The village of Pettigoe is divided by the Irish border, with one side in Northern Ireland and the other in the Irish Republic. Since the end of The Troubles both sides have re-integrated, but there are concerns that Brexit could cause new division, since there’s still no agreement on how the UK and Ireland will manage if they have different trade policies either side of the border.
The border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic was once the epicentre of an armed conflict. Over 20 years have passed since the signing of the peace deal in 1998, but border communities are concerned that old wounds could be reopened if a no-deal Brexit creates a hard border between the two sides.
If the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal at the end of March, the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic will become the European Union’s land border with the UK. But the idea of different trade policies and customs checks worries businesses on the border.
As Britain marks the second anniversary of its Brexit referendum on Saturday 23rd June, the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic remains a point of contention in negotiations with the EU. At issue is how the border could remain invisible if much greater trade differences exist between the two regions. It’s a worry on the picturesque Carlingford Ferry, a link between north and south that only set sail less than a year ago.
The British government is struggling over how to deal with a key sticking point of Brexit – the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Different trade policies on either side could means border checks are needed, which would risk stoking old divisions. But supporters of Brexit are keen to have a clean break between the UK and Europe, and while a compromise has been agreed until 2021, what happens after that remains unclear.