Families and business owners near the Irish border that separates the United Kingdom from the rest of the EU are watching in apprehension as political chaos in London threatens to torpedo a Brexit deal that aims to avoid a return of customs checks and possible sectarian violence to the region.

A vies of houses in the village of Jonesborough on the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic close to the town of Newry, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey sensationally walked out of the Government the morning after Cabinet agreed a draft EU withdrawal agreement in a stormy five-hour meeting. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said the deal represented a
A vies of houses in the village of Jonesborough on the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic close to the town of Newry, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey sensationally walked out of the Government the morning after Cabinet agreed a draft EU withdrawal agreement in a stormy five-hour meeting. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said the deal represented a “very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom” because of provisions for Northern Ireland. He also said he could not accept “an indefinite backstop arrangement” for the Irish border. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Motorists make their way along the motorway between Belfast to Dublin on the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic close to the town of Newry, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey sensationally walked out of the Government the morning after Cabinet agreed a draft EU withdrawal agreement in a stormy five-hour meeting. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said the deal represented a
Motorists make their way along the motorway between Belfast to Dublin on the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic close to the town of Newry, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey sensationally walked out of the Government the morning after Cabinet agreed a draft EU withdrawal agreement in a stormy five-hour meeting. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said the deal represented a “very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom” because of provisions for Northern Ireland. He also said he could not accept “an indefinite backstop arrangement” for the Irish border. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

The border between Britain’s Northern Ireland the European Union’s Republic of Ireland is currently unpoliced and invisible thanks to an EU rule that allows people and goods to travel freely. The main difficulty in the Brexit talks has been how to not disturb that liberty, which has helped to ensure peace since 1998.

A welcome to Northern Ireland sign on the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic close to the town of Newry,, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey sensationally walked out of the Government the morning after Cabinet agreed a draft EU withdrawal agreement in a stormy five-hour meeting. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said the deal represented a
A welcome to Northern Ireland sign on the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic close to the town of Newry,, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey sensationally walked out of the Government the morning after Cabinet agreed a draft EU withdrawal agreement in a stormy five-hour meeting. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said the deal represented a “very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom” because of provisions for Northern Ireland. He also said he could not accept “an indefinite backstop arrangement” for the Irish border. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Money exchange sign is seen on a bridge with an old disused customs post on the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic close to the town of Newry,  Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey sensationally walked out of the Government the morning after Cabinet agreed a draft EU withdrawal agreement in a stormy five-hour meeting. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said the deal represented a
A Money exchange sign is seen on a bridge with an old disused customs post on the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic close to the town of Newry, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey sensationally walked out of the Government the morning after Cabinet agreed a draft EU withdrawal agreement in a stormy five-hour meeting. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said the deal represented a “very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom” because of provisions for Northern Ireland. He also said he could not accept “an indefinite backstop arrangement” for the Irish border. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Jim Deary, 95, can recall in detail the violence that plagued the region: “I’d be horrified, absolutely horrified if there was some sort of border.”

Source: The Associated Press

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