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If the UK leaves the EU, will there be a resurgence of the Troubles between Ireland and Northern Ireland?

The island of Ireland has had a chequered past, recently in particular the ethno-nationalist Troubles. During those thirty years, nearly 500 attacks were carried out. Many treaties and agreements were made, but only the Good Friday Agreement successfully put an end to the attacks and led to a disarmament of all paramilitary groups.

The United Kingdom leaving the European Union may jeopardise that, since the—over the decades pacified, and in many contexts barely existent—border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland would turn into an external border for the EU. Crossing such a border would require passports and controls and all kinds of bureaucracy, in contrast to the non-issue crossing that border had turned into over the years.

Thus we ask:

Will we see a possible resurgence of the Troubles?

This question resolves positively if former or renewed IRA, former or renewed UVF, or similarly politically positioned groups initiate or execute

  • three or more attacks over the span of one year, or
  • 1 or more attacks per year over the span of three years.

For the purposes of this question, any attack must occur on the territory of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or be aimed at people in the U.K. or the Republic of Ireland. Moreover, for the purpose of this question the attack will deemed to have happened if:

  • it is claimed by relevant organisations (e.g. New IRA) or declared to be in relation to the conflict between Ireland and Northern Ireland by official sources

and either of the following:

  • it injures at least one other person (beside the attacker), or
  • it generates damage in excess of £100,000.

This question resolves negative if such attacks don’t come to pass before 2025. Finally, it resolves ambiguous if the UK remains in the EU till 2025.


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