146

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 ...


137

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. ...


92

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 ...


67

"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 ...


62

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 ...


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 ...


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.


56

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 ...


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. ...


45

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 ...


43

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 ...


43

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 ...


41

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 ...


39

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

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

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 ...


37

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

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 ...


30

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.


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

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 ...


26

The withdrawal agreement requires a qualified majority by the remaining EU members (Article 50 section 4). Any extension of the negotiating period must be unanimous (Article 50 section 3). EU members have been known to engage in "blackmail" to get an effective veto in areas which do not require unanimity by threatening a veto in unrelated areas which do ...


25

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 ...


24

Read the wording very carefully. This Government will not put in place infrastructure, checks, or controls at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. We would be happy to accept a legally binding commitment to this effect and hope that the EU would do likewise However, that does not say that the regulatory regimes will remain the same north and ...


23

Sinn Fein's purpose is a united Ireland. They don't regard British rule over Northern Ireland as legitimate, and swearing the Oath of Allegiance would be anathema to them. They'd be no more willing to do it than members of ISIS would be to swear allegiance to the USA. They are very serious about their motives, and do not want to be seen as cynical ...


23

The European Council agreed in 2017 (see page 4) that a united Ireland would be part of the EU: The European Council acknowledges that the Good Friday Agreement expressly provides for an agreed mechanism whereby a united Ireland may be brought about through peaceful and democratic means; and, in this regard, the European Council acknowledges that, ...


23

There's no evidence that Corbyn advocates terrorism or other kinds of violence and he has consistently stated his opposition to violence. If "sympathise" means agree, approve, favourable to, support, Corbyn did openly "sympathise" with the IRA's ultimate goal of a united republican Ireland, but he does not appear to "sympathise" with violence. Corbyn's ...


22

It is not WTO rules which require a hard border, it is regulatory divergence. There will be a border in any scenario short of Irish unification. The Good Friday agreement says that it will be a soft border without intrusive limits and controls on cross-border traffic and commerce. Such a soft border is only practical if the rules on both sides of the ...


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