The question of the border separating the Irish Republic and the U.K. province of Northern Ireland features thrown an enormous – and for some, mental – wrench in the British government’s plans to go Brexit talks along.
EUROPE (EU) and U.K. are at odds over the outcome of the 310-mile Irish border, with Dublin highly opposing a probable hard border separating Ireland and Northern Ireland more than fears it might undermine the 1998 Good Friday Arrangement, which ended three years of sectarian violence.
The U.K.’s try to keep the EU customs union – which permits free movement of merchandise and people across all EU countries – has cast doubt more than the island’s economical and political future. Open trade relations are crucial to Ireland’s market, and the U.K. is its second-largest trading spouse.
The gridlock threatens progress on Brexit talks between the EU and the U.K as British Prime Minister Theresa Might scrambles to find consensus within her government to support an agreement with EU leaders. Ireland features threatened to veto any more talks on a trade deal for the U.K. if it feels its requirements on the border possess not been met.
The existing impasse has evoked memories of a darker time prior to the peace agreement was signed. Concerns about renewed sectarian tensions and political divisions surrounding a feasible border have returned to the fore.