Even though the so-called Brexit-fatigue has started to set in, it still is the talk of the town and with only a few weeks to go until the United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union, many issues remain unresolved after two years of negotiations. Emotions have often run high when negotiating a deal with the EU and one issue that has proven particularly sensitive is the so-called ‘backstop’ agreement. This agreement would guarantee that the border between North-Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains open when the UK leaves the EU. An open border has existed between the two places since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, which put an end to decades of ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland. Fears have arisen that reestablishing a border can mean a return to violence and with the recent car bomb attack by the New IRA, a dissident republican group, such an outcome is not unimaginable. But what exactly stood at the root of that conflict? Is the population still so divided on the issue? What will a hard border mean for peace and security in the region?
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