Brexit & Ireland review: A harsh reality check at the Border

Tony Connolly challenges the wishful thinking that we can avoid a hard border

Border protest signs on the A509. Photograph:  Alan Betson

Border protest signs on the A509. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ever since David Cameron promised a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, wishful thinking has been a tempting option for Ireland. At first, it seemed improbable that the Conservatives would govern alone after 2015, and so the Liberal Democrats would veto the vote.

When the referendum was called, polls pointed towards a Remain victory and even after Leave pulled ahead, there was comfort in the prospect that many of those who backed Brexit were traditionally non-voters. Even after the vote to leave, there was a chance that Cameron’s successor, Theresa May, would opt for a “soft Brexit”, remaining inside the single market and the customs union.

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