The Good Friday Agreement And The Irish Border

2 There is a general consensus that the United Kingdom`s exit from the European Union will have a negative impact on the Irish and Northern Irish economies, as well as on cross-border trade and relations between Ireland and Northern Ireland, particularly in certain sectors heavily dependent on this trade, such as the agri-food sector. However, if a general agreement has still not been reached between London, Brussels, Dublin and the political parties of Northern Ireland on the status of the Irish border after Brexit, it is not only due to these potentially negative socio-economic repercussions. This is mainly due to the fact that the current soft border system is part of a very complex constitutional and institutional order established by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and ratified by two simultaneous referendums in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is why it can legitimately be argued that if the Irish border is so controversial today, it is because the GFA has not brought a real and consensual solution to the boring question of the status of the Irish border. Despite twenty years of peace and a 56% northern Irish majority in favour of remaining in the EU, unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland still disagree on what will happen to this border. In other words, if Brexit poses several problems and debates around the issue of the Irish border, it is not so much the consequence of Brexit itself as the symptom of the original weaknesses of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). The overall result of these problems was to undermine unionists` confidence in the agreement exploited by the anti-deal DUP, which eventually overtook the pro-deal Unionist Party (UUP) in the 2003 parliamentary elections. The UUP had already resigned from the power-sharing executive in 2002 following the Stormontgate scandal, which implicated three men for gathering intelligence. These charges were eventually dropped in 2005 on the controversial grounds that the persecution was not “in the public interest”. Immediately afterwards, one of the incriminated members of Sinn Féin, Denis Donaldson, was unmasked as a British agent.

“This is why what people take for granted at the moment at the border crossing is seen as a sign that the peace process is going backwards and the 1998 agreement is being cancelled. In addition to the number of signatories[note 1], Stefan Wolff identifies the following similarities and differences between the issues addressed in the two agreements:[28] In October 2019, the UK and EU negotiators agreed on a revised protocol (see below) that resolved many of these issues by leaving Northern Ireland de jure, but with a de facto border between the islands (Ireland and Great Britain). The United Kingdom and Ireland cooperate on health, including the mutual recognition of qualifications. The Northern Ireland branch of the British Medical Association warned that a hard border “could endanger patient care”. [78] The CEO of Cooperation and Working Together, a body that organises cross-border health cooperation, proposed using the Norwegian model. [78] Along the border between Norway and Sweden and other northern borders, there is some cooperation for the collection of ambulances and helicopters, as well as for maternity wards and a few others, but apart from that, health care is separate. 14 Therefore, as a common and reciprocal redefinition of the British and Irish sovereign states over Northern Ireland, the GFA has been a remarkably incomplete and incomplete constitutional process. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom and its Irish border conundrums show that the 1998 agreement had not gone far enough to provide for an explicit, indisputable and (new) constitutional definition of the Dublin and London obligations as co-sovereign states guaranteeing the agreement. .

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Sobre Franco Baldissare

Soy consultor en Comunicación y Personal Branding. Ayudo a personas y organizaciones a conectar para comunicarse mejor con su público. Además de brindar talleres y charlas estoy escribiendo un libro, que espero presentar este año. Casado con Noe, tengo dos hijos: Francesco y Gemma.

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