The Brexit Agreement Border: What You Need to Know
The United Kingdom`s departure from the European Union has been a hot topic for several years, and the negotiation process has been anything but smooth. Among the most contentious issues has been the future of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Good Friday Agreement, signed in 1998, brought an end to the conflict in Northern Ireland, also known as “The Troubles.” A key part of the agreement was the creation of an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This allowed for the free movement of people, goods, and services without any physical checkpoints or barriers. However, with Brexit looming, this agreement was threatened.
The UK and EU reached an agreement in late 2019, known as the Withdrawal Agreement, which included a protocol on Northern Ireland. The protocol aimed to maintain the open border and protect the Good Friday Agreement. Here are the key points you need to know about the Brexit Agreement Border:
1. Northern Ireland will stay in the UK customs territory but apply EU customs rules.
This means that Northern Ireland will continue to be part of the UK customs territory, but it will apply the same customs rules as the EU. This is known as a “dual tariff” system, where goods brought into Northern Ireland from outside the EU will be subject to UK tariffs, but those intended for the Republic of Ireland or the rest of the EU will be subject to EU tariffs.
2. Northern Ireland will apply EU rules on goods.
In addition to customs rules, Northern Ireland will also apply EU rules on goods. This means that goods entering Northern Ireland must comply with EU regulations on things like product safety, animal health, and environmental standards. This is to ensure that there are no barriers to trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and to protect the integrity of the EU single market.
3. There will be some checks on goods.
While the aim is to maintain an open border, there will be some checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. This is to ensure that goods coming into Northern Ireland meet EU regulations and standards. However, these checks will be carried out away from the border, at ports and airports, and there will be no physical infrastructure at the border itself.
4. The protocol is subject to review.
The protocol on Northern Ireland will be subject to review every four years, with the aim of finding a long-term solution that works for both the UK and the EU. If either party believes that the protocol is no longer working, they can request a review and propose changes.
In conclusion, the Brexit Agreement Border is a complex issue, and the protocol on Northern Ireland aims to balance the need for an open border with the UK`s desire to leave the EU. While there will be some checks on goods, the aim is to maintain the peace and stability brought about by the Good Friday Agreement. It remains to be seen how effective the protocol will be, but for now, the hope is that it will provide a workable solution for all parties involved.