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Northern Ireland election results: DUP’s Brexit influence is gone

Northern Ireland election results: DUP’s Brexit influence is gone

A comfortable majority for Boris Johnson means his Brexit will happen.

That will have profound implications for Northern Ireland.

It will likely mean a new “Irish Sea border” in operation in little over a year’s time.

Mr Johnson is expected to bring his withdrawal deal back to Parliament next week, beginning a process that will take the UK out of the EU by 31 January.

The UK will then enter a transition period, effectively a standstill arrangement where EU rules still apply.

That transition could continue until the end of 2022 but the prime minister is adamant he will only allow it to last until the end of 2020.

So during that year the UK and EU will attempt to negotiate a long-term trade deal.

In parallel the two sides will also have to work out how the Northern Ireland part of the withdrawal deal will work.

They will effectively be designing an Irish Sea border.

And there should be no doubt that the current deal will mean new checks and controls on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The withdrawal agreement means Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU rules on manufactured goods and food products – the rest of the UK will not.

That will mean some goods will have to be checked as they move from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.

The prime minister attempted to minimise – or even outright deny – that reality throughout the election campaign.

That prompted a slightly exasperated intervention from Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who said “many hours” had been spent discussing, negotiating and explaining it.