After a Brexit, the Irish border would be a matter for the EU as well as the Republic-UK

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Those who say that border matters between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland would remain unchanged in the event of a vote in favour of a Brexit, overlook the fact that it would not be a matter solely for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to decide.

The days of common travel, common employment, and much else, including the siphoning off of money arising from economic activity in the United Kingdom for taxation in Dublin, would (this latter will anyhow even by the EU) have to be reconsidered or come to an end.

Whatever the new arrangement between the UK and the Republic it would have to be sanctioned on the Republic’s side by the EU. This is what the Republic’s government most fears. It would call the bluff on Dublin’s trotting out, what it is habitually good at when it comes to the EU, “that we and our partners have decided”.

On the Northern Ireland side too there is reason to fear because Northern Ireland too does not have control over its border. It is a United Kingdom matter with respect to Northern Ireland as much as it is an EU matter with respect to the Republic.

By remaining within the EU the United Kingdom is not giving up its fiscal and monetary sovereignty. But solely to call Dublin’s bluff would be no reason in Northern Ireland for voting Brexit, that might be just too much like cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

W A Miller, Belfast BT13