Probably the biggest obstacle to the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the European Union (EU) was the issue of the border on the island of Ireland, between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland. So long as both parts were members of the EU, no physical barrier was necessary, however with the UK leaving, it became clear that there would need to be checks on the movement of both people and goods at the border. Why was it so important to t, to avoid the re-establishment of a ‘hard-border (one with guards and 55555 55 as between Canada and the US) in Ireland? How is the Irish border issue a reflection of the often complex, and even non-economic, reasons for developing regional trading blocs such as the EU? Should the border issue have been enough to dissuade the UK from leaving the EU in the first place?