The Brexit agreements between the European Union and the United Kingdom over Northern Ireland are untenable, according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. According to the Prime Minister’s spokesman, the situation in the region is now “extremely dangerous”.
Pro-British politicians in Northern Ireland have previously said they will not introduce ministers to the Northern Ireland government if the agreements are not amended. This threatens to create a dead end in the formation of the government, since the agreement in principle stipulated that there should be Protestants loyal to Britain and Catholics loyal to Ireland in every ministry.
The status of Northern Ireland after the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has long been a major political issue. Since Ireland is a member of the European Union, customs controls on goods must be introduced at the border with Northern Ireland, but this is a very sensitive matter. After decades of fighting between pro-Ireland Catholics and pro-British Protestants, a peace agreement in the 1990s agreed that there would be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
EU special status
To keep this possible after Brexit, the EU-UK border is now drawn between Northern Ireland and the British Isle. As a result, customs now have to check goods transported between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Earlier this week, The Times reported that British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss wants to revoke Northern Ireland’s special status in the European Union. This means abandoning efforts to reach a solution with the European Union over the region. Johnson claims the European Commission, the EU’s executive council, is not doing enough to prevent “economic and political turmoil” in Northern Ireland.
Last weekend, the pro-Ireland Sinn Fein party became the largest party in Northern Ireland’s parliamentary elections. This party wants a referendum on the reunification of Northern Ireland with Ireland, but does not want to organize it immediately.
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