As the days wind down toward a Halloween deadline, Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans seem to shift with the political winds.
Two questions of pressing concern to Ireland remain unsettled:
Will the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union result in a hard customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?
What will be the impact on the Northern Ireland peace process, as codified in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement?
If a Monday night emergency meeting at the Philadelphia Irish Center is any indication, there is keen local interest in the answers to both.
Dr. Andrew McCormick
What happens next with Brexit is far from clear. The outcome is a moving target.
It’s one man’s job to take the long view, to inform Northern Irish government officials of the range of possibilities, depending on that eventual outcome.
Dr. Andrew McCormick, director of general international relations, is Northern Ireland’s senior civil servant. He spoke before the Irish American Business Chamber & Network in Philadelphia recently to share what he knows—about Brexit’s potential impact on the peace process and how the lingering political uncertainties might affect the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, along with the impact on the economy and U.S. businesses that have headquarters or operations in the north.
In a conversation before the roundtable, McCormick explained his mission during his stateside tour of Irish organizations.