Future tense: Brexit casts its shadow over the North

Future tense: Brexit casts its shadow over the North View Gallery
Forensic officers inspect the remains of a van used for a bomb attack outside Derry Courthouse in January this year Picture: Getty

A hard Brexit may be off the table for now, but fear is rising in the North about how Britain’s EU departure is radicalising a new generation

Last week, the Good Friday Agreement celebrated its 21st birthday. As anniversaries go, it is a significant one. There are now adults of voting age born into peace in the North with no recollection of the conflict that caused more than 3,500 deaths. Dissident anti-agreement republicans have been trying to derail peace, but they have been a fringe movement until now. Small in numbers, their attacks have been sporadic and they have gained little in the way of public support. But Britain’s decision to leave the European Union without an agreed plan on how to manage the North’s border – once a fortified military zone, now an invisible and frictionless boundary – has raised questions about future stability.

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