152 votes
Accepted

Why can't Northern Ireland just have a stay/leave referendum?

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 ...
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  • 18.1k
145 votes

Why is it impossible to leave the Single Market without a hard Irish border?

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 ...
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  • 5,720
94 votes
Accepted

Why is the UK so keen to remove the "backstop" when their leadership seems to think that no border will be needed in Northern Ireland?

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. ...
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  • 7,008
85 votes

Why is the UK blaming the EU and what does the UK want?

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 ...
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  • 12.2k
68 votes

Can Northern Ireland's border issue be solved by repartition?

"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 ...
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  • 21.3k
64 votes
Accepted

Why don't Sinn Féin take their seats in the UK parliament?

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. ...
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  • 20.2k
64 votes
Accepted

Why is the UK blaming the EU and what does the UK want?

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 ...
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  • 77.9k
62 votes

Explain for kids — Why isn't Northern Ireland demanding a stay/leave referendum like Scotland?

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 ...
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  • 92k
59 votes
Accepted

Why don't hard Brexiteers insist on a hard border to prevent illegal immigration after Brexit?

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 ...
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  • 13.4k
58 votes

Why is the UK so keen to remove the "backstop" when their leadership seems to think that no border will be needed in Northern Ireland?

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'...
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  • 17.1k
58 votes
Accepted

Can Northern Ireland's border issue be solved by repartition?

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 ...
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55 votes

Why is the UK blaming the EU and what does the UK want?

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 ...
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53 votes

Why is it impossible to leave the Single Market without a hard Irish border?

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, ...
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  • 92k
47 votes

Why are the nationalists and unionists in Ireland & Northern Ireland OK with using violence?

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,...
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  • 21.3k
46 votes

What is the evidence that customs checks in Northern Ireland are going to result in violence?

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 ...
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  • 610
46 votes

Can Northern Ireland's border issue be solved by repartition?

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 ...
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  • 1,289
44 votes
Accepted

What do hard-Brexiteers want with respect to the Irish border?

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 ...
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  • 102k
43 votes
Accepted

Could the same person be First Minister in Northern Ireland and Taoiseach in the Republic of Ireland?

No, under Section 19A of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, as amended by the Disqualifications Act 2000 and the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006, which states that "No person may be ...
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  • 80.2k
40 votes

Why can't Northern Ireland just have a stay/leave referendum?

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 ...
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  • 3,443
39 votes
Accepted

Why is it impossible to leave the Single Market without a hard Irish border?

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 ...
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  • 3,534
39 votes

Why don't hard Brexiteers insist on a hard border to prevent illegal immigration after Brexit?

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.
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  • 21.3k
38 votes

Why can't Northern Ireland just have a stay/leave referendum?

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 ...
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  • 21.3k
36 votes

What explanation do proponents of a Scotland-NI bridge give for it breaking Brexit impasse?

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 ...
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  • 13.4k
32 votes

What do hard-Brexiteers want with respect to the Irish border?

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 ...
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  • 17.1k
32 votes

Would the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland be interested in reuniting?

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 ...
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  • 92k
30 votes

Why can't Northern Ireland just have a stay/leave referendum?

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 ...
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  • 409
29 votes
Accepted

What explanation do proponents of a Scotland-NI bridge give for it breaking Brexit impasse?

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: ...
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  • 102k
29 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't UK consider Ireland a foreign country for the purpose of British law?

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 ...
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  • 92k
28 votes
Accepted

Why is having border controls in Ireland so problematic for Irish nationalists?

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 F&...
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