Since June 2016, we talked a lot about Brexit and its consequences. Two days ago, we were explaining that Theresa May would like to reopen the negotiation and that Brussels answered « no ». For two years, we’ve described a lot the consequences on Ireland. How Brexit could create a crisis at the Irish border?
Irish troubles: explanation
A key part of the Brexit negotiations was about the border that separates Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Last month, EU leaders approved a withdrawal deal with the UK that includes an agreement on the Irish border. Both sides committed to avoiding the return of a « hard border » – physical checks or infrastructure – after Brexit.
This is where the controversial backstop comes in.
The backstop is a position of last resort, to maintain an open border on the island of Ireland in the event that the UK leaves the EU without securing an all-encompassing deal. At present, goods and services are traded between the two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland with few restrictions. The UK and Ireland are currently part of the EU single market and customs union, so products do not need to be inspected for customs and standards.
An agreement on the backstop is important because the EU won’t agree to a transitional period and substantive trade talks until it is in place.
And because it is really complicated sometimes to understand why this particular border is extremely important for both sides (Irish and British), this is a video that shows how Brexit could create a crisis at the border.
In case of a no deal…
Given the increasing risk that the United Kingdom may leave the EU on 30 March this year without a deal (a “no-deal” scenario), the European Commission has adopted a final set of contingency proposals in the area of the Erasmus+ programme, social security coordination and the EU budget.
Unfortunately, the European Commission has not said what will happen in Ireland in case of a no deal scenario. Irish people has to wait… and pray !