Queen’s University study: Impact of Brexit and NI Protocol much worse than expected

A new study led by Queen’s University has found that the impact of Brexit and the NI Protocol has been much worse than expected for those living in border areas.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 1:00 am
A Queen's University survey has shown that people feel the impact of Brexit and the NI Protocol has been much worse than expected

The report published today, which surveyed people living in the Central Border Region of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, found that over half of respondents (53%) said that the impact of Brexit has been worse or much worse than they had expected, with only 13% saying it has been better than they feared.

The research consisted of three parts – an online survey of 394 unique responses, focus groups and stakeholder interviews with participants across the region, from both sides of the border.

Most participants in the study report negative economic experiences of the impact of Brexit and the Protocol, with around half of respondents pointing to problems with the supply, delivery, delays in delivery, and general availability of goods.

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According to the study, respondents who voted to leave the EU expressed a sense of disappointment, with many stating that what had been delivered, either politically or in purely economic terms, was not what they believed they had voted for.

The report is part of ‘The Border after Brexit’ project in conjunction with the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN).

It is co-authored by Professor Katy Hayward and Dr Milena Komarova from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s.

Professor Hayward remarked on the significance of this research in light of current UK-EU discussions on the Protocol: “Over half (57%) of participants remain concerned that there could yet be a hard Irish land border in the future.

“This shows overall that there is a real sense of flux and, with it, anxiety when it comes to the political, economic and social conditions in the border region since the end of the transition period.

“Such concerns are felt on both sides of the border from people of different backgrounds, identities and viewpoints.”

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