152

If you don't understand Irish history then you can't understand anything about Northern Ireland. Briefly, the whole of Ireland used to be part of the British Empire. This was due to some uncommonly bloody history since the Tudor era (roughly 1550 to 1600) in which the Protestant UK invaded Ireland and then tried to suppress repeated rebellions by Catholics. ...


145

In the strictest sense, it is of course possible; but it doesn’t make any sense, unless Brexit is only for symbolism. The whole point of Brexit (beside the symbolism) and of leaving the single market and the customs union is to allow Britain to act independently from its former partners – at least in trade issues. On the other hand, one main point of a ...


94

The problem stems from three issues. I'll explain those, then the backstop issue will be more obvious. Brexit will create two sovereign regions, with (over time) different borders and import rules. This is the express intent of Brexit after all. Where two sovereign regions meet, there needs to be some kind of formal controls over goods and people crossing ...


85

Simplified, one key issue that drove or drives the Brexit movement is for the UK to have full sovereign control over the standards goods must adhere to. Equally simplified, one key issue for the EU is what is known as the integrity of the internal market, i.e. that goods all across the EU adhere to the same sets of standards that were agreed upon by ...


68

"Northern Ireland" itself was created by a variation of that process: there was a referendum on whether to become independent after the Irish War Of Independence, and those electoral regions which voted to remain in the UK were assembled into a unit. Forced population transfer is usually considered to be a crime against humanity and is included in the UN ...


64

From the EU27 viewpoint, the Brexiteers promised a unicorn and now expect the EU27 to deliver this impossible creature. The EU27 always said that it can't be done without breaking something, and that it won't be the EU internal market which breaks. The EU27 want to have an open internal market, notably between the ROI and the mainland EU. The UK want to ...


63

The New Statesman sums it up fairly succinctly Sinn Féin is an Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Its central aim is for a united Ireland. It opposes Westminster’s jurisdiction in Northern Ireland, and its oath to the Queen, so its MPs abstain from sitting in parliament. In order to sit and vote ...


61

Scotland In Scotland, the SNP wants to hold a referendum and change people's minds to their side. In ⁠Scotland we don't know who would win a referendum now. Perhaps the SNP would ⁠convince a majority to vote for independence. Perhaps the Conservative ⁠and Labour parties would win. The SNP wants a referendum because they think ⁠they might win. The other ...


58

What I still don't understand is this: for hard-Brexiteers, taking back control of the UK borders to limit immigration is a major outcome of Brexit. The UK's immigration controls are already independent from the rest of the EU. The UK's common travel area with Ireland existed for decades before the EU or its predecessor organizations came into being, and ...


58

No, repartition will not solve the problem. In 1994 the Ulster Defence Association, a loyalist terrorist organisation active during The Troubles, threatened that if the British Army withdrew from Northern Ireland they would "repartition Ulster", falling back to majority Protestant areas, and ethnic cleansing any Catholics left. Repartition has been ...


57

The leadership is lying. They know that a border will be required to protect the Single Market, but it's inconvenient for them because they have no solution to it. So they deny it and pretend that it's not needed.


55

Let's just start with your title question: Why is the UK blaming the EU Boris Johnson and every Brexiteer have a choice: blame themselves or blame the EU. They're not going to ever accept any blame themselves, so they will blame the EU for anything they think is unpopular. Cynical politicians will not be the ones to stand up and say "My Fault !"....


53

The EU has customs at its borders. This allows it to, for example, collect tariffs on imports from the USA. So suppose the EU sets a 10% tariff on US cars. Now when a car moves from the US to Belfast, the UK collects a tariff. The UK can then re-export the car to Dublin, and there is no tariff because the UK and Ireland (the republic) are in a customs union. ...


47

Shall we start by seeing how historical violence is viewed by some people in Northern Ireland? There's still quite a lot of murals around. Just to be absolutely clear in case the imagery isn't obvious, the men depicted there are being celebrated for their acts of illegal violence. The Troubles is rather a large subject for an answer, but essentially it ...


46

New here, but there's a misconception in your question. The worry over the border isn't about some trade disputes and companies turning ugly over tariffs; this is about the establishment of any border at all between 2 regions of Ireland. I definitely can't go into all the details but here's a reference to the Wikipedia on The Troubles which is central to ...


46

The problem of Brexit for Northern Ireland isn't what you think it is. It has little to do with the distribution of the population. It's about cross-border trade and co-operation between Protestants and Catholics, which repartition would do nothing to fix and would be more likely to harm. Many businesses in the north run by Protestants/Unionists trade ...


43

They tend to think it's somebody else's problem (Ireland's and/or the DUP's). Unless you are part of the DUP of course. See how Rees-Mogg has been punting the problem along the lines of: I agree with whatever the DUP agrees (or at least doesn't oppose) on Northern Ireland. And at the same time he says that in the case of no-deal Ireland would not dare to ...


40

Northern Ireland is a net recipient rather than contributor to the UK economy (Scotland and Wales are too actually). It takes more money than it contributes. England is the wealthiest country in the UK, followed by Scotland, then NI, then Wales. It's also deeply divided between nationalists and unionists. Half of the population sees itself as British, not ...


39

I'm looking for something of the ilk of a technical/legal reason, not one that is about negotiating stances or consequences or political inconveniences that go "against Brexit". I'll give 2 examples of things I'm not looking for and why because I want this to be a very strict question. Negotiating stance: The EU demands it or it refuses to sign ...


39

This is why. Last time there were border posts, the IRA blew them up. Today (10 April 2019) is the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.


38

This is in answer to the sub-question: since you mention Gerry Adams was needed in the agreement, does this mean Ireland supports the unrest in Northern Ireland? If so, can the UK simply declare war (The Troubles certainly looks like an act of war) "Simply declare war" == murder a significant number of people, including civilians, for what purpose? ...


36

The "border in the Irish Sea" refers to a regulatory border, namely a customs border, that would require customs inspections of vehicles traveling between Northern Ireland and rest of the United Kingdom. More specifically, it refers to a plan to have Northern Ireland be a separate customs territory from the rest of the UK so it can remain in the EU customs ...


31

The brexiteers don't really want anything regarding the Irish border. It's just a problem preventing them getting the hard brexit that they want, and since they don't have a real solution for it they just want to pretend it's not really a problem. That's all it is, an annoying roadblock for them.


30

The Good Friday Agreement ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland between Unionists (British/Protestant) and Nationalists (Irish/Catholic). It did this, in part, by essentially allowing two nations to exists in the country of Northern Ireland. Those that wished to be British could have a British passport, wave a Union flag and call themselves British ...


30

Irish Nationalists, mostly from the Catholic community, have been trying to achieve an independent and unified Ireland for hundreds of years. Before 1921 the whole of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. At that time Ireland was partitioned. From the late 1960s until the adoption of the Good Friday Agreement there was an active paramilitary and terrorist ...


29

I'm not sure the DUP has actually said something like that. Channel4 may have misinterpreted the following not-so-recent statement of Paul Girvan, MP for South Antrim and DUP transport spokesperson: As we leave the European Union, the DUP has been clear that there should be no border erected down the Irish Sea. Instead of placing barriers between parts of ...


28

For Irish Nationalists, the Irish state is composed of all 32 counties on the island of Ireland. The nationalist view is that 6 of these are currently occupied by the British (see Why don't Sinn Féin take their seats in the UK parliament?), while 26 are governed from Dublin. The legitimacy of the Dublin government is a point of contention among ...


28

Ireland is a foreign country in British Law. But as a result of shared history and a succession of treaties, the two independent countries grant a variety of rights to each others citizens. This is a choice of the two independent governments. It is expedient because of the geographical and historical context. From the middle ages until the 1920s, Ireland ...


27

Currently, Northern Ireland is locked in a delicate balancing act. In the past, all views on NI's future have evoked violent reactions from opposition parties - whether that be remaining part of the union (opposed by republicans), independence (opposed by both), or joining the Republic of Ireland (opposed by unionists and loyalists). Since the mid-to-late ...


26

Solution 1: Have Northern Ireland merge with the Irish Republic so that the entire island is the Irish Republic. In that scenario, ALL of Ireland would be in the EU and the Irish border would disappear. Great Britain, comprising England, Scotland and Wales, would be free to leave the EU and Ireland could stay in the EU. This is possible under the Good ...


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