Assembly member Justin McNulty of the SDLP was on hand to welcome the bus to the border, and voiced his support for their campaign.

Campaigners outside the Carrickdale Hotel as the bus tour stops just across the border (Niall Carson/PA)

“It’s bizarre to stand here on this line with one foot in the Republic of Ireland and one foot in the north of Ireland, as to the future of this line, no-one knows.

“It is crippling for businesses, it’s crippling for those who travel north and south on a regular basis,” he said.

The eye-catching stunt came as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal continues to divide the House of Commons.

Mrs May has condemned calls for a second Brexit referendum, arguing that it would do “irreparable damage” to the integrity of British politics.

The bus later travelled on to Belfast.

It crossed the Irish Sea from Holyhead in Wales to Dublin on Sunday night.

On Monday morning, the bus stopped outside the historic Guinness brewery in the Irish capital, where costumed activists put a new slant on the brand’s advertising slogan with a placard saying “It’s a lovely day to … stop Brexit”.

It later called at Leinster House, the home of the Irish Parliament, where Bridges Not Borders was performed and stickers and leaflets handed out to members of the public.

The campaign bus is set to journey on to Scotland where it will stop in Glasgow and Edinburgh on Tuesday before finishing its tour of the UK and Ireland on December 20.

Ms Kay said the costs of the campaign have been met by crowdfunding co-ordinated by a small group of grassroots activists.

“It’s all come from the British people who have had enough of Brexit and want to stand up for their country and their rights as European citizens,” she said.

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