Border residents more informed but not reassured over hard border
The cross border organisation ICBAN and Queen’s University have published a new study on border residents views on the impact of Brexit. Brexit at the Border finds that generally people are more informed about the issues, partly because it is much more of a media focus. However their concerns about a hard border are still very much to the fore.
Funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade the research (lead Dr Katy Hayward) was conducted between March and May this year and says “that, although conspicuous efforts have been made by the UK and EU negotiators to reassure of their commitments to ‘avoiding a hard border’ (ref. the Joint Report of 6 December 2017), public debate on the border and Brexit has almost had the counter effect. People are not reassured.”
“Such efforts appear to have been successful in raising public awareness. However, what they have not done is reassure people as to what these consequences might be. Almost 60% say that, compared to their views a year ago, they now see a hard border as being more likely.
The report also focuses on concerns about security and technological border controls. Top priorities for those surveyed are an open border and peace.
“By far the most popular priority for the Brexit negotiations coming from the participants in this study was the continuation of the border being as open and seamless as it is now. This is closely followed by (and connected with) the protection of the peace process.”
This is the second such study – the first, Bordering on Brexit, points out that the Central Border Region is most exposed to the impact of Brexit.