Northern Ireland and Ireland: position paper

Author (Corporate) ,
Series Title
Series Details August 2017
Publication Date 16/08/2017
Content Type

The United Kingdom government issued on the 16 August 2017 the second of a series of papers putting forward its negotiating position on the UK’s future partnership with the European Union (EU).* It was published in the context of the negotiations being undertaken with the EU for the UK to leave the union following the Brexit referendum vote of June 2016.

This position paper on Northern Ireland and Ireland outlined the UK’s position on addressing the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland and the land border with Ireland.

The position paper — which had been published ahead of the August 2017 negotiating round between the EU and UK — stated that the Government would protect the Common Travel Area (CTA) and associated rights for UK and Irish citizens, and put upholding the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement at the heart of its Exit negotiations.

The paper also put forward proposals on avoiding a hard border on the movement of goods — making clear the UK’s position that there should be no physical infrastructure at the border — and planned to preserve the wide range of institutional cooperation between Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain including for the energy market.

* the first position paper had been published on the 15 August 2017 and set out UK government proposals for a future customs relationship with the EU. All the positions papers published in August 2017 by the UK government can be accessed here.

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