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Who is Who of the Irish Brexit

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We mixed you up a short glossary of terms relevant to the UK-Ireland-Brexit problem. Enjoy!

The Irish terms:

The Troubles – a violent thirty-year conflict regarding the status of Northern Ireland. The conflict officially started with a civil rights march in Derry on 5th October 1968 and ended with the Good Friday Agreement on 10th April 1998. The nationalist minority wanted Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic, and the unionist majority wished it to remain part of the UK. The conflict resulted in more than 3,600 fatalities over the years, with over 50,000 severely injured or psychologically damaged.

The Good Friday agreement, or the Belfast agreement – a peace deal signed by the British and the Irish Prime Ministers in 1998, putting an end to a several-decade conflict in Northern Ireland. Although it was a breakthrough in the peace process, many more years were needed to leave the conflict in the past.

The Northern Ireland peace process – refers to all the efforts to mitigate the conflict started in the 60s, including the Anglo-Irish agreement signed by Margaret Thatcher and the Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald in 1985, The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire in 1994, the Good Friday (or the Belfast) agreement in 1998 and the complete disposal of its weapons by the IRA in 2005.

The Brexit terms:

Hard Brexit means Britain would regain full control of its borders, would likely have to fall back on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules to trade with the European countries as it would lose access to the single market.

Soft Brexit – Britain would still have access to the EU single market and would remain part of the European Economic Area, like Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

In both cases, Britain will lose its MEPs and its European Commissioner and its seat in the European Council.

The EU terms:

EU Task Force – is in charge of planning and conducting the negotiations with the United Kingdom, taking into consideration all the strategic, operational, legal and financial consequences of the Brexit vote.

Guiding Principles on Ireland – guidelines established by the European Commission and the EU Task force. They request to bear in mind the unique circumstances and geographical situation of the island of Ireland in view of the Brexit negotiations. Whatever the outcome, the existing arrangements and agreements between the UK and Ireland must remain. The Brexit negotiations shall not hinder the Peace Process in any way.

EU customs Union – all goods travelling within the customs union are free from customs duties. The goods only need to have cleared customs in one country, then their movement in the union is unrestricted.

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