Brexit worse than expected for many - Report

The project is led by Queen's University in Belfast.

A new report shows that the impact of Brexit has been worse than many had expected.

The study from the Central Border Region has identified growing concern on both sides of the border about political stability in Northern Ireland, North/South cooperation and cross-community relations in light of Brexit and the Protocol.

Results from the project, led by Queen’s University Belfast, found that 53% of respondents say that the impact of Brexit has been worse or much worse than they had expected, with only 13% saying it has been better than they feared.

The report is part of ‘The Border after Brexit’ project in conjunction with the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN), an organisation made up of eight local authorities on both sides of the border, including Cavan County Council.

The research consisted of three parts – an online survey of 394 unique responses, focus groups and stakeholder interviews with participants across the region, from both sides of the border. The comments and viewpoints submitted by respondents, not the quantitative results, that are the focus of the report.

Most participants in the study report negative economic experiences of the impact of Brexit and the Protocol, with around half of respondents pointing to problems with the supply, delivery, delays in delivery, and general availability of goods.

However, respondents express most concern for the societal impact of Brexit and the Protocol, on cross-border and cross-community relations. Many give examples of a ‘hardening of views’ on both sides, including among young people.