Before we discuss about the terms and conditions of the Brexit, we must first talk about the functionings of the European Union (EU).
The European Union (EU):
The European Union can be understood as a regional landmass within which tourists can cross over the borders with the possession of an EU passport. Therefore before the Brexit, the European Union essentially had liquid borders, facilitating the ease of trade and travel within Europe.
Upvoted by the people of Britain in June 2016, the Brexit will now ensure that UK will have full control over its borders in terms of international trade and commerce. In terms of the border demarcation, the United Kingdom will have to draw a hard border between itself and that of the EU.
However, the major implication of the Brexit is that involving the division of its only overland border: between that of Northern Ireland and that of the Republic Of Ireland.
History Of Ireland.
The border between what is today known as Northern Ireland and that of the Republic Of Ireland, was originally drawn by the British in the 1920’s. The island was divided into the two states based on their population: the southern part comprised of a majority of people who identified themselves as Nationalists (Catholics who wanted independence from the British Empire), whereas the northern part comprised of a majority of people who identified themselves as Unionists (wanting to be associated with the British).
After years of rebellion, the South eventually gained independence from the British Empire, forming the ‘Republic Of Ireland’ whereas the north agreed to be associated with UK. A formal borderline was created between the two newly independent states, but was accompanied with a lot of hostile wars and bloody street fights between the people of the two opposing ideologies. Towers, check points and army personnel were deployed to the borders by the British Army so as to resolve the conflict.
The war lasted up to 1998 after spanning for more than 30 years, but was finally resolved with the leaders of both the Nationalists and the Unionists, signing a treaty according to which both states agreed to retreat their armies from the 492 kilometre border. Further implications that were agreed upon were that the people of Northern Ireland (which was now part of the UK) could hold citizenship’s of both countries and also at any point, could the people vote to join the Republic Of Ireland, the deal coming to be known as the ‘Good Friday Agreement’.
Thus, after a 38 year long period, Britain recalled its troops from the borders marking a historic day in the islands’ history.
What the Brexit Implies?
According to the Brexit, Great Britain will have to demarcate its formal borders so as to sustain and regulate the commerce through the borders of the country, which in turn affects its economy.
What Can Britain Do?
Assigning a formal hard border to only the British Island will lead to the isolation of the Unionists from the mainland, a formal border on its existing territorial border (that is between Northern Island and the Republic Of Ireland).
This would leave a minority of Nationalists in the Northern Island, thereby hampering ties between the two communities. Another option would mean that the UK would have to stay in the EU Customs union, but that would directly violate the interests of the ‘Brexiters’ who insist on Britain in regulating trade through its borders.
Thus, Britain is in a delicately placed position as of the moment and which policy do they adopt is yet to be seen.