Britain leaving the European Union.


#5515

I accept that. However in the same way as the major negatives of the Brexit vote were not immediately visible but instead consisted of lack of growth and increased inflation, the effect and seen from a “punter” perspective is less than that as seen from someone with a clue. So instead of preventing planes from flying on day 1 without a good excuse, it is better for the EU to strip away companies from the UK over a series of months/years. Less optically dramatic but much more effective at targeting those in control.


#5516

Well there’s no doubt that the political uncertainty has been hammering business confidence in the UK since the vote.

The UK trying to use the peace process as leverage (ignore Patel’s genocide evoking notion to disrupt Ireland’s food supply) is like trying to mug someone on the other side of bullet proof glass by threatening to shoot yourself in the foot.

It is pathetic to hear Irish who think the Brits can be appeased at this time, when every gesture, good or bad, will be seized on, twisted and contorted to suit that days British domestic narrative, and then discarded like eaten bread soon forgotten.

Since May instigated A50 it has been Groundhog Day ever since and we’re heading for fantasy policy finally getting a fantasy PM in Boris, and yet there’s Irish pundits suggesting we should join in this their circus and help push the clown car.

We actually should be more cognisant of preparing for a UK implosion.


#5517

Doing my best to reply quote here but cant really figure out how to use this site…Ive attempted to quote and reply to the quoted segments below

Quote Superman
1. Clearly there is no point in trusting Tories to give such a referendum at some point in the future - nor to rig such a vote (perhaps looking back at the history of the “independent” boundary commission might be of guidance here). Let us not forget that what was promised (repeatedly) both during the referendum and during the negotiation was that there would be no change to the current situation in terms of the set up at the border. That is aside from the fact that it is not much of a concession to receive - considering that the GFA already includes the provision that a referendum should occur where it seems that it is likely to succeed.

Its true that events, both recent and historical, would illustrate that perhap they should not be trusted. However that is the mechanism for progression enshrined within the GFA. There is no other methpd to proceed around the issue beyond a return to violence. Basically, to abandon the democratic assumptions that underpin the agreement would be to abandon the entire basis for the GFA as it currently stands…to where do we proceed in the absence of same?

Quote Superman
Furthermore, assuming that the referendum is unsuccessful (which in 5 years it could well be), as well as in the meantime, you require the Irish government to install (and more importantly agree to install) a hard border between South and North - and to deliberately throw border communities under a bus.
Aside from that, how does your proposal practically work? Do you accept the proposal that Ireland exit the Single Market and be subject to whatever agricultural rules the UK determines (in particular as it agrees those rules with the US)?
Do you accept that the approximately 300 crossing points will need to be again reduced to about 30 - cutting off towns from their hinterlands? Do you accept the proposal to set up an economic zone comprising Donegal and Derry? Do you accept that the recent proposal for Alternative Arrangements would impose such administrative costs as to render unviable much cross border economic activity?
Do you also accept that considering that the proposal involves the introduction of state personnel, it will inevitably harden up to and including military personnel?

I said concessions. Remember it is the EU that will insist on a hard border. Neither the DUP nor the British Government want one (indeed if the Tories had their way the issue would simply disappear…hint hint). For the sake of argument, given the fact that Northern Ireland voted to stay in, perhaps a stay on the North leaving the EU could be agreed in advance of such a border poll. Given that the DUP would clearly go into meltdown mode at the suggestion, perhaps the 5 year timeframe could be shortened. Perhaps a significant lump sum could be enough to persuade them to accept the initial proposal that they refused for the period in advance of said referendum taking place etc etc etc. Point is there should have been more on the table than an EU-inspired redline backstop from which there is now no return.


#5518

Indeed, @catbear, on the UK implosion, I think we should be considering now for NIrn (possibly even Scotland?) wanting to join Ireland and how that might look like constitutionally over time.

Long term infrastructure planning for a future that doesn’t rely on the UK needs to start pretty much now, whatever the immediate outcome of Brexit is.


#5519

QUOTE SUPERMAN
There are 2 EU interests in the backstop:

1. to prevent “divide and conquer” tactics from the UK during stage 2 of negotiations/ allowing the UK to use Ireland as a fifth column (i.e. to protect against a weakness the UK would exploit);
2. To show to the other small EU states (which the EU primarily consists of - and don’t forget the EU needs unanimous decision making in lots of areas) that the political interests of small EU states will be taken care of.

The third interest is to ensure that the process of UK withdrawal either does not take place or becomes such a calamitous disaster that no other Member State is tempted to replicate, especially given the populist mood across the continent. The EU is engaged in a process of self preservation. To pretend otherwise is silly IMO. Whether the means by which that process of self-preservation plays itself out is seen to ultimately be in Irelands best interest is definitely not clear at present.

EDIT SECOND PART - misread


#5520

I said concessions. Remember it is the EU that will insist on a hard border. Neither the DUP nor the British Government want one

Obviously you after joking: the DUP would love a hard border and the Brexiters do not care so long as they get Brexit. Clearly the Brexiter approach is to make an impossible situation, then be “forced” by circumstances to introduce the border. They merely believe they can wait longer than the EU.

So a time limited backstop: lessons from history on a time limited backstop here: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2019/04/15/brexit-lessons-from-the-silesian-backstop-of-1919-25/
In addition, requires the Irish government to throw border communities under a bus (agreeing to the UK’s plan) - plus instead of having a wonderful “no deal” context where economic chaos and painfully difficult border issues are plainly and vividly set out, instead you have another “project fear” “don’t worry it will all be fine” to such a border poll. Furthermore, given that the stage 2 negotiation between the UK and EU will take a decade or so, you’ll be having that border poll without knowing what the relationship between the UK and EU is and/or massively interfering with the negotiation - which would clearly be something used by the UK.
I think that when you give it some consideration you’ll agree that it is an entirely unworkable plan.


#5521

The third interest is to ensure that the process of UK withdrawal either does not take place or becomes such a calamitous disaster that no other Member State is tempted to replicate, especially given the populist mood across the continent. The EU is engaged in a process of self preservation. To pretend otherwise is silly IMO. Whether the means by which that process of self-preservation plays itself out is seen to ultimately be in Irelands best interest is definitely not clear at present.

It was already obvious that it was a mistake: A Canada style FTA would be a complete disaster for the UK economy while giving the EU almost everything it wants and anything closer is an even better victory for the EU. It is not in the EU’s interest to punish the UK - and any sober analysis of the WA c shows that the EU was astonishingly generous to the UK in the WA. Really actually read the WA and ask anyone with a clue about it.

(Note, reality has set the stage for a second stage negotiation which is in EU’s favor - any time limit and the outsized EU bargaining power - however that will be the case whether or not the UK agrees the WA or not).

So pretending that the backstop - a backstop which would allow the UK to massively exploit the EU while reducing the EU’s ability to put pressure on the UK (and on a negotiating partner clearly acting in bad faith) - was designed to “punish” the UK takes a level of outrageous story telling and gullibility that is hard to believe.


#5522

And the current likelihood is a No deal Brexit and automatic hard border ie no negotiation, no nothing.

Hows that for looking after the interest of border communities?

Unless we think (as Johnson claims) that the EU will ultimately play ball?

Id suggest we’d be better sitting around a table without any publicly stated redlines.

But perhaps a bit of civil strife would look good from an EU perspective


#5523

The best of a bad situation: if the UK is actually willing to go through with a ND (and let us not forget a majority of Parliament is against and it was only because of lots of pro remain politics etc that the WA was not signed off and the DUP that a NI only backstop doesn’t exist), then the next best option for Ireland is a blameless ND causing massive dislocation in NI with the blame focused on the Tories and DUP (preferably with loads of EU and Irish government aid to border communities on this side of the border to contrast with the other side). It is the way most likely to prevent a hard border at first instance and long term.

Unless we think (as Johnson claims) that the EU will ultimately play ball?

The UK will ultimately play ball. It has nowhere to run: an FTA with the EU? Backstop.
FTA with US? Backstop - probably. And even if it gets one, it is worth 0.2% of GDP.
FTA with Mercosur? Hand over Falklands.
FTA with India? Visas.
Etc.


#5524

Brexit is no longer an economic issue (if it ever really was) and as such I don’t think the economic arguments are really that relevant at this stage.

It has become mainly a political and cultural issue with which are entwined the futures of both the European Union, the United Kingdom and the Conservative Party and establishment.

Beyond that its also a clash between a Cosmopolitan/Globalised perspective of the world and that of a decidedly more localized/national one. In many respects, both sides view it as being somewhat existential. Otherwise the process would have concluded long ago


#5525

Of course it is “existential” but for a minority of the electorate and as a life and death issue for the Tories. There is no way out for the Tories - either they deliver Brexit (and die when the consequences are known) or don’t deliver Brexit (and die). However the border is and should remain a political and cultural issue for Ireland - some things are more important than economics and Brexiers understand that - and Brexiters are happy to lose NI if they get Brexit. It is only because of the (temporary) arrangement between the DUP and Tories that there is a significant issue with the backstop.


#5526

QUOTE SUPERMAN

Obviously you after joking: the DUP would love a hard border and the Brexiters do not care so long as they get Brexit. Clearly the Brexiter approach is to make an impossible situation, then be “forced” by circumstances to introduce the border. They merely believe they can wait longer than the EU.

Re above, Id be less certain of that than you appear to be. They are well aware that a majority in the North voted remain. They are also aware that latest polls show that some of their community are currently wavering on the issue of the Union if it means exiting the EU. Ultimately, their vote bank are generally highly conservative people who will always tend toward the status quo. Similarly, many are of farming stock who benefit from the current non-border arrangement and elements of EU membership. To say that they would (as a unit) love a hard border is incorrect IMO and most likely spin on the part of the same people who told us that the vast majority of leave voters wished to recant. Its actually highly unlikely that they are unaware (regardless of whatever rhetoric they spew in public) that, if anything, a hard border is likely to hasten the demise of the Union


#5527

There is a feeling of 1914 about all this. Almost everyone agrees that No Deal would be disastrous, but we could still end up getting it.

Boris or not, nothing changes.

  1. The deal, to get through parliament and/or keep party together , must satisfy Steve Baker and the wingnut loons. And they’re not just mad about just the backstop.
  2. We’ll still see the same chorus in this state looking to concede - Ray Basset, Eamon Delaney, Dan O’Brien

It’s a tricky one because two foundations of republicanism are at odds:

And

This is the same Irish establishment that destroyed the country only 10 years ago. But now we’re supposed to believe the Men of Property have our interests in mind.


#5528

They (in particular the Westminster set) have had ample opportunities to look for a soft or softer Brexit. They have consistently demanded a super hard (and consistently harder than that sought by May) Brexit without a backstop. Hence your opinion does not accord with the facts. Of course some of their voters disagree - as was obvious from the European elections - that does not take away from the point.
It should be further noted that as of 2015, the DUP were (or campaigned on the basis of being) pro-EU - their support of Brexit is based entirely on the fact that it moves NI away from Ireland (in the short term anyway).


#5529

… except neither the video nor the quotes in the article show him saying any such thing. Nevertheless, what he did say was worthy of the most wingnutty wingnut. I’ve believed for a while that Hunt is way more of a dangerous ideological loon than BoJo who is just out for himself.


#5530

Their objections to what was proposed was more to do with the potential for Northern Ireland being treated differently to the rest of the U.K. Ie erosion of the Union as they saw it (they are unionists after all) , than it did with them seeking to re-impose a hard border on the island.

Further in a negotiation scenario whereby a potential deal could have been expected to garner support from significant sections of the Labour Party, their stance becomes irrelevant.

The redline backstop erased all possibility of anything beyond a black and white, either/or outcome. It was a gamble and it has clearly failed in its intent.


#5531

Clearly that is not true: the DUP was pro-EU as of 2014/2015. Their process of deciding to back Brexit (in particular the fact that it was basically originally decided in a single meeting without much thought as to consequences) have quite well known. In principle, obviously they are not that ideologically wedded to Brexit. Yet they have very strongly opposed the solution to everyone’s problems (i.e. a softish customs Union Brexit or SM Brexit). So no: the imposition of a hard border is (now) a primary objective of the DUP.

Support cannot be garnered from the Labour party or Labour party members because Labour is then also responsible for the Tories’ mess. Why would they do that?

You have failed to provide any alternative to the backstop - and the backstop can only be said to have “failed” at least 10 years into a no deal where the dynamics of NI are moving away from joining the republic. Then and only then can you say it “failed”.


#5532

The DUP are NOW pro hard border. That much we can agree on. However, as you yourself acknowledge it’s not a pillar issue for them. There were two options available 1) changed status from the rest of the U.K. (which would have made economic sense but removed their raison d’etre Ie they are unionists) and 2) a hard border underpinned by a redline non negotiable backstop.

They went with number 2 as one would expect.

Re Labour, many MPs represent Leave constituencies. The suspicion is that Corbyn himself is broadly positively disposed toward the concept. A better deal could quite conceivably have garnered cross party support…and avoided the prospect of many of said Labour MPs losing their seats as per the recent elections. Indeed, said election results could have quite conceivably been leveraged by a smart negotiating team intent on brokering a deal this coming Autumn…had the issue remained unresolved to this point.

Bottom line is you don’t enter negotiations with your approach handicapped by a redline stance unless you wish to pre empt the outcome


#5533

The DUP are and always were anti Republic - whether that was the GFA or an open border or whatever. They are promoting a super hard and unachievable Brexit because they wish to distance themselves from the republic.

I did not say that a hard border is not a pillar issue for them, I said Brexit is not a pillar issue for them. Distancing themselves from the republic is however.

You are incorrect that there were 2 options available: as I wrote away, there was a third: a soft Brexit, which could have resolved the backstop. They have deliberately not only refused to take that approach they did the exact opposite.

As regards Labour, of course Corbyn is a Lexiter - and has been for his entire career. A “better Tory deal” can never be accepted by the Labour party because the Tories get the credit and the Labour party loses its remain voters.
Your suggestion otherwise is silly nonsense.
Labour lost REMAIN seats because Corbyn is sitting on the fence and because Corbyn is an awful leader.

It comes back to the fact that you have no other suggestions to the Irish position.

You clearly don’t negotiate professionally: you develop and determine your redlines that you are prepared to BATNA on, then either your counterpart concedes or you BATNA.


#5534

And what has the adopted approach achieved?

Id suggest the complete and absolute opposite of what it was designed to achieve from the outset. My own view would be that such an outcome clearly renders the chosen approach as the definition of ‘silly nonsense’.

I’ll leave it at that.