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Brexit

Watch this Channel 4 video of British people struggling to draw the Northern Ireland border

29 November, 2017 10:14

A video that shows British people being asked to draw Northern Ireland's border with the Republic has caused despair.

Channel 4 News posted a video on social media with the caption: "Could you draw Ireland's border with Northern Ireland? The border with Northern Ireland has become a major Brexit stumbling block."

The video shows people of all ages struggling with the location of the border. One young man protested that they just aren't taught about it in schools.

He said: “As a younger generation, we don’t know too much about it. We don’t learn this kind of thing. It’s not something that is taught to be honest. ”

An older man said the way the border issue could be fixed would be if Ireland left the EU.

One woman when handed the pen and paper map, cut off half of the country.

She said: “Obviously, they’re separated by water and then to have another hard border with the Republic of Ireland. It would shut a lot of them off I suppose.”

Another woman said the Irish were "just making trouble because they lost."

"The Southern Irish have to lump it basically. You can't always have what you want in life." 

The video caused an outpouring of despair on Twitter.

At the December meeting between the EU27 leaders and the British government it will be decided whether Brexit negotiations can move to the next phase.

The UK has been told it must first spell out how it proposes the Irish border will function after it severs ties with Brussels.

The British government argues that the issue cannot be resolved until the shape of a post-Brexit trade deal becomes clear.

Simon Coveney, the Republic's foreign affairs minister, said in recent months the fall-out from Brexit had “somewhat tested” Anglo-Irish relations but his government had “an obligation to ensure there is more clarity” about the border.

He rejected suggestions that the Dublin administration was “being unreasonable” or “grandstanding”.

“I've been accused by some of using this issue in a way that's inappropriate to try and put pressure on the British side in terms of the Brexit negotiations – that's simply not true,” he said.

“We have been absolutely consistent on the issue, in that we want to see the maintenance of what is effectively an invisible border on the island of Ireland.”

The foreign affairs minister said he had never been an advocate of a de facto border at the Irish Sea, but viable solutions that ruled out such a scenario had yet to be put forward by the British.

“The truth is that Northern Ireland is different from other parts of the United Kingdom because we agree to do things on an all-Ireland basis,” he said.

“In other words it's different to Wales and Scotland, and that's just a pragmatic difference.”

29 November, 2017 10:14 Brexit

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