Brexit and the threat to Northern Ireland

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Series Details No. 115, August / September 2017
Publication Date 20/07/2017
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The announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May on January 17th 2017 that Britain would leave the EU’s single market and customs union came as a profound shock to Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland. The prospect of a return of border controls on the island of Ireland is a bitter reminder that two fundamental pillars of the Good Friday Agreement are under threat: the significant EU funds spent in Northern Ireland; and ever closer economic and cultural integration with the Republic. Both the EU and the UK should come up with a damage limitation plan for Northern Ireland if they fail to agree quickly on a comprehensive trade agreement. One suggestion would be the creation of a specific regime for Irish and Northern Irish goods and services (including and beyond agri-food), essentially exempting them from tariffs and most customs checks if they remain on the island of Ireland

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Related Link(s)
ESO: Background information: Facing Brexit: Ireland, Northern Ireland and the EU
ESO: Background information: Brexit Negotiations: The Irish border question
ESO: Background information: Hard Borders of the Mind: Brexit, Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement
ESO: Background information: Ulster's Fight, Ulster's Rights? Brexit, Northern Ireland and the Threat to British-Irish Relations

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