Northern Ireland news

Stephen Rea: 'I don't want the border back in this country'

Belfast-born actor Stephen Rea has said he does not want to see the return of a hard Irish border. File picture from Paul Sherwood

Belfast-born actor Stephen Rea has said he does not want to see the return of a hard Irish border.

Speaking at the Ulster Museum on Thursday, where a bronze sculpture of himself was unveiled as part of the annual RUA Exhibition, Rea said it had been "wonderful" to have an open border on the island.

The award-winning actor, known for his appearances in films including Interview With The Vampire, V For Vendetta, and Neil Jordan's The Crying Game, has strongly criticised the British government's handling of Brexit.

The 75-year-old said that Brexit was a mistake.

"(Whenever I'm travelling in Europe) I just remind people that we are European here," he said.

"Being in the EU was nice and I think we should get back in there."

He added: "I don't want the border back in this country. I think it's unfair on the people who live in this country. I think it's unfair on people who cross the border.

"It has been wonderful not to have it, and I think it's only petty notions of identity that are making people angry about it.

"We can't go back. It's idiocy. The population is not the same as it was in 1921, or in 1970. The population has matured and is much more articulate," he told Belfast Live.

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