Within the Outside Unions: The Consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland
By Anthony Soares
This article considers the possible consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland. It begins by analysing the political context leading up to the UK’s referendum on EU membership, which was preceded only weeks earlier by the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly. It then offers an overview of the reaction of a divided Northern Ireland Executive to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, before considering some of the potential consequences for Northern Ireland of the UK’s departure from the EU. These include the future nature of the Northern Ireland-Ireland border, North-South relations, the possibility of retaining the Common Travel Area, the loss of EU funding for cross-border cooperation, as well as customs controls and trade. It concludes by suggesting how Northern Ireland could retain some degree of continuing relationship with the EU.