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DW News: Why the Brexit Backstop is so important for Northern Ireland and Britain

22/08/2019

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is coming to Berlin today to try to persuade Chancellor Angela Merkel to reopen Brexit negotiations. Johnson is calling for the so-called “backstop” for the Irish border to be scrapped. So far EU leaders have rejected his calls.

The backstop is an insurance policy to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland. It would involve Northern Ireland remaining in the EU customs union, which Johnson claims would be a violation of British sovereignty.

A hard border on the island of Ireland could reignite the decades of conflict in Northern Ireland.
Recent surveys suggest most people in Northern Ireland prefer to stay part of Britain. But those who want a united Ireland say they’re in no hurry, expecting a chaotic Brexit to help their case.

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