The British government is in turmoil and could fall because of disagreements over the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
The issue has become a major stumbling block in Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. The problem is that when Brexit happens, the current Northern Ireland border will also become the border between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
This will require customs checks. However, the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland, requires that there should be no hard border with checkpoints. Ireland, the EU and the UK all agree that there should be no hard border, but they have found it difficult to agree on how customs checks could take place without such a mechanism.
Prime Minister Theresa May believes the problem could eventually be solved by a free trade agreement that will remove the need for a border. In the meantime, she has agreed to a ‘backstop’ solution that means Britain will stay in a customs arrangement with the EU if all else fails.
Under the agreement she has reached with the EU, this backstop cannot be ended by Britain without EU approval.
This has infuriated Brexit supporting MPs who fear it will leave the UK locked into the EU indefinitely.
Theresa May was forced to withdraw a vote on the arrangement when it became clear that it would be voted down in Parliament. This has created a crisis in which Mrs May needs to extract further concessions from Ireland and the EU or face defeat. Both Ireland and the EU have said they will not renegotiate. Mrs May could soon face a vote of no confidence from her own MPs and may have to resign.
This is some of our readers have to say about the crisis.
Very simple solution. Unite our country get the hell out of Ireland like you should’ve done along long time ago.
Shoulder to Shoulder we will be united.
A united Ireland and an independent Scotland makes sense more now than it ever has. England and Wales voted to leave EU, Scotland and NI voted to remain. It’s not rocket science, ALBA GU BRATH ERIN GO BRAGH !
While we may all have a gloat about this tragedy remember 48% did not vote to leave. If Britain leaves I am fearful about the economic impact on Britain but also Ireland as there will be an impact on the Irish economy.
We can’t afford the North. And England don’t want it. Really!!
The arrogance tonight of British Mps is frightening, they are still waiting on The European leaders to bow down and give Britain everything it wants. This is a mess that they have created themselves, The people were promised a litany of lies by the Brexiteers, a pot of gold that never existed, a house of cards that is crumbling down around them.
If the British had have been this bad at negotiating back in 1922, there wouldn’t even be a boarder, and they probably would have given us Scotland and Gibraltar too as a sweetener.
Point of clarity…. it wasn’t the British that put this Border there, it was as a result of the Civil War in Ireland. Collins went to England to Negotiate and DeVelera remained in Ireland. The Anglo Irish Treaty followed, Protestants in the North East erupted in Violence. For Irish Independence to happen, DeVelera handed over 6 Counties in the North to get his Republic. So we Irish shot ourselves in the foot by handing that over.
Problem is the people in the North see themselves as Brits and are not interested in a United Ireland.
The DUP not even representing their own constituents.
Is that the sound of chickens coming home to roost? You reap what you sow.
It wasn’t the “British” who did this, really, unless you classify the Northern Ireland Scots-Presbyterians that way. It certainly was NOT London’s idea.
They have wasted 3 years on this deal, which doesn’t even involve trade. Do the trade deal and we probably don’t even need a border. USELESS POLITICIANS.
Maybe this is fate saying enough is enough!
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling