It is just a few more days until Britain will declare its departure from the European Union. A totally nonsensical move in my eyes, but (happily!?) mislead by some populist politicians like Nigel Farage and too arrogant to consider that it could all end in a disaster, the British old people and (uneducated?) lower class is forcing Britain to take its hat in March 2019 and say Goodbye to the EU.
(In a pre-poll survey of the Independent, 21% of people below the age of 26 voted for Brexit compared with 69% of people over the age of 65. And 64% of graduates were planning to vote to remain compared with only 25% of people with no formal qualifications at all. Source: www.independent.co.uk)
Some people in Ireland think that without Britain in the EU, Ireland will be in trouble, others hate the EUR for a variety of reasons and others again don’t care much about the EU and the opportunities that it should provide to Irish businesses because they put (nearly) ALL their focus on selling their goods to Britain and ignoring the 25 other markets in the EU.
Nobody knows what the outcome will be. It will probably take another 10 years until we do know and by then, many of the people who caused Britain’s exit will not be around anymore. :-O
Apart from the economic impact, there is one question causing distress in Ireland and it is a surprising issue: It is the question about the border to Northern Ireland.
I am well aware of the historic circumstances, the 800+ years of occupation of Ireland, the Anglo-Irish Treaty from 1921 and the “Troubles”, which were a lot more than just “troubles”, but no matter what your political preferences are you have to accept that by international law, Northern Ireland is part of Britain and NOT part of Ireland. You might want to change that and that wish/goal/preference is absolutely legitimate, But any change needs to follow formal procedures until it becomes reality.
With that in mind, I can understand why people in Ireland don’t WANT to have a border again between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but I can’t see a single reason why there shouldn’t be a border once Britain leaves the European Union and as long as Northern Ireland remains part of Britain.
The fact that both countries are on the same land mass, is definitely not enough of a reason. The history? Not enough of a reason either!
The area I come from in Germany was for a while French, then German, then French again and it is German for a long time but only about 20 minutes by car from the French border. The same happened – in reverse – to the area close to the border in the French side. German, then French, then German and now French. The change in “ownership” always happened through occupation. Both parts were separated by a border until the European Union tore down borders through the Schengen Agreement. But if Germany or France left the European Union, it would be totally normal and understandable that a border with check points etc would be re-built.
Why should the situation be difference between Ireland and Northern Ireland?
Yes, I get it, some think that Northern Ireland SHOULD be or OUGHT to be part of Ireland, but that is as wrong as if you think your neighbours house SHOULD be yours. It will be yours once you agree to it OR the courts decide that your neighbour took the house from you illegally and has to give it back. But until that formal process is completed, it is owned by someone else.