Both Britain and the European Union have agreed on an agreement, which will stave off potential breakdowns in the two’s negotiations over Brexit. Likewise, the agreement states that both the European Union and Britain mutually agree on the fact that there will not be a hard border between the territories of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The reason why this agreement is significant is that at the onset of the Brexit many feared that “customs posts would go up dividing Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland” (NPR). Furthermore, this issue was one of the most argumentative issues between Britain and the European Union that many believe that would create a very difficult situation to reach an agreement by the March of 2019 stamp date.
Likewise, Ireland made it known that it would veto any probable deal creating a hard border, which would include customs checkpoints. In addition, British Prime Minister Theresa May satisfied many of Northern Ireland’s Protestant lawmakers because of her clear and deliberate statement, “In Northern Ireland, we will guarantee there will be no hard border and we uphold the Belfast agreement in doing so” (NPR). Moreover, this was huge because it kept the current policy intact. Thus, the current policy is the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which ensures cross-border cooperation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
Additionally, reaching this agreement guarantees that businesses can continue investment decisions that are primarily based on an implementation period, which will provide certainty. Yet, European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker stated that the deal still needs the endorsement and consent of the European Union member states, which there are 27, therefore, the progress of this deal lay in the hands of those twenty-seven-member states. Moreover, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier believes that with this current progress he feels confident that negotiations can move forward, but he does caution the optimism as there is a significant amount of work that needs to be addressed and worked on.
Furthermore, European Council President Donald Tusk made a very clear and obvious statement that being that breaking up is difficult, yet creating a new and positive
relationship is even more problematic. Also, this agreement provides the guarantee that citizens of EU states living in the U.K. and vise versa can stay put. Another key aspect of this agreement is that the U.K will pay into the EU’s budget for both 2019 and 2020. Consequently, Prime Minister May informed all British citizens that the financial settlement would be fair on all taxpayers.