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.