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Northern Ireland After Brexit

21 Jul 2021
By Dr Diarmuid Maguire
Within 40 minutes of the St Patrick's Day Parade leaving Belfast City Hall, Loyalist flag protesters appear at the same City Hall. Belfast City Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 2015. Source: Ardfern

This year is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Northern Ireland and the modern United Kingdom. It is also a year which has seen the UK leave the European Union with both parties agreeing to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Diarmuid Maguire explores the consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland. Following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which was supported by an all-Irish referendum, the paramilitaries disarmed and state forces withdrew while the EU provided economic peace. The Brexit referendum has endangered the Good Friday Agreement: in many ways, these two agreements are incompatible. And the British government risks worsening relations with the EU and the US if it remains unable to reconcile Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement. The organisation of the border between Ireland (EU) and Northern Ireland (Brexit) has become important not only in trade, but also as an existential crisis for this province just as a crisis within Unionism threatens the relative stability of Northern Irish politics. For the first time in 23 years, sectarian violence has returned to the streets.

Diarmuid Maguire is a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney.  His main areas of research are in European and international politics, social movements and protest movements. His current research at the University of Sydney is on the interaction between protest movements and state authorities in the ethnically divided societies of Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine. Publications include contributions to Theories and Methods in Political Science, Mediterranean Politics, The Politics of Social Movements, and Joyce in Rome. He has also written articles on protest movements, the language of political conflict, literature and politics, the Northern Ireland crisis and international relations.

This is a recording of an event held by AIIA New South Wales on 15 June 2021. To register for upcoming events, CLICK HERE.