Northern Ireland is key to Brexit ‘peace’ five years after referendum – The Yorkshire Post says

FIVE years to the day after a landmark referendum saw Britain vote to leave the European Union, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the seriousness of the power vacuum in Northern Ireland.

Conservative party MP Boris Johnson delivers his speech during the Democratic Unionist Party annual conference at the Crown Plaza Hotel on November 24, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The DUP strongly oppose the propsed Brexit deal brokered between the UK government and the EU. The DUP currently props up the Conservative UK government following the last general election.
Conservative party MP Boris Johnson delivers his speech during the Democratic Unionist Party annual conference at the Crown Plaza Hotel on November 24, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The DUP strongly oppose the propsed Brexit deal brokered between the UK government and the EU. The DUP currently props up the Conservative UK government following the last general election.

Like businesses across Yorkshire, it is still coming to terms with the impact of Boris Johnson’s deal with the EU on trade and is worried by the strength of safeguards to protect food and farming.

But the consequences of this, and border arrangements with the Republic of Ireland, have, inevitably, led to renewed tensions as Sir Jeffrey Donaldson becomes the third leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in less than a month.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And if the collapse of the Stormont Assembly, in which the DUP share power with Sinn Fein, is to be avoided ahead of pivotal elections next May which have the potential to define the future of Northern Ireland and Britain, it will require far more dexterity from Boris Johnson.

Arlene Foster is the First Minister of Northern Ireland.

He’s been largely ambivalent to the political crisis at Stormont since dismissing the concerns that two of his predecessors, Sir John Major and Tony Blair, raised in the 2016 referendum campaign during a joint visit to Londonderry about the threat to the hard-won Good Friday Agreement.

Both premiers invested time and political capital in Northern Ireland to secure a peace. Gordon Brown then worked to safeguard it, even at the height of the global financial crash, because he realised that this was his duty. The question now is whether Mr Johnson intends to apply himself in a similar way – or simply leave matters, including the growing possibility of an united Ireland, to chance.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click here to subscribe.