A more open European Union means much freer movement of people and goods. In the past, smuggling over the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was rife. But since 1992, the border has been less important because of changes in EU laws. Today, shops in Newry, Northern Ireland, will accept euros as well as sterling, making them almost part of the eurozone. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of having a border on the doorstep are explored.
This clip illustrates that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are now barely separated by a border. Ask students to discuss the pros and cons of such freedom of movement.
Students could investigate the practicalities of having an open border. The class could consider the services and products they might access on different sides of the border. How does this affect the economy of each country? Does it lead to inequalities?