Today, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be meeting leaders in Northern Ireland which the main battlefield in Britain’s fight to exit the European Union. At the same time, it is also the focus of increasing tense rhetoric on both sides of the Irish Sea.
The Irish leaders have already warned the PM that his oath to leave the EU, with or without a deal, risks up breaking the United Kingdom. Mr. Johnson discussed with Northern Ireland’s main political leaders about restoring the British province’s power-sharing government that had fallen down in January 2017.
However, Brexit will be the issue hanging over it. The land border of Ireland with the province that both sides want to keep smooth flowing after Brexit both for economic reasons as well as to maintain the delicate peace deal. The deal played an important role in ending the fights between Irish nationalists and British loyalists.
The main factor which was considered effective in reducing tensions was the removal of checks on the border. But after Brexit, the border will become a part of the external frontier of EU which will legally need a policing.
The agreement struck by Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May proposed the so-called “backstop” solution, a mechanism designed to preserve the EU’s single market and prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
According to eurosceptic MPs, it gives the EU too much control over Britain and rejected the deal three times. Leo Varadkar, the prime minister of Ireland was told by Mr. Johnson on Tuesday that the “backstop” plan was unacceptable. “If they really can’t do it then clearly we have to get ready for a no-deal exit,” Johnson said on a trip to Wales, adding: “It’s up to the EU, this is their call.”
However, it has been stated by Mr. Varadkar that Johnson’s plan to renegotiate the deal by a deadline of October 31 was “totally not in the real world”.
On Friday, the Irish Prime Minister said no-deal Brexit would make the unification of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland more likely.
“People who you might describe as moderate nationalists or moderate Catholics who were more or less happy with the status quo will look more towards a united Ireland.
“And increasingly you see liberal Protestants, liberal unionists starting to ask the questions as to where they feel more at home,” Mr. Varadkar said.