When 29-year-old Peter Edgar returned to Belfast in 2009 after a year's work experience in the U.S., he saw Northern Ireland through new eyes. There were opportunities everywhere. "What my year abroad taught me was how to connect with people so as to create ventures and opportunities for others," he said in an interview last week. He now works at Catalyst Inc., a Belfast-based not-for-profit that seeks out inventors across Northern Ireland to incubate and monetize their ideas on domestic and international markets. Edgar was 10 when the 30-year civil conflict in Northern Ireland, known as the "Troubles," ended. In a nod to the Good Friday Agreement that ended the conflict in 1998, people Edgar's age and younger are referred to as the "Good Friday Generation," meaning they grew up freer and less hindered by violence and sectarianism. A former customs guard hut on the north-south Irish border stands disused as Brexit is triggered on March 29 in Newry, Northern Ireland. It will likely be revived in two years, when the U.K. exits the European Union, leaving the Republic of Ireland in and the north out. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) Today, after almost 20 years of stability and peace, Northern Ireland is open and without a physical border, thanks to a common travel area policy that existed before the EU and has continued as a component of the bloc's border-free treaty structure. Young people from Northern Ireland like Edgar think nothing of the two-hour plus train journey to Dublin to party or to do business, something their parents wouldn't do. Back then, violence or long queues at the old militarized border made going to Dublin much harder for them. However, with Wednesday's triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, this era of mobility and openness in Northern Ireland might be about to end. The U.K. and EU have exactly two years to agree on the precise terms and conditions of their rupture. The spectre of this divorce has caused ructions throughout the United Kingdom. 'There's probably more serious discourse about Irish reunification now than at any time since partition.' - Kevin Meaghar, commentator Scotland, which voted to stay in the EU, is adamant