ULSTER BORDER Fourteen

Crossing Ulster Border

Since the Peace Agreement in 1998, this road sign may be the only indication you have crossed #European border. Mainland Europeans accustomed to driving on the right are reminded to drive on the left but so many of the small roads crisscrossing between #Donegal #Tyrone #Fermanagh #Derry are in remote sparsely populated areas. Even in areas of greater population,  the signs of an international border were this road sign and the change from metric to Imperial measurements and the change of currency from euro to sterling. The Bank of England and the financial hub of London may seem a long way from Pettigo but sterling remained as a sign of  UK resistance to any dilution of British sovereignty and economic independence. The UK never joined a European common currency or adopted metric measurements.

The Peace Agreement combined with membership of the #EU meant greater alignment of Northern Ireland and the Republic in commerce and trade and #Article 16 could offer opportunity to maintain this BUT differences between those who push the binary British versus Irish struggle put this at risk. Toxic traditions and the 20th century nationalist narrative prevent acceptance of 21st century diversity. Does #Brexit threaten the cross-border life enjoyed by those born since 1998 like the  Derry poet and novelist #Susannah Dickey, who rejects those “perceptions of identity which were often reductive and binary.”