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UK-Irish border issue will not be resolved quickly

Thursday, July 13, 2017


The controversial celebration of King William III's victory against the Irish at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is a stark reminder of the divisions that still exist in Northern Irish society and could erupt once again in the context of Brexit. All sides are thus keen to ensure that the hardening of the border does not lead to a widening division between the United Kingdom and Ireland, and, in turn, between UK unionism and Irish nationalism within Northern Ireland.


  • Programmes operating across the border, especially those funded by the EU, are at risk of profound disruption.
  • Increasing unemployment or declining public services could exacerbate the risk of resurgent criminal activity.
  • Continued uncertainty around Brexit could prompt some businesses to move pre-emptively to the jurisdiction of Ireland (and thus the EU).
  • Criminal groups could profit from illicit trade and duty evasion when the border returns to being a customs frontier.

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