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    Anti-Brexit billboards are seen on the northern side of the border between Newry, in Northern Ireland, and Dundalk, in the Republic of Ireland, on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

    Brexit Border Issue Could Be Resolved if N Ireland Gets Special Status - Scholar

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    DUP leader Arlene Foster has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of breaking promises regarding the Irish border’s future after Brexit. Was this in reaction to Westminster’s reluctance to reveal the full details of the backstop plan?

    Sputnik spoke with Dr Connal Parr, research fellow in humanities at Northumbria University for more insight on the issue.

    Sputnik: Do you agree with Arlene Foster, that Theresa May has broken promises regarding the Irish border’s future after Brexit?

    Dr Connal Parr :The truth is that this was always going to happen.

    The DUP has had a lot of power recently and has flexed the muscles of its power through its positon, but there was always going to be a sense that the time would come, that we would have what occurred in 1985 with the Anglo-Irish agreement.

    The Conservative Party was always going to go over the heads of the DUP and Arlene Foster for something that was better for Britain over all interests. What you’ve had recently is that it’s now finally struck the DUP that the British government will go over their heads and have an agreement that does not cater to what the DUP wants.

    Sputnik: How can the border issue be resolved?

    Dr Connal Parr: The plan to give some sort of special status to Northern Ireland is what is needed. Northern Ireland is a place apart and a special place anyway, it’s essentially between the UK, it’s not quite the UK mainland, it’s also not the Republic of Ireland and it’s very different to both of those places.

    It already is a special case and what’s interesting about the plan that Theresa May seems to be softening everyone up for, is that it seems to recognise that Northern Ireland is going to get some sort of special status, which would be the thing that would fix all of this.

    It would also help Northern Ireland’s economy, as if Britain overall doesn’t have access to the customs union, but Northern Ireland does; that would be economically beneficial and it would prevent the kind of ruptures and damage of a hard Brexit. In all ways; the customs union special status access that seems to be on the table would be the thing that should happen.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Dr Connal Parr and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

     

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