Violence in Northern Ireland – level 3
An agreement known as the Northern Ireland Protocol aims to keep the land border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland free of any visible checkpoints.
And it is the fundamental point of the Brexit accord between the EU and the UK. Following Brexit, the 499-kilometer frontier became the EU’s new land border with the UK. Without special status, checks would have had to take place on the frontier because the UK has exited the customs union and single market.
By keeping the land border free of checkpoints, both sides hope to prevent a return of the era of sectarian violence that cost more than 3,000 lives between the late 1960s and the signature of a peace accord in 1998. However, a week ago, a hijacked bus was set on fire and petrol bombs were hurled at police in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Riots lasted for more than a week, and it was clear that Britain’s exit from the EU unsettled an uneasy political balance.
Difficult words: accord (an agreement to work together), customs union (a group of states that have agreed to charge the same import duties as each other and they usually allow free trade between themselves), sectarian (related to supporters of a religious or political group who cause problems with people from other groups), hurl (to throw with great force).
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