Erasmus School of Law

René Repasi gave expert testimony at the European Parliament on Brexit and the Irish border issue

On Monday, 24 September, ESL researcher Dr. René Repasi was invited by the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) of the European Parliament to give a testimony on the draft wihdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU. Dr. Repasi, who also acts as scientific coordinator of the European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance (EURO-CEFG), spoke already at previous occasions to the Parliament because of his research in EU law and on Brexit.

Dr. Repasi was asked to speak in particular about the Irish border issue. In case the UK withdraws from the EU without an agreement on the future relationship between both, the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland would again become a hard border with border checks. Such hard border would threaten the peace process on the island that was started with the so-called Good Friday Agreement from 1998. In order to avoid such a situation the EU presented a draft protocol to the withdrawal agreement that aims at avoiding a hard border in such an event. Dr. Repasi made in his expert statement a legal assessment of the draft protocol, analysed its implications for the integrity of the internal market and discussed alternatives to the protocol with a view to avoiding a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit. I concluded that the solution found by the protocol is still the most feasible in terms of avoiding a hard border. Yet, regrettably, in this protocol the EU gave up on the integrity of the internal market.