The U.K. government has published a policy paper outlining its position on issues related to Ireland and Northern Ireland ahead of Brexit negotiations later in August that will focus on several Irish issues – in particular, how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
According to the policy paper, the U.K. will seek to maintain current arrangements such as the Common Travel Area that confers special mutual free movement privileges between Ireland and the U.K. that predate EU free movement, and the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 that settled the relationships between Northern Ireland, Ireland and Britain.
The paper contains the following key points:
BAL Analysis: The proposal will be discussed in further detail by Brexit negotiators later this month. Both the EU and the U.K. have previously stated their consensus that the Common Travel Area and Good Friday Agreement should be preserved and that they would like to avoid a hard land border between the U.K (Northern Ireland) and Ireland, but the realities of avoiding a hard border in particular may prove challenging. For deeper analysis on the unique issues that Brexit poses for Ireland, please view BAL’s white paper, “Brexit: What’s at Stake for Ireland” here.
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