Why the Northern Ireland Border is Crucial to Finalising the Brexit Deal?
Brexit remains to be one of the most pressing issues of our time — but some people are more affected than others. While the United Kingdom and the European Union finalise the deal, the citizens in Northern Ireland are put in a conundrum as to whether they should support it or not.
Brexit as a Reaction to a Long-Term Issue
The general public outside Europe might see Brexit as a sudden movement, but it’s been brewing for a generation or two. The fact is that the Conservative Party in the UK has long thought about. However, there was internal conflict within the group. But eventually, it was clear that a sizeable portion of the public had their own similar sentiments toward their country and the EU.
Not everyone in the UK wanted to leave the EU — but the vote is done and Brexit has won. People who chose to remain will bear the consequences of whether they are good or bad. Furthermore, Brexit will change how the UK conducts international trade and negotiates with other governments.
The Border Between Ireland and the UK
Arguably one of the most pressing issues that must be addressed as soon as possible is that of the border located in the north of Ireland. There was already tension in this area — and Brexit is about to bring it up again. If there’s no clear-cut solution, the EU may not let Brexit continue at all.
The problem here is that the Brexit deal would separate the Republic of Ireland from the UK. In a way, this would also put them farther away from other countries. Note that Ireland is still a member of the European Union. But even so, they would have to directly deal with the UK and its borders after Brexit.
It’s no ordinary border. It’s at least 310 miles long and it’s what distinguishes which part of the land is owned by the UK and which one belongs to the Republic of Ireland. If the border is once again reinforced at Northern Ireland, which is in the UK, the economy of Ireland could suffer.
Ireland should not have to be the subject of collateral damage as the EU and the UK continue arguing about Brexit. Its citizens are already dealing with the EU’s plans to have stricter measures against copyright content on the Internet, which some see as a form of censorship. Some are even considering getting NordVPN as an option just to bypass the looming policy.
The Long History at the Border
The border between the UK and the Republic of Island does not need another tumultuous condition. During the 1960s, a war known as The Troubles took place. This mostly occurred in Northern Ireland, but it eventually made its way to England and the Republic of Ireland — and other parts of Europe. This only ended in 1998, when the Good Friday Agreement was signed between the opposing groups.
Thanks to this multilateral agreement, the end of the 20th century gave the people of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland new ope. Tariffs were eliminated to encourage trade between the UK and the Republic. And since they were both a part of the EU, it became easier to conduct businesses.
The process of demilitarizing the border wasn’t quick, but it soon paved the way for peaceful travels and trade. The EU helped fortify the Good Friday Agreement. It ensured that the UK and Ireland would have better ties than ever before. In fact, Northern Ireland has the Republic as its largest export market.
Opting for a ‘Soft’ Border
There is a lot at stake if Brexit is finalized. After all, the land border is the only one that would physically separate the UK from the rest of Europe. This is why the citizens of Northern Ireland voted not to leave the European Union.
But for now, the UK government has to abide by the backstop. It’s a rule stating that there won’t be a strict border in Northern Ireland until the Brexit deal is finalised. The UK’s Conservative Party is not happy with the Irish backstop because they believe it extends the control of the EU over the country.
If there is no agreement, the UK would eventually put up a hard border. This means there would be actual checkpoints — affecting both trade and travel between Ireland and the UK. Thus, there is a reason to believe that tensions might once again build as the division is created.
It took decades before peace was achieved in Northern Ireland. Moreover, it required the support of the EU. If the UK proceeds with Brexit and leaves the EU, it may create dire consequences for its citizens and for those in the Republic of Ireland. The parties must know how to settle the deal in a way that doesn’t put people and their livelihood in danger.