Britain leaving the European Union.








Bing! Dick-knuckle Micks think its all a fantasy!

Bong! It aint; watch it happen and watch the dates!


Seems pretty clear Boris had no intention of striking a deal. Today’s proposals were dead in the water before they got off the Eurostar, and Bojo must have known that. His meeting with the DUP yesterday was presumably to reassure them that the Irish Sea border proposal wasn’t serious so they had nothing to worry about (and they had a veto anyway).

So he’s told the Tory party conference that he is the epitome of reasonableness, will try to blacken the EU’s name at every hand’s turn after the inevitable rejection, and may even try to weasel out of the Benn A50 extension. I guess he truly believes he can leave the EU with no deal, neuter the Brexit Party, win an election, and enter the sunlit uplands of Brexitland where bewildered drivers wander endlessly around an M20 lorry park and gaunt children suck on chlorinated chicken bones.


Tories in the Commons today – “we’ve made reasonable proposals, time for the EU to step up to the plate”.

Arlene Foster interviewed just now. “Irish government is being totally intransigent, won’t accept reasonable proposals. All very disappointing, hopefully other European leaders will bring pressure to bear. We are heading towards no deal and it will be all Leo Varadkar’s fault”.

Lord Digby Jones interviewed earlier: “Boris’s proposals are reasonable, we should rely on Northern Irish businesses to navigate their way through any changed procedures”.

The blame game is moving into full swing. This is going to get very, very acrimonious.


Hopefully it won’t get violent.


I guess the mere thought of the below scenario has to say the least, sharpened political minds in Northern Ireland:

Boris Johnson’s government is considering imposing direct rule in Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a senior minister had admitted.

The admission follows reports officials have warned ministers that the region would struggle to cope without a functioning government if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The executive at the Northern Ireland assembly collapsed in January 2017, and while talks to restore power-sharing are ongoing, it is far from clear that a resolution will be found by 31 October, the current Brexit deadline.

Mr Raab said the government would ensure there was “no vacuum” in the region in the event of no deal.

Imposing direct rule would effectively suspend the Good Friday Agreement, which is based heavily on the idea of devolved government, and would infuriate the nationalist parties in Northern Ireland.

Mr Raab’s comments come as a new report by a respected think tank said direct rule should be introduced ”with immediate effect” from 31 October if there is a no-deal Brexit.

The Institute for Government said: “This will be extremely contentious, but without it Northern Ireland will be left even more exposed to the economic shocks of a no-deal Brexit than it is currently. That would itself raise the risk of political backlash.”

The report added: “Introducing direct rule could have immediate and long-lasting political repercussions. It would see the UK government rolling back devolution – and a key part of the Good Friday Agreement – as part of its decision to leave the EU without a deal. Nonetheless, a responsible government would have a bill providing for direct rule in the event of a no-deal exit on the statute book before 31 October.”


I’m amused at the DUP accusing anyone of being intransigent…


Lord Digby Jones interviewed earlier: “Boris’s proposals are reasonable, we should rely on Northern Irish businesses to navigate their way through any changed procedures”.

how is this cretin representing British business

Lord Digby Jones

A No-deal Brexit will seriously damage Ireland; 90% of its trade is with the UK. It will cause mayhem in Northern France. Unemployment will reign in German car making cities. And it will be the unaccountable, unelected Eurocrats to blame. The EU is terrified of rightly being


Long read on the latest proposal.


Latest opinion poll here gives Johnson a significant majority


Who knows…might explain the reluctance to have an election on the part of Remain though…


Polls are similar to previous. What isnt evident is how those polls translate into seats. Most commentary to date suggests a hung parliament. Tories and Labour appear to have alienated Scottish voters so probably a tie again. All depends on weather northern voters can hold their noses or buy Johnsons guff.


According to this tool, that poll gives the Tories a landslide as per the link…

As ive said however, Ive no idea whether the poll results are credible given what we’ve observed in terms of polling figures over the past decade


Based on a national level of polling. No account made for scotland. Can it seriously be argued that the tories would sweep aside the SNP, in a Brexit focused referendum. Labour probably are in trouble in the north but are people going to vote for the tories after 10+ years of cuts to the nhs and services. Similarly areas such as Bristol are more likely to go to the Lib Dems than the Cons. Tactical voting is likely factor which will be a feature both ways. Another big issue is turnout. Not much enthusiasm in labour at the moment and therefore this feeds into the polls (likely voters).
Even at those current poll numbers its not easy to predict an outcome


Did anyone notice Revenue (and possibly other sections of Irish Gov) have hired over 400 extra staff, all mainly customs afaik?


The Scots have, in the past (the Thatcher era), eliminated the tories in Scotland by tactical voting - I have absolutely no doubt that they would be willing to try this again and would probably succeed - taking 13 tories out of the picture. Those replacing them might well be Lib Dems since there will be 2 driving factors - hatred of Johnson and a desire to Remain in Europe. English voters haven’t tended to vote tactically in the past and Labours stance on Brexit is not going to help - it eliminates one potential bloc from the equation. In the North of England the Labour vote went for Brexit, and will probably go for the Brexit party if they stand. Given a hostile red-top press and abysmal leadership Labour won’t be getting that vote back. I think an election will yield a hung parliament and it’s more likely that a Conservative/Brexit/DUP axis will emerge the winner. Sinn Fein could help create an opposition to this by not standing - that means they don’t have to take their seats but Nationalists and the Remain vote will be represented in Westminster - it would be a noble and eminently sensible gesture. I think it would also yield the loss of one DUP seat - as far as I remember there is one seat that would be nationalist if the parties co-operated. I’m not holding out any hope of this happening but if I wanted to really piss off the British government (and I think SF do) then I would do it - I understand their reasons for not taking their seats BTW - I’m not arguing with that and they can revert to that stance once Brexit has got a kicking.


So it seems like a decent enough play by Johnson (or should that be Cumming?).

Backstop went the way of the Dodo and the DUP and red line unionism was sacrificed on the altar of an English Brexit.

Seems reasonable though and also quite likely to have strong majority support of the British people meaning Remain are pretty much stumped. Their focus should now switch to the content of the UKs future relationship with the EU. Johnson likely to win any election fought on the basis of this deal (if rejected by Parliament). Pointless to delay as the agreement has been endorsed by the EU. I wonder how Fintan will spin it?

Somewhat worrying from an Irish nationalist perspective is the prospect of the arrangement as it applies to the North requiring Stormonts endorsement 4 years down the line. Nobody has outlined what any amended arrangement coming on the back of a Stormomt non-endorsement would look like. Hard Border anyone?

On the other hand, this is Arlenes nightmare scenario. Assuming majority support in Stormont, its a blueprint for a United Ireland of sorts as it stands, and quite likely in fact, within 8 years. The arrangement basically begins the all island economic alignment required to pave the way for same.

Johnson a big winner here regardless of whether he gets it through on Saturday. Varadkar doesnt come out too badly but there may be some disquiet within nationalist circles when the detail becomes known.

Ultimately i think our own Onion Eater called it correctly from the get go. A time infused Northern Ireland wide backstop. Kudos sir.

Now lets see if they can get it over the line.


I think this is going to be a narrow defeat if we have the vote on Saturday, the parties all just are too entrenched in their postions at this stage now to agree on anything at all.
Extension, landslide for Boris following lots of name calling and British Bulldog spirit chest puffing. Deal done once the tories have a majority. UDP go back to their caves.
End to partition in the next 10 years, the tories will want shot of the UDP and their ilk forever after this perceived betrayel so we’ll get a nationwide vote for sure.


Hi Poacher. I’m blushing here but in fairness you and I were some of the few on here that could see that the backstop mechanism had failed and it was time to try something else.

I agree with most of your analysis above but would differ on a few details. The solution I had envisaged more recently was in fact a free trade zone for NI. The Johnson deal moves some of the way there but the EU have not really been encouraged to relax their customs rules enough in my view.

Taking the long term view it would be in everybody’s interest to see the NI economy been built up to be more self-supporting and having NI as a proper free trade zone with open borders to both the EU and the rest of the UK would have been a great way to bolster their economy. Our government should have been on a mission to convince both the EU and Unionists that this would have been a good thing. The Johnson deal leaves NI in an uncertain place from a business perspective, For instance in 6 years it could join wholly in customs terms with the rest of the UK so there is not a huge incentive for firms to set up there.

I don’t see any great incentive for a push for a United Ireland happening in the next 10 years as NI will still be reliant on massive subvention from the UK and we will have been seen to have been part of the betrayal of the Unionist community over the Johnson deal.

I think that Johnson’s deal will be backed by all the ERG and just about enough Labour MPs to squeak through the HOC. The alternative will be an extension with a UK GE and Johnson will romp home. Remain in the UK have lost mainly due to a shocking array of political leaders, notably Labour’s.

So we are now going to be facing into the reality of a hard Brexit at the end of 2020 which will be a burden for Irish exporters and I can only hope that the UK will stick to their aspirations for zero tariffs on EU exports to the UK, which is only in the political declaration at this stage. So we still have to cross that massive bridge in 2020.


Um, well done on the backslapping lads, very stylish.
Isn’t this the original backstop (NI only) deal that May proposed? I’m struggling to understand how it being presented by the slippery piglet makes it different?


As I understand it the originally proposed NI-only backstop would have had NI in the EU Customs Union and Single Market for goods for ever. From reports the Johnson deal has NI in a fudged version of the CU and the NI Assembly can vote to leave in 6 years despite Irish opposition so its not really a “backstop” any more. But I have not read the texts of either so perhaps others can provide a better analysis.