As the UK’s withdrawal from the EU draws ever closer, both Ireland and Northern Ireland are left hanging in the balance. With preparations for Brexit remaining complicated and poorly defined, Ireland’s financial and political future remains unpredictable, putting the region in a dangerous position. Ireland is the third biggest island in the European continent, and changes to the region are liable to impact Europe as a whole in the very near future.
Brexit Plans Still In Chaos
Despite the referendum having taken place roughly three years ago, many details of the separation have yet to be settled. Included in the yet-to-be-determined details is how Ireland and Northern Ireland will factor into the UK’s separation from the EU. With the heated political struggles of roughly a quarter century prior still present in cultural memory, many UK and Irish citizens are wary of the possibilities. Boris Johnson has recently proposed an option that has some worried over its similarities to the surrounding events of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Impact On Irish Economy And Politics
With a stable solution yet to be agreed upon, many in Ireland and Northern Ireland are left in a politically and economically challenging position. Because leaving the EU will ultimately impact global trade, a great number of future economic choices will be unable to be made until trade standards are set. Without a clear plan for Brexit in place, one of the largest areas that will be impacted is importing and exporting goods. In total, there were 65 billion parcels shipped worldwide in 2016; without customs clarified, shipping these even from Northern Ireland to Ireland or vice versa could prove a nightmare.
This has the potential to severely damage many European economies, as many essential products will be unable to cross the border. The global specialty gases market is forecast to surpass $14 billion by 2026; however, without clearly established guidelines for importing and exporting these, Brexit could result in declines for this industry, as well as many others. Likewise, the panic over Brexit and the uncertainty of the Irish economy has caused many to swarm Irish banks to obtain what funds they can.
The Human Cost Of Brexit
The overall impact of Brexit won’t simply be economic or political on a larger scale; the massive change will greatly impact the daily lives of UK, Irish, and European citizens. Due to how interconnected nations in the EU have become, particularly within trade, many in the UK and Ireland will be quickly affected by limited access to imported goods. The United States alone holds over 45% of the global pharmaceutical market. With guidelines for imports and exports uncertain, those who rely on American medications for regular treatment will quickly find themselves in a precarious situation. Many plans have been proposed as ways to combat these issues, yet a final agreement has not been found and agreed upon.
The deadline for Brexit is fast approaching, and yet few decisions have ultimately been made regarding how this will impact the future of the nations involved. With conditions primed for political and economic struggles similar to the Troubles, many find themselves worried for the future. It is difficult to say whether there is enough time remaining for all of the details regarding the separation to be sorted out. However, regardless of what is decided by those in government positions, it is clear that the lives of European citizens everywhere will be greatly affected by the results.
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