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Brexit 'causing anxiety at border' says study

By Colm Kelpie

Feelings of resentment and anxiety towards Brexit are particularly acute among those living in border counties in the Republic as they didn't have a vote in the referendum yet will be deeply affected by what occurs, according to a study.

As tensions mount between the EU and UK over whether sufficient progress can be made on the border issue by December, Queen's University has published a report looking at the impact of Brexit on what it describes as the central border region.

The area is made up of eight councils from Northern Ireland and the Republic, including Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Fermanagh and Omagh; Mid Ulster and the counties of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo.

The area had a population of 850,000 people in 2011 and accounts for about a fifth of the land area of the island.

More than 300 people in the area took part in the study.

The report noted there were feelings of "acute anxiety" among those on the southern side of the border, and that the psychological aspect of a potential re-emergence of a border is not simply felt by those in Northern Ireland.

"The fact that these respondents did not have a vote in the referendum and yet are deeply affected by its outcome means that the feelings of resentment, anxiety and voicelessness are particularly acute among respondents in the southern border counties," the report said.

Prepared by Dr Katy Hayward, Reader in Sociology at Queen's, the report added that Brexit was having an impact on both sides of the border.

Belfast Telegraph

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