Ireland remains still amidst all Brexit chaos | Commentary
The decision of the United Kingdom to exit the ‘European Union’ came as a shock to the world, when a referendum was passed on Thursday 23 June 2016. The post-referendum period had witnessed a change in Britain’s government with Theresa May entering into power, and ever since then, a question on her Prime Ministership was raised as to where her stance was on the whole purpose of the ‘Brexit’.
The Brexit which is scheduled to happen on 29th March 2019 at 11 PM UK time, has been under scrutiny for a long time now, as the United Kingdom has to develop some negotiations and relations with the other European Union countries, termed as the ‘transition period’. However, the most important objective of the whole process of negotiation stands on Ireland’s position and what measures would be taken to solve the problem of the Northern Ireland border as leaving the EU would simply mean a new system of border controls. The European Union had proposed a deal of a ‘common regulatory area’ where Northern Ireland will be considered a part of the Customs Union, even if the UK was out. But Theresa May rejected the proposal terming it ‘unacceptable’ as it would break down the single market with the creation of a customs and regulatory body down the Irish Sea. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland stands with her decision as ‘creating a red line by the sea’ would mean going back to border issues between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The matter of Northern Ireland now stands between the UK and Brexit for two matters. An immigrant issue, where the possibility of Ireland serving as a ‘backdoor’ to the EU immigrants, and the other being a disruption in the movement of goods and other trade concerning the areas of the United Kingdom, Ireland and in particular Northern Ireland. Ireland wishes not to have any hard border set up on the beautiful island of Ireland.
On Monday, the British Parliament has confirmed that the there will be no ‘post-Brexit’ custom imposition on the Irish border, making it even more complicated for Ireland to have the borders open between Northern Ireland and Ireland for some EU customs union. Theresa May have been under pressure as now the amendments for the Brexit are open for discussion in the Parliament and she has for now been ‘defeated’ twice in her propaganda for the ‘Brexit’. The Irish government have been considering all possible scenarios and the worst of them all would be to have a World Trade Organisation agreement on the movement of goods and imposition of tariffs if any in airports and ports. The Prime Minister has been threatened to prepare a bill which will keep Britain in a customs union with the EU if at all the trade bill fails. Earlier this year, on a meet with the European Union Council President Donald Tusk, Irish Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar asserted that he has complete faith in the EU and the negations which comes up will be both in benefit of the United Kingdom as well as Ireland, and that life after ‘Brexit’ would be completely different for all. He had also mentioned that financial stability and complete integrity of the market is what matters for both the countries.
The border issue concerning both countries have been seen with a lot of perspectives, business mostly. The Irish people are willing to play the role as per the structures of the negotiations that are bound to take place. Prime Minister Varadkar hopes for a situation where Britain would not need to force Ireland to change its position on the whole Brexit issue.
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*Arijita Sinha Roy is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team