Rory Montgomery, Second Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Affairs, in a speech in Dublin yesterday reported by state broadcaster, RTE, stated that “The British government has made a series of very welcome and important commitments. But of course giving effect to those commitments will be extremely challenging”
Mr Montgomery was speaking about the recent breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations that saw the ending of phase one and the beginning of phase two which will include the long sought trade deal section that the British government have been trying to obtain.
The recent agreement which was made at the eleventh hour has in it that if Britain cannot get a satisfactory trade deal, Northern Ireland would continue remain aligned within the the EU single market and customs union rules and guidelines, despite the fact that both of these unions are part of the British government’s commitment to leave.
And to make it more obstructive, the agreement also includes a clause that new regulatory barriers will not be allowed to come in to action between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
Mr Montgomery went on to say that one of the key problems is “to what extent will it be possible for it to enshrine, if you like, the commitments and protections agreed before Christmas.
And of course how will this sit with the other set of commitments made by the British government to the DUP and Northern Ireland,” he said. “That will be a major challenge”.
The worry is that there will continue to be a long fought campaign on both sides to strike a favourable deal while all along, the border issues will remain in limbo which could be detrimental to the island of Ireland on may different planes such as socially, economically and even culturally.