Northern Ireland’s security, economy and “delicate peace process” will be negatively affected should the UK vote to leave the European Union (EU). This is the argument put forward in a new article published by the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute. As the EU Referendum debate intensifies, the feature claims that politicians in Westminster and Stormont have failed to address the risks to Northern Ireland associated with Brexit.
‘Who Will Speak for Northern Ireland? The Looming Danger of an Ulster Brexit’ by Edward Burke argues that: “Northern Ireland, with its 300-mile land border, fractured political structures, weak economy and enduring terrorist threat requires urgent attention in the debate on a potential Brexit. While that debate focuses on trade and English and Scottish issues, inattention in the case of Northern Ireland, particularly on Brexit, is both complacent and dangerous. Northern Ireland’s departure from conflict remains brittle.”
Burke, who’s a lecturer in strategic studies at the University of Portsmouth, eloquently outlines how membership of the EU has also allowed deeper security co-operation between the UK and Ireland through the European Union Arrest Warrant (EAW). With 192 suspected criminals or terrorists handed over to the UK authorities by Ireland under the EAW between 2004 and 2013, Burke observes that European police and judicial co-operation agencies such as Europol and Eurojust are also frequently employed by the British and Irish police and Security Services during counter-terrorism and criminal investigation procedures conducted on both sides of the border.