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Hard border? September 2, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’m no fan of David Davis. And as for Peter Sutherland. Hey, I’m no fan of him either. And in a disagreement between the two I’d tend to the view that it would be best if they both lost. But… I did think the latter had more than a half a point when…

Former EU commissioner Peter Sutherland has rejected a claim by the British Brexit secretary that there will be no hard trade border in Ireland after the UK leaves the EU.

But on the other hand the reporting of Davis was over the top. A closer reading of his words suggested far from, as media suggested, ruling out a hard border he was a fair bit more equivocal.

He also said Britain and the Republic both wanted to maintain an open Border on the island and the Common Travel Area.


“We will work to achieve that, to ensure that that benefit is retained but we have the strength of that CTA that I think has suited both the UK and the Republic of Ireland very, very well for decades and how we want to see that continue.”

Which is the equivalent of me saying that I want world peace and apple pie delivered to everyone. Nice if we can get it. But nothing more than an aspiration.

To which Sutherland made the not unreasonable response:

“I am absolutely mystified, not for the first time in this debate, about what is coming out of London,” he said. “We have been told by a number of Conservative Party spokespeople that Britain will leave the common customs area of the EU. If this is true, the customs union, which relates to sharing a common external tariff of the EU, will have to be maintained by all other EU countries with the UK following its withdrawal. Goods will have to be checked at borders.


“I would be very fearful that they may be heading towards a negotiation that will require a hard Border between north and south in Ireland. Dismissing this as a prospect at this stage is ridiculous.”

Mind you why should we be surprised when one D. Davis was responsible for this only a month or so ago.

On a not unrelated subject look at the list of worthies involved in the newly instated Northern Ireland Advisory Group…

The four core members are the Confederation of British Industry, the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the Institute of Directors (NI). Mr Brokenshire said the British government “will get the best possible deal for Northern Ireland” and dismissed suggestions he was out of step with the majority in the North who voted to remain in the EU. “The public of the UK gave a very clear vote,” he said. “We now need to move on and get the best possible deal for the UK and for Northern Ireland.”

Yeah. Business. As usual.


1. Gewerkschaftler - September 2, 2016

The mystical cloud of unknowing coming out of London is because they are trying to achieve two mutually incompatible things:

a) Restrictions on immigration, including from the EU


b) access to the EU internal market for ‘British’ capital

and significant numbers of Tories and Kippers (as well as people who should know better) believe the two are compatible.

Now a) implies a hard border going through the island of Ireland.

I heard a Leninoid Lexiteer maintaining that such a border would be unsustainable because ‘the people would tear it down’. Scarcely less otherwordly and ahistoric than the idea that a) and b) can be reconciled.


Joe - September 2, 2016

Me and my mates are forming a band. Not for the first time. And not for the first time either, we were stuck for a name. Not anymore though. The Leninoid Lexiteers. Thanks GW.

Btw. Lexit? Luxembourg exit? Latvia exit?


Joe - September 2, 2016

I remember now. Left exit!


WorldbyStorm - September 2, 2016

“the people would tear it down”… Jesus, the innocence. Anyone remember the British Army installations outside Newry in the 1980s?


2. Michael Carley - September 2, 2016

Of course, the Irish border is not the only the one the UK has with the EU: has anyone asked how Gibraltar will get on after Brexit?


Gewerkschaftler - September 2, 2016

Well the Gibraltese have – they voted over 96% against.

But like NI …


gendjinn - September 2, 2016

Caught as they are between a rock and a wet place.


Michael Carley - September 2, 2016

The rain in Gibraltar falls mainly in the water.


3. gendjinn - September 2, 2016

Hard Border! Hard Men! The sequel to Men at Work with Sheen & Estevez starring.


sonofstan - September 2, 2016

Everytime I fly back to the UK from anywhere other than Ireland and see the signs for Border Force, that’s the image that springs to mind; some straight to DvD action flick from the mid-’90s

Liked by 1 person

Michael Carley - September 2, 2016

I tend to think of Thunderbirds. Or a gardening programme.

Liked by 2 people

4. gendjinn - September 2, 2016

Border Farce by Trey Parker and Matt Stone – tagline “Team UK, FOOK YEH!”

Liked by 1 person

5. John Palmer - September 2, 2016

I hear rumours that, rather than risk serious trouble by imposing a “hard border” in Ireland, Whitehall might risk Unionist ire by returning to the emergency arrangements for border controls between the north and the British mainland which were introduced (I think) between 1941 and 1951.


WorldbyStorm - September 2, 2016

Yeah, that’s been raised. It might work, but it would need a London government willing to go the distance. What’s your take on all this in any case? I’m very interested. You might have noticed that while many of us here are eurosceptics a fair number of that group would be even more Brexit-sceptic.


6. sonofstan - September 3, 2016

As with everything else brexit related, the brits are in the phoney war stage here. There have been no real consequences yet and the press and pro brex pols are full of the fun of what they’re going to ‘demand’ from the eu. The fact that the eu is a lot bigger that they are, and doesn’t give a Fuck as to what the daily mail thinks hasn’t sunk in. Someone quoted mike Tyson on p.ie as to where they are at the moment: ‘everyone’s got a plan until they get a punch in the mouth’


WorldbyStorm - September 3, 2016

Yeah, that’s it. I was amazed to see who has fallen prey to this sort of thinking. Amazing too to see the press ‘demands’ etc. There’s a real disconnect there. I have to conclude they genuinely believe their economic weight is equal to or in some respects greater than 27 other European states or at the least as good as. It’s a catastrophic misreading of the reality.

Being half English I’m really intrigued by the mentality behind it. To say its echoes of empire seems too pat, but perhaps it is closer to say, an American exceptionalism?


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