The Coleraine representative stated: “Most people accept the more stringent security procedures, and even the resultant cancellation of some flights, are a reasonable measure in the short term. But in the longer term, the challenge is much tougher. The right to free movement and the right to a fair trial have both come under threat this week.
“Not only have we seen people forced to stay at home, or endure lengthy delays and considerable inconvenience at airports, but we have seen arrests made and people named with the common assumption of guilt. Both of these constitute a very real threat to democracy and stability in the UK and elsewhere.
“There is much to learn from Northern Ireland’s experiences, therefore. We can learn what people will consider reasonable inconvenience is the fight against terrorism. We can learn how important it is that people feel they are being treated fairly. And we can learn the importance of maintaining good community relations while doing all of this.
“The risk is that the UK Government seems intent on putting Northern Ireland in one category and Great Britain in another. The challenge to democracy is the same, and the lessons to be learned are often the same too.”