Borders and Brexit: Moving Cultural Property between Britain, Ireland and the European Union

The EU has brought about unprecedented freedom of movement for Europeans. Such freedom of movement for people has also facilitated the movement of cultural property across borders. This in turn has presented unique problems including the abuse, by individuals and organizations, of open-borders to (clandestinely) move materials from one jurisdiction to another. This paper will examine the impact of European borders in the illicit trade of cultural property in light of the (expected) United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU. In particular, this paper will spotlight the complex border between Ireland and the United Kingdom on the island of Ireland itself. Has this arbitrary border, which has been a continuous security headache for both States, allowed individuals and organizations to avoid restrictions in one jurisdiction by easily moving materials to another? How could the British withdrawal from the EU impact the movement of cultural property in Ireland and in the EU more broadly?