This is a collaborative ESRC-funded research project between the Law Schools of Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University and the region’s leading human rights organisation, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ).
Our project will examine the constitutional, conflict transformation, human rights and equality consequences of Brexit.
Northern Ireland (along with Scotland) voted to remain in the European Union (EU); it is the region of the United Kingdom (UK) most likely to be negatively affected by the decision to leave the EU. It is now evident that the transformation of constitutional and legal relationships between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain flowing from the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 1998 was premised on background assumptions about common membership of the EU. The UK-wide vote to leave the EU is thus profoundly unsettling for the peace process, and it has already proved constitutionally destabilising in and beyond Northern Ireland.
Many complex questions are arising, with significant legal and constitutional consequences that demand considered reflection. This new initiative aims to meet this need by disentangling the legal elements of Brexit with regard to Northern Ireland, and presenting and communicating the related implications for policy and practice in user-friendly formats.
The project will particularly focus on: the Northern Ireland peace process ; North-South relations; border controls and free movement in and between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain; xenophobia and racism in Northern Ireland; the impact on socio-economic rights; and wider human rights and equality issues.
Through extensive research and public engagement our ambition is to make a constructive and informed contribution to local and global conversations on the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland.