Northern Ireland is the part of the UK most distinctly affected by Brexit. The introduction of a ‘hard border’ with the Republic of Ireland is a particular concern, with customs controls probable and immigration checks possible. Free movement across the island of Ireland remains a desired feature of a strong bilateral relationship which strengthened amid common EU membership and the Northern Ireland peace process.
Since the UK has opted to leave the European Union a lot has been said on the impact that BREXIT will have on the Northern Ireland. These same concerns were also highlighted in the various negotiations.
The concern is related to how BREXIT will be affecting the Good Friday agreement which was reached in 1998, and which through a multilayered and subtle set of documents, mandated a power-sharing government for Northern Ireland, and, as an international agreement, redefined the triangular relationship between Belfast, Dublin and London.
In fact, through the Good Friday agreement, the border was minimised as a contentious physical and psychological presence in Irish life. The army’s watchtowers and the queues of lorries at frontier posts disappeared. Now only the keenest-eyed travellers know when they have left one country for another.
What will BREXIT mean to the Good Friday agreement?
Read more about the consequences of BREXIT on Northern Ireland in the European Parliament’s Briefing Document.