Blog: Brexit reset could mark a turning point in U.K.-EU relations – The Japan Times

LONDON – Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson won the December 2019 general election on the promise that he had an “oven-ready deal” to “get Brexit done.”

But while the United Kingdom did leave the European Union in January 2020, Johnson’s deal included a deeply contentious protocol governing the special trade status of Northern Ireland. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s successful negotiation of an amended deal with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is thus a welcome development — one that could mark a turning point in U.K.-EU relations.

Brexit was an irresponsible act of self-sabotage that not only wrecked the U.K.’s economic and political relations with the EU, but also threatened the fragile peace in Northern Ireland. It was only in 1998 that — thanks to the U.S.-brokered Good Friday Agreement — Northern Ireland escaped a violent three-decade-long conflict between Protestant “unionists,” who mostly wish to remain in the U.K., and Catholic “nationalists,” who mostly want to join the Republic of Ireland.

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