Gosling Interview

5 July 2018

Podcast Interview with Paul Gossling on the Impact of Brexit on Community Relations and Article published in The Detail
David Holloway of Community Dialogue said:
“You can’t look at the impact of Brexit without looking also at the ongoing collapse of power sharing.  They are interlinked and they feed off each other. Underpinning the reasons for the collapse of power sharing is the gradual growth of distrust between the political parties and the lack of ability of the political parties to work with each other.  That is trickling down. Wider society reflects what is going on at the top.
“There had been ease between the communities.  The border had ceased to be a major issue for nationalists since the Belfast Agreement.  For Joe Bloggs, nationalist, this place increasingly ‘felt like mine’. That is very important for peace and stability.  Brexit is unpicking that. There is a sense of the border strengthening and that tension is felt across the community divide.  Unionists are seeing the border as more of an issue and a growing demand for a united Ireland. There is a palpable sense of community retrenchment into traditional unionist and nationalist positions.  Things are becoming black and white again, where they had blurred at the edges.”
Holloway adds, more positively: “There is no meaningful support for violence.”  But a hard border could change that - with the potential for dissident republicans to attack border infrastructure and loyalist paramilitaries responding with violence.  He warns: “There is a real risk.”