Dr Katy Hayward: The future of national borders across these islands #JHISS

Queen’s University’s Dr Katy Hayward addressed the John Hewitt International Summer School delegates in Armagh this morning. The political sociologist reflected on the future of national borders across these islands in light of Brexit.

During her 40 minute talk she asked why is it so difficult to conceive ‘flexible and imaginative’ solutions for the Irish border after Brexit. and looked at three dimensions of how the EU has changed the Irish border: trade, citizens and closer union.

As well as the impact of extracting NI and the whole UK from the EU, Brexit has helped to demonstrate intractable nationalisms within our politics and highlighted our local difficulty in thinking about the future.

Hayward closed her talk by looking at what is needed now at this early stage in the negotiations, and identified some of the ways in which we may see differentiation (territorially and otherwise) and faced up to the complexity, need for flexibility and challenges facing our political institutions.

The John Hewitt International Summer School continues in Armagh until Saturday with tickets still available for a range of political and cultural talks and performances. Dr Caroline Magennis is turning the page on Unsettling Intimacy: Northern Irish Short Fiction after the Agreement on Thursday morning, and the Gibraltar Representative to the UK, Dominique Jan Searle will talk about The Garlic Wall separating Spain from Gibraltar on Friday morning.

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  • Reader

    el Daddy: Out of the 6 counties, only 4 were majority unionist.
    How many were majority for independence, i.e. Sinn Fein?

  • Reader

    barneyt: …the declaration of the republic was on an all-ireland basis.
    I’m from Bangor, I don’t care how Limerick votes.

  • Reader

    William Kinmont: How much horsemeat and only one prosecution of a bit part
    So being in the EU doesn’t protect us from this sort of thing, does it?

  • Reader

    Zeno: Percentage wise there are more UK people in Ireland than Irish people in the UK.
    As Zeno pointed out, it depends whether you count percentages by place of departure or place of arrival. Instead, think of it this way:
    There’s a country. Draw a line across it. Do you suddenly expect net migration across that line? No you don’t – systematic net migration requires a driver.

  • Reader

    05OCT68: You could argue that it was held back by EU membership but that can’t explain 5th status in 1820 at the near apogee of Empire.
    The Industrial Revolution was only just getting up steam at that point. And the UK GDP wouldn’t include the Empire GDP either.

  • Zeno

    Why would it compromise their stance with Scotland?

  • Reader

    Oriel27: If there is another election, people will ensure there is no hard border and they wont vote unionist.
    Foreign policy is not a devolved matter.

  • Oriel27

    “Unionism is top tog”

    thats the problem, equality should be top dog.

  • Kevin Breslin

    You’ve made me curious about what the Bengali for County Meath would be!

  • Georgie Best

    Except the Irish bit of the Empire.

  • Roger

    Border at Sea so UKNI is going to impose customs duties on ‘imports’ from GB. Where about 90 per cent of its imports come from. Come off if ….

  • Roger

    Gobbledygook. That people outside EU have EU citizenship is not particularly special. The same goes for each of the UK’s remaining colonies like Cayman Islands. Nobody said anything about UKNI people having to migrate/go away. In the absence of an agreement WTO rules will apply and Ireland, as an EU member will enforce them. Imperfectly no doubt. UKNI won’t be the only piece of land with a land frontier with EU. It’s not unprecedented. EU law won’t apply in UKNI. any EU bill of rights or other EU law won’t have to be applied by UK in UKNI. No particular need for testing around that. Rules of territorial application of EU rules outside EU have already been estAblished. There are 60 years of EU case law. And of course centuries of case law in UK whose law will count.

    There are some unknowns. But bouncing around the words special status as if they mean something. Magic wand words. Well that’s gobbledygook.

  • Roger

    Plenty of problems in UKNI.

  • Roger

    Whether there would be a Bengali Language Act would have to be negotiated as part of the Union deal.

    The Bunreacht only contemplates Irish and recognizes English too.

  • El Daddy

    If we’re going by the 1918 general election, then Fermanagh was majority SF votes overall, with one SF TD and one Unionist MP over the two constituencies of the county. Tyrone is more difficult to assess, as there were three constituencies, and SF and the Irish Parliamentary Party had a pact going in two of them, where only one of the parties stood so as not to split the Nationalist vote, leading to a seat each. The third Tyrone seat was won by a Unionist.

  • El Daddy

    Only English Pope. Funny that.

  • Oggins

    I agree, but there has to hear high percentage of those who actually don’t think, and believe the visa covers them for the whole of Ireland, not just ROI. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a right few. All being done innocently of course

  • doopa

    I quoted the phrase ‘ the benefit has almost all been one way’ to indicate that was what I was referring to. I simply wanted to challenge the idea that the benefit has been all one way.

    I have no idea what you mean by your last paragraph.

  • Accountant

    I think the majority of us, whichever tribe/hue are realistic.

    I just wish Brexit was done or gone, so the extremist positions from us all (self included) can mellow.

  • Roger

    There are innocents, no doubt. But my experience is visa required nationals go through a great deal to get visas. They’re likely to be far more mindful of crossing a border than the typical Slugger reader. I doubt there are many who think an Ireland visa covers the United Kingdom or any part thereof. They are used to the laborious, draconian restrictions, often so OTT that are a normal part of being a visa required national. Their starting assumption would be that an Ireland visa is no more likely to cover the U.K. than a United Arab Emirates one would cover the Kindom of Saudi Arabia.