Unionism must consider a campaign of civil disobedience against Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, leading Orangeman Mervyn Gibson has said.
He told BBC News NI’s The View programme that any protest needed to be lawful.
“If anyone breaks the law at what is coming that would damage unionism,” he said.
Mr Gibson, who said he was speaking in a personal capacity, did not elaborate on the type of action he had in mind.
Meetings have been held on how best to oppose the deal’s “Irish Sea border”.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and other unionists have been strongly critical of the deal because it would see Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK.
A retired Protestant clergyman, the Reverend Harold Good, said he was concerned “criminal elements” within loyalist paramilitaries might become involved if protests over the deal were to occur.
He has contacts within loyalism and, 18 months ago supported a UDA and UVF declaration of support for the rule of law.
“There are other layers within loyalism who do no speak or act for the people I know within loyalism.
“There are those criminal elements all too ready to seize on some opportunity and Brexit could all too easily become as excuse,” Mr Good told The View.
Twenty-five years after their ceasefires, the UVF and UDA continue to recruit and have thousands of members.
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne recently warned of their ability to bring large numbers onto the streets in protest against Boris Johnson’s deal.
Police believe it could replicate protests in 2012 – which descended into rioting – against Belfast City Council’s decision to limit the number of days the Union flag is flown at City Hall.
The Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) leader Billy Hutchinson has an insight on the UVF.
He said those who endorsed the peace process remain the dominant voices.
“I do not see a change in the UVF leadership.
“They have been level-headed about this. They want to see where this goes. The other thing is, who are they going to fight?
“Are they going to fight Boris Johnson? Are the going to fight the British government? We are British.”
The View is on BBC One Northern Ireland tonight at 22:45 GMT.