Britain leaving the European Union.


I don’t believe I am. Parity of esteem meant neither community felt isolated.

However as dissenters to the GFA, the DUP represented the unionist identity defined by its victory over another people.

James Molyneaux was prescient when he described the IRA ceasefire as a disaster for his unionist community, the Drumcree protests happened to express disapproval of both Tory and then Labour wanting to get a ceasefire agreement.

Now remember the UVF defied Westminster before when it imported 25 thousand guns from Germany so it’s easy to see that the unionist world view is based on might in defiance of democratic principles.

Brexit is and has always been a battering ram for the unionists to smash the peace agreement.


Ehhh, NO!

Let’s see now shall we…

Strand 2 paragraph 3.
‘The North South ministerial council is to meet in an appropriate format to consider institutional or cross-sectoral matters (including in relation to the EU) and to resolve disagreement.’

It is safe to say what is happening now in relation to Brexit is a disagreement and that it involves the EU, this requires the ministerial council to meet on it and come to some type of agreement on it.

Strand 2 paragraph 17.
“The Council to consider the European Union dimension of relevant matters”

Is Brexit relevant to Northern Ireland and the EU? If so, the council must meet to consider it.

Strand 3 paragraph 5.
“The BIC will exchange information, discuss, consult and use best endeavours to reach agreement on co-operation on matters of mutual interest within the competence of the relevant Administrations. Suitable issues for early discussion in the BIC could include transport links, …, education issues and approaches to EU issues. Suitable arrangements to be made for practical co-operation on agreed policies.”

There is no way around this. The British Irish council must be involved in approaches to EU issues. Does Brexit involve the EU? If so, the BIC must be involved.

There are a number of others but I think I made my point.

There is also the minor fact that the the British government signed the document ‘as partners in the European union’.


If that’s not overreaching then I don’t know what is…


Considering we’re talking about the DUP maybe I didn’t go far enough…


Meet to consider, consult and use best endeavours etc. All very wishy washy stuff. And in fact there have been plenty of meetings, consulting and using best endeavours between the British and Irish sides over Brexit.

At the end of the day any suggestion that either the UK or ROI as sovereign countries cannot put checks on its borders to deal with new security or trade issues due to restrictions in the GFA is a complete political invention based on a “spirit of the agreement” principle not worth the paper its not written on.

Here is a possible future scenario to consider to show how nonsensical this whole “hard border” argument is. At a point in time 10 or 20 years hence the numbers of voting nationalists is estimated to exceed unionists in Northern Ireland and under the GFA a border poll is planned, Elements of extreme loyalism launch a cross-border car bombing campaign in Dublin and other Irish cities to counter this development (could well happen). The Irish security forces place checks on the border to check cars coming from the Northern Ireland.

In this scenario would you guys now up in arms over a potential trade-related “hard border” be up in arms about the Irish security forces also breaching the GFA by establishing border checks? I don’t think so.


I believe that your political theories are too extreme to even get published in An Phoblacht.


Well An Phoblacht is at least based in a political theory, the DUP are the political branch of the 17th Century, a roadkill of the reformation wars! :grin:


We already imposed a hard border after the GFA for the Foot and Mouth outbreak. Ironically it was actually the unionists that campaigned for an Irish sea agri foods border afterwards!


We already imposed a hard border after the GFA for the Foot and Mouth outbreak. Ironically it was actually the unionists that campaigned for an Irish sea agri foods border afterwards!

Is this a joke? I really do have to ask, is this a joke? Is this really the understanding of what a hard border is?

The real hard border between North and South of Ireland came down in 1992. It predated the GFA by quite a number of years. It had been partially disassembled in the seventies, but still remained until the signing of the Maastricht treaty. Prior to 1992 every single car, van, lorry, bus was stopped and searched at the border. No exceptions. People taking the train from Belfast to Connolly Station had to undergo Customs checks.

Crossing the border there were three check points within a few hundred meters: Irish customs, British Military and finally UK customs. This was on every main road across the border. They stopped every single car on the road, with no exceptions. By far and away the most strict of these was the Irish Customs. On a number of occasions after visiting my relatives on the other side of the border, children’s bags were taken out of our car and searched for contraband. Sleeping bags were taken out and searched. And this was not a one off event. In fairness, it was usually just a case of an unpleasant conversation.
On one occasion contraband was discovered and confiscated from under a seat: a bottle of Bushmills Whiskey, which as a few pound cheaper at the time.

At the time of Italy 1990 world cup, there was no booze run to Newry. If anyone tried it, they ran the risk of having it all confiscated.

This is what a hard border is. It is not a short term emergency action to try to contain an outbreak of a highly contagious disease.


Meet to consider, consult and use best endeavours etc. All very wishy washy stuff. And in fact there have been plenty of meetings, consulting and using best endeavours between the British and Irish sides over Brexit.

I may have missed it, but I can’t find any record of either the BIC or the North South Ministerial council having met to resolve disagreements over Brexit. Has it happened and I simply missed it?

Some Irish government official meeting some UK government official does not constitute either governments having met their obligations under the treaty.

If it has not happened, then the UK government is in violation of the treaty, international law, and domestic UK law by acting unilaterally. The UK government will be taken to court both domestically and through the UN.


For me the hard border came down when the last British border post was removed.

Brexit as promoted by the DUP is the reimposition of that hard border.


Well you should crack ahead so with this court case, I imagine that it will be very productive.


Wow, that’s a complete 180 from Corbyn. He has always been anti EU, for 30 years or more


He has simply stated that Labour would advocate remain if any Conservative Brexit was put to a public vote as it wouldn’t be as brilliant as his version of Brexit… He has not said what Labour’s policy on Brexit would be in a general election but I am sure it will be a very complicated one.

In fairness it must be difficult for him to articulate policy due to his health issues relating to splinters in his butt from sitting on the fence and his neck in a brace from facing both ways on Brexit simultaneously.


This is a strange move with seemingly little forewarning

Is the DUPs position in Westminster tenable these days, this is as much of a two fingers up to them as you can get.

MPs back extending same-sex marriage, abortion rights to Northern Ireland


Not surprising considering the top google search in the UK the day May announced the support and supply deal was “who are the DUP”, or was it “what is the DUP”.


Looks like it’s gonna get nasty…


Yes it is about to get nasty, but once again I’m bemused by the UK’s position. The alternative to the backstop is a hard border. If they want a hard border, they should just say so and stop pussyfooting around.

And while Ireland has the most to lost from a hard Brexit, the UK is next…


The UK has failed to get the EU to fold in any meaningful way up to now.
The early theory that the Europeans would cave in because the EU needed the UK more than the UK needed the EU proved very optimistic.

If the next game of chicken is over Ireland and ‘No Deal’ and the backstop it probably won’t end well for Britain. As bad as a ‘No Deal’ will be for Ireland, I still think it will be worse for the UK.
Would you rather be he country that can’t send stuff to one place or the country who can’t get anything from almost anywhere?
In the immediate pandemonium after a No Deal crash out, the onus will still be on the UK resolve it rather than Ireland/EU to make concessions all over the place.

I still don’t expect Brexit to happen. Failing that the next best result for Ireland is a No Deal crash out, which will invariably be followed by swift ‘crash in’ again back into the EU.
The worst outcome would be a substantial negotiated Brexit where the EU makes massive concessions to the UK. All the EU has to do is hold firm, concede nothing and not do anything to embolden the deluded Tory faction who are driving this train wreck.


If BoJo manages to get a no-deal exit over the line one way or the other then there is no way in hell that a UK led by BoJo will try to re-enter the EU, regardless of what happens. It will be the Battle of Britain all over again and they will dig in with massive media and enough public support.

Remember that in the ensuing chaos the UK will have leverage in terms of the €39 billion it may or may not pay to the EU and also in terms of its large imports from the EU. Bad things for Ireland could happen in this scenario.

So why on earth risk this crock of shit unfurling? Remember also that lorries carrying goods to Ireland will be stuck in the queues at Dover and Calais along with those carrying goods to the UK. The sensible thing to do will be to offer a concession on the backstop (timebox it to 2 years or to another UK referendum) to get the May WA over the line and see what happens in the next few years while they are still negotiating the actual EU/UK trade deal. A lot could change over the next 2 years including a UK General Election that could bring in the Labour Party. It favours staying in the Single Market & Customs Union (so the backstop becomes moot). Once they are out of the political side of the EU I predict that the UK electorate won’t care a great deal if they remain in the SM/CU and will have got bored of that debate.