Britain leaving the European Union.


#5535

The question for you is what has this approach not achieved? And how would your alternative suggestion achieve that (plus why is your alternative worth pursuing at all. I note that you are entirely unable to defend your position or any of your suggestions.


#5536

Lets be clear here, your own approach can be boiled down to the following,

In other words, your suggestion is that the Royal We should lay some manner of economic siege to the North. This despite you previously discounting my proposal on the basis that it would be “throwing border communities under the bus”. It is worth noting however that, reading between the lines, this is clearly current EU-led Fine Gael policy.

Lets be clear as to the ramifications of same. Not only does it run a JCB through the GFA by way of the imposition of a hard border on the back of ND (despite your suggestions to the contrary), it actually seems to be suggesting that we stoke the likelihood of a return to conflict (without acknowledging same) through twisting the economic knife. While this may be in the interest of an EU, for whom a few bombs at border posts may play well media-wise as a deterrent to any other potential leaver States, my own view would be that its not in the interest of Ireland, either north or south (and certainly not in the interest of those same border communities).

I think its further worth noting that both Brexit and the GFA are democratically mandated results/agreements and that what appears to be the intent behind current EU-led Fine Gael policy runs counter to both.


#5537

[quote=“Poacher, post:5536, topic:48441, full:true”]

Lets be clear here, your own approach can be boiled down to the following,

In other words, your suggestion is that the Royal We should lay some manner of economic siege to the North. This despite you previously discounting my proposal on the basis that it would be “throwing border communities under the bus”.
Yes your suggestion throws then under a bus because your suggestion is permanent. A no deal will either return the UK to the negotiating table or break the Union - either way it is temporary. You say “economic siege” - it is the UK that is laying economic siege on Ireland and the EU. The alternative arrangements call for Ireland to leave the single market, be subject to UK decisions on agriculture (want to believe they’ll take Ireland’s opinion into consideration?) and economically destroy the border areas - but to do so permanently.

It is worth noting however that, reading between the lines, this is clearly current EU-led Fine Gael policy.
And as I said previously (and evidenced), only a complete moron would think that the backstop is “EU led”. The argument or evidence for which you were obviously entirely unable to counter. And yet like a broken record you ignore that and happily return to an obviously stupid point - how well you’ve learnt from the Brexiters.

Lets be clear as to the ramifications of same. Not only does it run a JCB through the GFA by way of the imposition of a hard border on the back of ND (despite your suggestions to the contrary), it actually seems to be suggesting that we stoke the likelihood of a return to conflict (without acknowledging same) through twisting the economic knife.

Let us be clear that it is your (non)solution which is guaranteed to bring back the British army to the border and guaranteed to bring back violence.
Remember: any (in any way) effective “alternative arrangement” can just as easily be implemented in a no deal as a deal. So if such existed, no deal is any case not an impediment. However they do not exist - and cannot exist. Hence only the backstop (or the break up of the UK) will resolve the matter.

And shame on you - for your callous disregard for the people of the border - all so you can make a grubby penny.

While this may be in the interest of an EU, for whom a few bombs at border posts may play well media-wise as a deterrent to any other potential leaver States, my own view would be that its not in the interest of Ireland, either north or south (and certainly not in the interest of those same border communities).

I think its further worth noting that both Brexit and the GFA are democratically mandated results/agreements and that what appears to be the intent behind current EU-led Fine Gael policy runs counter to both.

I will repeat my assertion that only a complete and utter moron could possibly think that the EU benefits from a no deal. Any (existing model or similar) deal is better for the EU and any possible deal shows that Brexit was and is a stupid idea. There is no need to punish the UK and in fact punishing the UK is against EU interests. (note for example the actual support given by the EU to the UK to roll over its trade agreements - hardly the actions of one seeking to punish another. The EU was perfectly entitled to prevent that and could have massively hindered the process).

It should also be added to this of course that as again repeated this week by Brexiters (James Lillico), the backstop is merely one of the issues that the UK has with the WA. So in any case whatever you are willing to concede, it will be taken and more asked.


#5538

Now you’re just raving.

My proposal was to work towards a border poll on the substantive issue of Irish unity within the terms of the democratically mandated GFA.

You on the other hand are advocating for mayhem via ND.

Shame on you (and the rest of the Fine Gael acolytes) who would seek to appropriate the Irish nationalist cause in defence of a transparent, anti-democratic globalist agenda.

Over and out pal.


#5539

“My proposal is to work towards a border poll on the substantive issue of Irish unity within the terms of the democratically mandated GFA.”`

This is completely unrealistic under the current make up of the UK HoC, as the DUP will never support it. DUP won’t even support the simplest solution which is the original NI-only backstop with some minor checks at ports and airports, they’re not going to support a border poll.

“Not only does it run a JCB through the GFA by way of the imposition of a hard border on the back of ND”

Under no deal, this will be a one-way border with checks on goods from NI to ROI, not the other way. Which is not against the GFA, no matter what way you carve it.


#5540

A wide open land border with the EU is hardly faithful to the ideals of Brexit. Wide open for immigration.


#5541

Catbear I logged back onto this site after some time away to reply to some of the ill-informed commentary you have been posting about the Irish farming industry (while accusing others of ignorance of the agri industry).

To counter your postings on the subject here are the actual facts:

  • Farming should not be regarded as one industry as it is composed of several sectors with markets independent of each other. So for instance dairy farmers have been doing quite well for some years while beef farmers have not.

  • You can look at the facts on this quite easily by looking at a site such as https://icsaireland.ie/2019/06/?post_type=livestock which tracks historical beef prices as paid to farmers. You can easily see from this site that the current price/kg paid by beef factories to farmers is less than it was in 2012. And of course input prices have increased since then.

  • So it is irrelevant talking about the success that Irish beef is having as a premium product in some foreign markets as any price premium is not been passed back to farmers who have very little real bargaining power up against the major beef processors.

  • Beef farmers have been doing badly on incomes for years now and this is easy to check. In fact if you knew anything about the rural environment you would know that a lot of beef farming is being carried out by part-time (“hobby”) farmers who have alternative sources of off-farm income as there is no money in it. Those who have been relying on beef farming/suckling as a primary income have been switching to alternative activities such as dairying, or getting by on very low incomes.

This is the actual context of the real fears about the South American beef deal and possible Brexit related tariffs.

Introduction of tariffs on Irish beef in the event of a no deal Brexit would have a very severe impact on an already depressed sector. We cannot easily find a ready alternative market for the large volumes of beef we still export to the UK regardless of being able to achieve a premium price for the few tons that we can shift with great effort into German or other markets.

If you are going to spout on about Irish farming you should try to look like you understand some of the basic current market conditions (unless you are just pushing some sort of tired agenda).


#5542

Poacher, I agree with your premise that the backstop idea is now a failed strategy and we need a Plan B to deal with the repercussions of this. I have been posting on here that the backstop idea was a bad idea from the start.

Basically the idea that you could trap a large sovereign country like the UK into a situation where they effectively would be unable to leave the EU fully, due to impossible to achieve conditions, was always a daft idea that was going to fall apart at some point, regardless if some gormless UK politicians such as Theresa May went along with the idea.

We are now entering dangerous territory where there will be a lot of upheaval and economic hits to this country if the UK leave on a no deal basis, which should be our country’s key primary concern, not the long term future of the EU. It is immaterial if a large portion of UK voters don’t want a no deal exit as the people driving the bus there will be English nationalists for the foreseeable future. The situation on the ground in the UK is quite febrile as can be seen with the support that the Brexit party is getting.

If Ireland and the EU are going to persist with the dangerous insistence on this backstop idea, then the Irish government must get the EU to back the country with a massive potential subvention package for the situation where tariffs are imposed and our trade in some key exports could be effectively stopped overnight. In other words an “intervention”/market propping type situation where the EU promises to buy the Irish exports that can’t be sold as usual into the UK market, for later resale. If we can’t get a solemn promise on this then we (ROI) need a Plan B.

Plan B might have been as simple as a change to the Withdrawal Agreement to allow a backstop exit mechanism to the UK where this would be a second referendum in the UK, say in 2 years time after a transitional trade deal is approved, to approve or not their full exit from the Single Market. There is every chance that such a second referendum would have seen the UK electorate voting to stay in the Single Market but outside the EU institutions rather than chasing new uncertain trade deals outside the SM, which would be a good outcome for Ireland and the EU.


#5543

Well you may as well start from the right point. The backstop was not a creation of the EU. It was the UKs idea. There are other options if some the tories (or DUP) have some sensible proposals . Simples as T. May would say.


#5544

Do you think they’ll be swimming from Larne to Stranraer ? There are checks at ports and airports.

Maybe they’ll stay in North Antrim - always so friendly to those unlike themselves


#5545

The NI-only backstop was a UK created idea to satisfy their Irish obligations that was satisfactory to the EU. The U.K. Wide backstop is entirely a UK creation for Commons reasons. But it has maddened the Commons.

Now to paraphrase Pearse, if you preach that the UK as a sovereign nation has NO Irish obligations, and can act fully freely and independently…well you haven’t been paying attention for 50 years


#5546

Informed sources such as Tony Connelly in links such as https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2018/1019/1005373-backstop-tony-connelly/ have stated that a backstop proposal applying to NI originated as a red line from the EU/Irish side. The British side extended the application of the backstop to the whole of the UK as a political expedient to keep the DUP on board.


#5547

Where have we ever signed an agreement with the UK that limited either country from acting freely on economic matters? The ROI left alignment with sterling in 1979. You could argue that such a move was as equally disruptive to cross-border trade as Brexit if not more. Cross border business just had to suck it up at the time. However nobody argued that we couldn’t take such a step as a sovereign nation and the same should be true for Brexit. Its a measure being taken by a sovereign UK, which at the moment includes Ni whether people like this reality or not. (I personally hate that Brexit has occurred myself just to avoid any misunderstanding on here but you have to deal with the reality of the situation).


#5548

Yes the Tony Conneelly piece is excellent as always. It would be truer to say the Backstop was an EU response to British perfidiousness. It was never the British strategy to box themselves in like this. It was always the British strategy to agree everything else, obfuscate on Ireland and put Ireland under pressure at the end to take whatever suited Britain at that time - not necessarily something malevolent to Ireland, just whatever was expedient to the UK.

No one is restricting British sovereignty - that’s Wingnut loon talk. Britain has obligations in Ireland that pre-date Brexit. If you want a deal you must respect your existing obligations. You can leave without a deal if you don’t. But exercising your sovereignty can be bitter at times. International deals are full of bitter pills for the greater good - as British farmers will come to learn. (Or ask anyone Irish working in the textile or footwear industries in the late 70s early 80s)


#5549

https://www.ft.com/content/35af6808-9d77-11e9-9c06-a4640c9feebb

To understand whether Boris Johnson’s plans for Brexit will work, consider the humble Malm bed from Ikea. The frontrunner to become UK prime minister denies he is already measuring the curtains for Number 10, but if he was checking out bedroom furniture on this week’s visit to Belfast, the bed would set him back £315. Alternatively he could drive to Dublin Ikea and buy the bed for €350.

The prices match at Wednesday’s euro exchange rate of €1.114 against sterling. In Belfast, having charged 20 per cent value added tax, HM Revenue & Customs would receive £52.50, while in one of the two Ikea stores near the Irish capital, Irish Tax and Customs would collect €65.45 from its 23 per cent VAT rate. Let’s wind the clock forward four months to Mr Johnson’s dream Brexit, in which the EU signs a basic free trade agreement with the UK and keeps the Irish border open with no tariffs, no checks and no border infrastructure.

Under EU rules, British people would become eligible for an Irish VAT refund on their purchase of the Malm bed in Dublin. So long as they showed proof of residence in Northern Ireland and declared the goods would leave the EU, they would get a refund. The trip to Dublin would save Belfast consumers almost 20 per cent, not bad for a 100-mile drive and a bit of bureaucracy.

Their tax avoidance would be completely legal. It is a feature of EU nations’ VAT systems that they seek only to tax residents of the bloc. The UK has said it will not charge its VAT on personal imports after Brexit, so is inviting this activity, which will become significant. Belfast’s retailers should be afraid, very afraid. They need look no further than the destruction of most British music retailing when it was challenged by VAT-free CDs posted from the Channel Islands in the 1990s and 2000s. The Irish government would have its own invidious choices. It could break the EU customs’ practices and refuse to impose Irish VAT on a Malm bed imported by Irish residents from Belfast’s store at the land border.

That would be likely to see a reverse flow of shoppers going north and both sides would be rash to assume lost revenues would be small. A second unpleasant option would be to put in place VAT import controls on the border, effectively breaking the Good Friday Agreement which has kept the peace on the island of Ireland. Third, the Irish government could attempt behind-the-border checks. In this example, that would mean officials literally snooping inside the bedrooms of its citizens.

It is precisely these obvious problems that will ensure the failure of Mr Johnson’s proposals. Similar suggestions have already prompted Sabine Weyand, the deputy Brexit negotiator for the EU until her recent promotion, to tell MPs last year that it was “very important” for the EU to “ensure that VAT is levied correctly” because it is a significant source of revenue for every EU member state and the tax already suffers from significant cross-border fraud.

The British attitude has been to wish such problems away. VAT is not properly addressed in the recent report on “alternative arrangements” that Mr Johnson said was a “brilliant” solution to the Irish border question. This lack of seriousness has been a feature of British attitudes since the 2016 Brexit referendum. Three years on, trade-offs are ignored and the UK still pretends there is a halfway house that allows both freedom from EU rules and frictionless trade.

The unwillingness to face tough choices before or after the referendum is the real tragedy of Brexit. It is possible to have a functioning tax system either with border controls, as Switzerland imposes, or by being an integral part of EU systems. Instead, we are told by Mr Johnson that these genuine problems are solvable if we believe hard enough and have faith. It is enough to make anyone cry themselves to sleep in a tax-free Ikea bed.


#5550

It was interesting to watch Jeremy Hunt on the C4 news last night. No mention specifically about the GFA but, as foreign secretary, he would stand up for the citizens of Hong Kong, as an agreement and treaty was made that should be respected. Oh the irony…


#5551

Good ol Ann Widdecombe , rounds on the EU & opens fire with both barrels…

Brave lady & a true patriot.
71 yo. Powerful


#5552

Once again a poster ascribing magical content to the GFA that doesn’t exist. There is nothing in the GFA proscribing either party to the agreement from leaving the EU, the SIngle Market or from changing its external trading arrangements in any way, including introducing any border checks it sees fit. If you can find text in the GFA that states otherwise please post it here.


#5553

Would you have voted for the GFA in 98 if you knew that the UK would vote for a hard border again within twenty years?

The spirit of the GFA was that it was open borders for both communities involved, and it’s from that spirit that the groundwork for the agreement that ended the conflict evolved. Anyone who can’t see this is blind.

It’s amazing that no one actually questions the DUPs rational for campaigning for an EU border back in 2016. The nearest we got was an RTE interview with Arlene where she glibly remarked that some people needed reminding that there was a border. This is the same DUP who were political dissidents to the GFA so you can guess they saw Brexit as an opportunity to crush the spirit of the GFA.

Make no mistake, the DUP want the troubles resumed as peace is a disaster for their community.


#5554

You are completely overreaching here.

The GFA was, and is, primarily a political settlement for NI, guaranteeing NI as part of the UK until people North and South separately vote otherwise, and setting up a mechanism for devolved government there. There was nothing in it about trading arrangements and border infrastructure, either relating to security or trade. And yes I would vote for it again.

There is nothing in it against parties pursuing their different political agendas, whether nationalist or unionist. The DUP are perfectly entitled to pursue a policy of leaving the EU. They have always been against it, going back to the time of Ian Paisley. Stating that the DUP want the Troubles resumed is daft and if I was a DUP supporter I would find that pretty offensive to be honest.

The “hard border” infrastructure was only dismantled from a security perspective when the Provos finally gave up their futile campaign and from an economic perspective when trade regimes on both sides of the border moved into step. Away from Brexit a “hard border” infrastructure would appear on the border again if paramilitaries once again started ducking and diving across the border launching attacks. The GFA does nothing to prohibit such security infrastructure from appearing on the border again if required and the British or the Irish would be fully entitled to put such back again there if it was required. Similarly the GFA says nothing about the British or Irish governments putting “hard border” infrastructure on the border relating to trade if it is also required, which it would likely be by both sides in the event of a no deal exit.