Explaining Brexit to Americans Part II

In a Very Specific and Limited Way

  • how long the transition/implementation period would be
  • what would happen to EU citizens residing in the UK, and UK citizens residing in the EU
  • the amount of money the UK owed the EU
  • the Northern Irish border
PM Boris Johnson campaigning. Photo: AFP
PC Al Jazeera

“The concern is that it is coming from an understanding that it is about the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and not about cross-community consent. . . Everyone who knows Northern Ireland knows that that is a very divisive issue and effectively gives the DUP a veto as Sinn Féin will never vote to remain aligned to GB if given a choice of that or the EU.”

One of over a hundred “peace” walls in Belfast today. PC Alina Utrata

“For all the murals and flags and songs and marches, there is a steady — and growing — push against the danger of ideology and a repelling of fear. It’s an uneasy but essential act of accommodation. Many countries define “belonging” in terms of who is outside their borders. This is true in Northern Ireland but in quite a distinct way: identity is defined literally in terms of which countries are at our borders. The “other” really is my neighbour. This makes politics lively and sharp and dull and tedious at the same time. It makes cultural traditions vibrant and passionate and wearying and wretched. It makes history fascinating and vivid and crushing and inescapable.”



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Alina Utrata

Alina Utrata


PhD’ing in Politics and International Studies at Cambridge via Queen's University Belfast via Stanford. www.alinautrata.com