The United Kingdom will exit the European Union one way or the other in just 35 days. Whether the UK exits with a deal or without an agreement is not yet clear and remains to be seen. We do know, however, that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have a direct impact on the good people of Northern Ireland, deal or no deal. So it is without wonder that Northern Ireland's government leaders are planning for a no deal UK-EU exit backstop or no backstop.
What is the Irish border Brexit backstop and why is it so controversial?
It would appear that the border between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland pose no problem for either the European Union, Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland or the United Kingdom as EU leaders just last month agreed on a deal regarding the Irish Border which would see no reason to have a “hard border.” Including the necessity for physical checks at the border.
So once again what is the problem.?
Well, as we all know, politicians will be politicians and what seems straight forward to us mortals isn't for the good men and women of Brussels. The fact of the matter is that the above deal which, by the way, has taken over two years to thrash out will be voided once the UK leaves the EU. Which means that both Irelands, South and North will be in two separate custom unions. That all goods transgressing the border of the two countries may be required to be checked at the checkpoint between the two Irelands, thus resulting in a hard-border, something which no one wants at this stage.
The Irish position and plan
A clearly worried Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney, said a "disorderly" Brexit would be a "lose, lose, lose" for the UK, the EU and the Republic of Ireland,” adding that it was “his aim for the emergency proposals is to ensure a smooth transition should the UK leave the EU without a deal”.
The Irish plan hopefully will be fast-tracked through the Irish parliament at the next sitting and will be signed into law by the UK’s exit date of the 29th March 2019.
The plan itself will include support for Irish businesses, protect jobs and protect the rights of Irish citizens it will also ensure the smooth running of all essential services in an attempt to mitigate the worst effects of any pre-Brexit Ireland.
The deputy prime minister went onto say that a no-deal Brexit will be a major shock for the Irish economy and that his country had no other choice but to plan for any sort of deal made between the UK and its European Partners.
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