The debate on Brexit rages on, as the EU-UK negotiations continue. A Shape is emerging, even though much remains worryingly speculative. The potential impact on Ireland has been exhaustively discussed. The consequences for Northern Ireland are troubling and destabilising (it voted remain). Brexit fueled the mood that led to the collapse of the Northern institutions; the Conservative-DUP deal makes restoration even more complicated.
The island is entering a strange new era, one where the border may become a visible external border of the EU. The background assumption of common membership of the EU will go, and with it the contribution made to easing pressures that might otherwise exist over border controls. Over the longer term, the concrete EU assistance given to the peace process depart as well. Things look grim; you have to strain hard to spot any silver linings around these clouds.