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 ...


144

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. ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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.


39

Ireland has had a policy of neutrality as far as international relations are concerned since WWII. Although this has never been formally codified in their constitution, and indeed recently such an amendment was rejected, neutrality is an important part of Irish foreign policy which has also precluded the country from joining organisations such as NATO, where ...


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? ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


23

and sharing the same views regarding Global security. I think this is a fundamental flaw in your viewpoint. Ireland has demonstrated a very different viewpoint from the UK and US and their primary allies. This goes beyond any historic differences on Irish-centric security and derives primarily from Ireland very much seeing itself primarily as a European ...


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 ...


21

The only reason a peace deal exists today is because it was a deal that let everyone in Northern Ireland act as if they were living in the country of their choice, with the citizenship of their choice. That worked because the open borders made it almost moot whether a bit of territory was Irish territory or UK. Ireland and the UK were effectively sharing ...


20

This is more of an addition to phoog's answer, but I think it's an important enough point to emphasize separately, as it seems a common source of confusion. Phoog said: The question of immigration controls between the UK and other EU countries is entirely independent of the UK's membership in the EU. The keyword here is "controls". Because stopping legal ...


19

There is a value in a language that goes beyond mere utility. Asking about economic benefits entirely misses the point! There is a 2000 year tradition of Gaelic in Ireland, and the native speakers of Gaelic are a living link to that tradition. This has an inestimable cultural value that transcends a narrow interpretation of "worth". Similarly, there is ...


19

A whole generation has grown up since the Good Friday Agreement. No, two separate generations have grown up: one Catholic, one Protestant. They go to different schools, live in different places and try to avoid mixing as much as possible. Talking to my friends in Northern Ireland, the divide is as wide as ever and they expect bloodshed if a hard border is ...


19

I'm a Remainer, but have been accused of being a Hard Brexiter on some stances in this debate, so I'll take a stab. The WTO, the Repubic of Ireland, the UK and the EU have all recently made declarations and supporting statements that they have no intention of putting up border checks on any border between the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. ...


19

There is only one way to unify Ireland without causing even bigger problems and repartition isn't it AS other answers show, repartition is impractical because the populations are too mixed and forced repartition would have potentially catastrophic effect because of the disruption that would result (in addition to being a violation of many people's basic ...


17

They can't (Note, I'm writing this as a placeholder default answer, since this IS the answer to the question unless a better answer turns up. Perhaps it should be a community wiki?) There is simply no way that status quo can be upheld between the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if the UK leaves the Single Market. Naturally, it is ...


16

This is one of those mathematical answers that doesn't take into account that people are human. Many people have connections to place, to countryside, to geography. History is not something that happened to someone else, it is something they feel as part of their identity. There is no way you can simply "buy them a similar house" and have them move because ...


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