Is Ireland Set To Suffer Stress Over A Possible Hard-Border Proposition By The EU?

  • Jan 23, 2019 GMT
  • Team Kalkine
Is Ireland Set To Suffer Stress Over A Possible Hard-Border Proposition By The EU?

The European Union has confirmed that a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, will be an inevitable consequence of a no-deal Brexit scenario. On the contrary, Dublin and London are all against the notion and consider it to be a severe imposition. The Irish government stands by the Good Friday peace treaty and wants to avoid re-deployment of security and infrastructure at the borders.

Over the years, Ireland and UK have developed and forged healthy trade relations. According to the figures released in 2018, the Republic’s trade with the UK is worth more than EUR65 billion every year and supports around 400,000 jobs in both the economies. Thus, the scenario deserves special attention, and a bilateral agreement can possibly be negotiated between the UK and Ireland before the worst-case scenario.

The Irish government believes that they have put many efforts into finalising the 1998 Belfast Backstop Agreement, which is an insurance policy aimed at preventing a hard border in the absence of a future UK-EU trade and to ensure that the UK remains in the EU's customs union. But it is also evident that in the absence of a withdrawal agreement, radical discussions will have to be conducted with the European Commission and the UK to reach a favourable outcome and sustenance of peace across the Island.

Ireland assertively proclaimed that it would not comply with the enforcement of any checks and restrictive regulation at the order that would hamper the free flow of trade and movement with the United Kingdom. However, the European Union is obstinate in its stance around the rules that will would come into effect post a no-deal Brexit. If the event does take place, apparently the United Kingdom will have to leave the single market and the customs union. Although the Backstop agreement has been a significant constituent of the UK Prime Minister’s last proposal that got voted down, she has assured that the parliament will try in its best approach to avoid a hard border for Ireland.

The reports suggest that the European Union has formulated exhaustive contingency plans for every possible outcome including a no-deal Brexit. While the guidelines cater to almost every sector of the economy, the EU has so far designed and proposed no arrangements concerning the border between the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which is a concern for their respective governments. It is the only open UK-EU land border and thus under greater scrutiny.

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