Updated (16 Feb. 18). I have added under Brexiters (section 4) a section with some articles on Sweden-Norway and possible technical solutions for the hard border. Since the beginning of 2018, many Brexiters have been promoting it on paper and online, citing sections of “Smart Border 2.0” (see section 1). In October 2019, the UK and EU negotiators agreed on a revised protocol (see below) that solved many of these problems by leaving the EU de jure, but with a de facto border between islands (Ireland and Britain). Despite each “guarantee” here, a hard limit, physical infrastructure, etc. “Provided that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the common commitments set out in this joint report are fully reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement.” 20 All this shows several important features of the persistent problem of the Irish border. First, it is not just an economic and trade problem, but a highly political and constitutional one. An exclusively economic and technical solution to the commercial dimension of the problem is not of natural importance.

The second conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that the current enigma of Ireland`s borders is not a new issue that would only be a consequence of the June 2016 Brexit referendum. Although the decision of a majority of voters in the UK destabilises the current soft Irish border regime on the island of Ireland, the main causes of the current difficulties with the Irish border lie in the weaknesses of the GFA itself. If there is an Irish border problem today, it is primarily because the GFA has not provided real and long-term political solutions to the historic dispute over the status of the Irish dividing border, which was set between 1920 and 1925. The Brexit referendum itself is a sign that both the Irish and British states have not yet defined the precise and agreed constitutional terms of their common sovereignty over Northern Ireland. If so, the decision to hold the 2016 referendum, upheld by the UK Supreme Court, shows that, in accordance with the UK Constitution, the London executive was right to consider Northern Ireland as an integral part of UK territory and not as an area of shared sovereignty with Dublin. Despite the GFA, the British Constitution remains a strictly unionist constitution. As far as Northern Ireland`s internal institutions are concerned, the situation following the Brexit referendum showed that despite a 56% EU majority in favour of maintaining and a common interest in maintaining an open border, both communities still maintain their old sectarian views on the border. The causatal power-sharing democracy, established in Northern Ireland in 1998, institutionalised ethno-territorial antagonism and clearly did not transform ethno-local identities in Northern Ireland. In September 2016, David Davis, then Britain`s Brexit minister, said the UK government would not seek to return to a hard border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. [19] This Politico.eu article “Lessons from Norway-Sweden border for post-Brexit Britain” (17 September) states that in 2016 , “there were 229,286 checks on vehicles passing through” and that “a report [from early 2017] is based on a survey of 2,000 Swedish companies. identified customs as the main problem hindering trade with Norway”, because “the rules are considered bureaucratic and the demand for documents generates a lot of paperwork”. .

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