Northern Ireland

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In Northern Ireland, Brexit is fueling old sectarian tensions and outbreaks of violence.

  • Why did armed men hijack and burn a double-decker bus in Northern Ireland yesterday? Beneath the incident lies a complicated story about Brexit.
  • It’s hard to fathom now, but just decades ago, a bloody, sectarian conflict known as “the Troubles” made daily existence for many in Northern Ireland a living nightmare.
  • One faction in the conflict — ”republicans” — wanted Northern Ireland, which is in the UK, to become a part of Ireland. The other faction — “loyalists” — wanted it to remain in the UK.
  • In the bombings and shootings that ensued, neighbors often killed neighbors, and thousands of people lost their lives.
  • The violence stopped when a fragile peace deal known as the Good Friday Agreement was struck in 1998. But when a Brexit agreement was reached last year, sectarian tensions were renewed.
  • The reasons are complicated, but have a lot to do with how Brexit had to create a trade border dividing Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK — a move which upset loyalists.
  • This was done to prevent another border that would have divided the island of Ireland —which would have upset republicans.
  • The bottom line is that Brexit is having violent repercussions, and many fear the situation in Northern Ireland may once again spin out of control.
The Guardian
The New York Times
Financial Times
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5 articles on this topic

The Guardian

Fears of Brexit violence as armed men hijack and torch bus in Northern Ireland

News
2 min read
BBC

Brexit: What's the Northern Ireland Protocol?

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News
4 min read
Reuters

Armed men attack bus on N.Ireland unionists' protocol deadline

News
1 min read
The New York Times

Opinion | The Irish Border Is a Scar

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News
6 min read
Financial Times

Northern Ireland’s uneasy centenary

News
1 min read