by Tom Healy, Director NERI (Nevin Economic Research Institute)
There are only five ways to avoid a further hardening of the border on the island of Ireland:
- The United Kingdom does not leave the EU – after all.
- A united Ireland within the UK and outside the EU is agreed.
- A united Ireland outside the UK and within the EU is agreed.
- The EU breaks up and/or there is an Irexit in which case Ireland and the UK are free to negotiate whatever bilateral arrangements suit them.
- Some special status is agreed whereby Northern Ireland remains within the EU and the UK.