A statement from the interim committee of the Northern Independence Party on the Home Office’s proposal to criminalise trespass.

We unreservedly condemn the UK Government’s proposal to criminalise trespass. Multiple organisations have criticised the proposal, including police bodies, rambling associations, and GRT campaign groups. Under the law, trespass is currently considered a civil matter; this arrangement protects our rights and liberties, ensuring the legal response to people accessing the vast acres of unoccupied, privately owned land within these countries remains proportionate. This change in law potentially makes ramblers, rough sleepers, protestors as well as GRT communities liable for prosecution.

Our already stretched and under-resourced police forces would effectively have to operate as an internal border patrol - further diminishing their ability to fulfil their vital role in protecting our communities. Combined with the UK Government’s gross under-provision of public sites for the GRT community, this measure is an act of deliberate persecution against one of these countries’ most vulnerable communities, aimed at eliminating their distinctive way of life. This is a threat to all of us in setting a precedent for the government to implement laws that impose their own value system on the rest of the country, stripping us of our right to live our lives according to our own cultural norms. As Northerners and Northumbrians, we cannot tolerate the prospect of Westminster politicians determining what cultures have licence to thrive within the North.

The Northern Independence Party calls for this draconian measure to be dropped. We propose that the government instead devote its time and energy to addressing the needs of the GRT community rather than stoking ill-will in a bid to undermine the rights of us all.

The interim Northern Independence Party Committee

Ratified 31/01/2021