„In all scenarios, the Good Friday Agreement will continue to apply. The UK will remain a central guarantor of this agreement and should keep it in mind and in the letter,“ he said. 2 There is a general consensus that the UK`s exit from the European Union will have a negative impact on the Irish and Northern Irish economies, as well as on cross-border trade and relations between Ireland and Northern Ireland, particularly in certain sectors that are heavily dependent on such trade, such as the agri-food sectors. However, if a general agreement has still not been reached between the political parties London, Brussels, Dublin and Northern Ireland on the status of the Irish border after Brexit, it is not only because of these potentially negative socio-economic effects. This is mainly due to the fact that the current soft border system is an integral part of a very complex constitutional and institutional order, created by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and ratified by two simultaneous referendums in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Therefore, it can rightly be argued that the reason the Irish border is so controversial today is because the GFA has not provided a real and consensual solution to the unwelcome question of the very status of the Irish border. Despite 20 years of peace and a 56% majority in Northern Ireland in favour of remaining in the EU, northern Ireland`s Unionist and Nationalist nationals still do not agree on what will happen to this border. In other words, if Brexit raises several problems and debates on the Irish border issue, it is not so much the consequence of Brexit itself as a symptom of the initial weaknesses of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). „This is an incredibly worrying time for Ireland, the rest of the EU and, indeed, the UK.
From this level of brinkmanship can not come good. People`s livelihoods are taken away by conservatives in a way reminiscent of the 18th or 19th century, not modernity. Colum Eastwood, chairman of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, said it was surprising and ruthless that the British government was tearing its own credibility and undermining the Good Friday agreement. Much of the lengthy Brexit negotiations have focused on fears of possible physical controls along Ireland`s land border in the Irish Sea.