jump to navigation

More optimism over experience from the Brexiters. And less optimism in Dublin or Belfast. October 3, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
trackback

 

Love this from Chancellor Philip Hammond, who opines:

“You put it to me that we know that if we control our borders, we will not be able to get access to the European Union market, I said we don’t know that at all,” Mr Hammond said during an interview with ITV television.

Oh I think we do. I think we do.

 

By the way, another Tory politician who in their speeches refers not at all to the border on this island. And small wonder Charlie Flanagan is sounding a pessimistic note today. I would think the chance of said border being hard are very very high now. I share the sentiments expressed by Martin McGuinness but can’t see how they can be upheld:   

“The Irish government has a very important role to play during those negotiation in representing the democratically voiced wishes of the people of Northern Ireland who want to remain in the EU.

Our position remains the same, we refuse to be dragged from Europe. We are not going to give in on the issue.”

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Phil - October 3, 2016

Martin McGuinness? How many divisions does he… oh.

Like

2. Phil - October 3, 2016

I mean, wouldn’t that just be the cherry on the Brexit shit sandwich. Hard border = hard Union = hard division of the island; if May brings the slow incremental shift towards all-island political integration to a grinding halt, then we’re no longer in the world of the GFA, and certain commitments made under different historical conditions would fall to be reviewed… ugh.

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 3, 2016

This would be my greatest concern tbh about the entire situation. I’ve heard nothing from any source whatsoever to indicate that it would be different. And worse again a near complete indifference on the part of London to the nuances of the situation on this island.

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 3, 2016

Though in relation to the other island – with which I’ve strong family connections – the point was made today in the Irish Times that the response from ukip said it all. This is their form of Brexit dressed up hardly at all by the Tories. They’re delighted. That, for me, says it all in relation to where all this goes.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/analysis-process-takes-shape-and-it-s-a-hard-exit-from-eu-1.2814093

Like

3. gendjinn - October 3, 2016

When Hammond says everything is on the table you have to picture a particularly happy, bouncy, floppy eared, fluffy dog that has just dropped his slobbered on chew toys on the glass table for you to pick one to play with.

I don’t know who Hammond thinks he is fooling with this rubbish but it certainly isn’t people who are going to lose money if the Tories screw these negotiations up. You expect a bit of spin and turd polishing but business people have got to be looking at the recent spewing from the Tories (and that in the aftermath of the letter from Japan) and looking for the exits. Once one bolts it will cause a stampede as it will validate the fears.

Thank god they don’t have any planes for the aircraft carrier.

Liked by 1 person

4. benmadigan - October 3, 2016

from the same article “The Minister also said UK ministers Boris Johnson, David Davis and James Brokenshire had expressed an “understanding” of the Irish Government’s position”.
They might understand it but PM May has shown they are certainly not going to take it on board!

https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/post-brexit-northern-ireland-and-scotland-to-be-seen-and-not-heard/

How long will it take for FG to realise they have 27 friends in the EU who are more than willing to take the Irish Government’s position on board compared with 1 UK govt that says “you don’t count and we don’t care”? .
Of course that presumes the irish govt intends to safeguard the rights of irish EU citizens in NI.
Maybe they don’t?
On past evidence neither FG nor FF did much to aid Northern Republicans/nationalists over the 30 years “Troubles”or the 50 years Orange State hegemony.

Maybe they are just continuing their habitual policy, mirroring their master-class from the UK ” you don’t count and we don’t care”?

Shouldn’t Irish EU citizens North and South be told if that’s the case?

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 3, 2016

Completely agree. The very phrasing is so ambiguous ‘understanding’ as to be meaningless.

Like

5. Joe - October 3, 2016

What’s the definition of a ‘hard border’?
Customs posts = hard border.
Or
Customs posts + passport controls = hard border?

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 3, 2016

A border that is visible in any form is a hard border – in the context which it is used in the discussions by British and Irish and Stormont – though technically we’re talking about a regulated or controlled border with customs/passports as against an open border, but the point stands. There is no border on this island in material form. Brexit now threatens the return of a material border.

Like

Alibaba - October 3, 2016

‘I would think the chance of said border being hard are very very high now.’ I couldn’t agree more.

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 3, 2016

What on earth happens next?

Like

Phil - October 3, 2016

I’ve seen several comments (in other places) saying in effect “it’s not a problem – we had free movement between the UK and Ireland before the EU even existed”. The second part is true – although the port controls brought in by the PTA in 1974 can qualify that freedom of movement somewhat. But the first part wilfully misses a huge and obvious point. Simply, if the Republic has freedom of movement with the other 26 EU member states, and the UK has freedom of movement with the Republic (under the common travel area), then the UK has de facto freedom of movement with the EU – it’s as easy as driving from Dundalk to Newry. Presumably this isn’t what our government wants, so presumably they’ll take steps to prevent it. At the moment I can’t see how those steps won’t take the form of checkpoints and standing traffic jams on every road North – or how those checkpoints wouldn’t be sitting targets for armed republicans (dissidents in the best case scenario).

The prospect of Brexit is so catastrophic in so many ways, and the planning for it is so rudimentary, that I’ve believed for a while that it’ll never actually happen – our government couldn’t be that reckless and that stupid, surely. But Theresa May seems determined to prove me wrong.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 3, 2016

+1 and even suggestions like controls at British rather than NI ports/airports seem utopian to me. Under some British governments, say that of Brown or Corbyn, perhaps so, but this one? Can’t see it myself. What’s so telling is that they’re prepared to screw over the terms of the GFA. And if they’ll do that they’ll pretty much do whatever the hell the like.

Like

CL - October 4, 2016

-Charles Grant, of the Centre for European Reform, says the reason the EU is taking such a tough stance — not only rejecting pre-negotiation but also insisting that the UK cannot have the single market without freedom of movement — is fear of populism.

“In Paris, mainstream politicians do not want Marine Le Pen to be able to say: ‘Look at the Brits, they are doing fine outside the EU, let’s follow them there.’ Similar views colour thinking in The Hague, Rome and many other capitals.”-
https://www.ft.com/content/0b72ec92-895f-11e6-8cb7-e7ada1d123b1

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016

Yeah but no. Freedom of movement is one of the four core ‘freedoms’ of the EU. That nay be rhetoric or sincere or most likely a mixture of both but its not simply about populism (indeed if it were I’d expect govts to introduce controls on it a la the UK to pander to chauvinist srntiment ).

Like

Gewerkschaftler - October 4, 2016

Customs and passport checks at least.

As others have pointed out if Little Britain is going to seal itself off with an immigration perimeter, it means also immigration control policing along the border. Which means a significant police / military presence.

At some point UKIP/Tories will wake up to this and demand it.

I’d guess they’ll also have immigration controls between Northern Ireland and mainland LB.

This whole thing endangers not just the GFA but also puts Ulster Unionism in an ‘interesting’ position.

So, sorry Joe, but ‘chill’ we can’t.

Like

6. CL - October 4, 2016

The Ireland Act 1949, an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, “Declared that, even though the Republic of Ireland was no longer a British dominion, it would not be treated as a foreign country for the purposes of British law.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland_Act_1949

Post-Brexit this Act may have to be amended.

Like

7. CL - October 4, 2016

There may be no visible border in Ireland at the moment but there are two currencies.
“The pound has sunk to a three-year low against the euro on worries over the UK’s prospects outside the EU, after the government set a timetable for Brexit negotiations and fanned fears it would go for a deal that leaves Britain excluded from the single market.”
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/03/uk-stocks-rally-as-brexit-fears-fade

“The Brexit vote has led to a surge in people from the Republic shopping in Northern Ireland, according to a major retailer…
Peter Murray, the manager of Newry’s Buttercrane Shopping Centre, said there had been a 50% increase in southerners travelling to his store thanks to the pound initially slipping in value against the euro to levels not seen since 1985.”
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/shoppers-flocking-to-newry-for-brexit-bargains-from-republic-of-ireland-34927088.html

“Business activity and jobs in Ireland are already under threat because of the fallout from Brexit, a key Dublin trade body has warned.

The sharp fall in the pound against the euro is already making Irish exports to the UK, including meat and dairy products, 15% less competitive, said the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec).”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/03/irish-economy-exporters-feel-chill-from-brexit-fall-in-sterling

Like

8. Joe - October 4, 2016

There may be no visible border between north and south at the moment. But there are two jurisdictions. Most people know when they cross the border – visible or no. There are different currencies, different laws and so on.
The UK has made a decision to leave the EU. The RoI is committed to staying in the EU. The consequences will probably include some kind of visible border, the exact nature of that we won’t know for at least two years as it all depends on what comes out of the EU/UK negotiations.
It’s not great but it’s not catastrophic either. Chill!

Like

Phil - October 4, 2016

I might be more sanguine about the prospects for Brexit if so much emphasis weren’t being placed on controlling (or stopping) EU immigration – the way the government’s talking at the moment, that’s the one thing we need to achieve, even at the cost of all the economic benefits of being in the EU. That perspective really isn’t compatible with an open land border. (Incidentally, the idea that EU membership actually costs us as a country, which was so prominent during the referendum campaign, seems to have disappeared completely. Perhaps the fall in the pound, the Japanese letter etc have made people realise that there’s more to calculations of cost & benefit than £X going out every year and £Y coming in. A little late if so.)

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016

+1 T May put that front and centre and it poisons the well in regard to all else. Personally if the UK has made this decision that’s fine that is their democratic right, even if I think it is hugely premature in the absence of any alternative left European and internationalist structure to join or form, but as we see the UK doesntvexist in a vacuum. There are links to this state, others to other states which are bring disrupted or worse. Sovereignty in 2016 is simply not equivalent eben in the context of ‘independence’ to that in the mud 20tg century (though arguably it never was!).

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016

And to add it is not Brexit as such so much as the lack of regard to NI and other links which along with immigration control is so problematic.

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016

Fundamentally disagree Joe and so does the Irish government, you said it yourself three days back this us a massive challenge for the RoI, but it is deeper than that, the GFA and the dispensation around but not exclusively connected to it sorts within joint membership of the EU, the north isn’t just the UK, there’s a sharing of sovereignty with this state, and while legal and currency systems are different the most visible signs of partition and all that entails have been diminished, so eben in the context of the UK making a decision to leave NI is distinct from the UK and should be treated as such. The problem is the UK is unilaterally disregarding all this. Imagine if an ROI govt did the same. I don’t think you or I would feel relaxed about that.

Like

9. Joe - October 4, 2016

“NI is distinct from the UK and should be treated as such.” Not everyone would agree with that statement. Surely, by definition, the UK includes NI. Many people would prefer that it didn’t and I respect their right to so prefer but it currently does.

Now NI is different for sure. It’s not the same as England or Wales or Scotland. The Good Friday Agreement is part of that difference. So in the negotiations, cognisance will have to be taken of the Good Friday Agreement.
The UK has made a decision to leave the EU. Negotiations will now take place. The RoI will be represented in these negotiations by the EU negotiation team and the RoI will have to ensure that Irish north/south issues, the GFA and all that, will be dealt with at these negotiations.

We might tear our hair out at the madness of the UK’s decision to leave. But they’ve made it and now we’ll have to deal with it.

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016

Well the GFA does in a raft of areas alter sovereignty in NI and it is quite irrelevant if not everyone accepts it, it is simple fact. There’s no other part of the UK with anything approaching that set up or likely to be. And although the UK includes NI those arrangements do alter the reality of NI and under almost any other UK govt would be treated as such. It is the fact the current UK govt isn’t taking due regard that is the clear problem. And its not as I note above that the UK has decided to leave that is the problem but the lack of due regard in relation to NI that is. The UK can do what it likes as long as it takes due regard of the latter, I’m sorry for them and the democratic choice they made but it is largely their problem to deal with as they see fit. When it comes to this island though and the history and contexts therein I take a rather more active view.

Like

10. Roger Cole - October 4, 2016

Tend to agree with Joe with the chill factor. It is the early stage of negotiations which usually means “hard” positions been taken. The two year negotiations will only actually start next April, and it is very difficult to know which governments in Europe during the following tow years will be in power at this stage. The reality is that is not in the interests of either the states in the EU or GB to take a hard line. There is no real reason why there cannot be a continuation of the trade relations with the UK while agreeing it should control its immigration in a way that the EU states can agree with.

Like

CL - October 4, 2016

Is it not in the interests of the EU to take a hard line so as to discourage others from following the U.K’s lead?

Like

CMK - October 4, 2016

The need to take a hard line on the UK raises fundamental questions about the EU, questions which the EU elite’s ignores. If there are several other member states eyeing the exits following the Brexit vote what does that say about the EU?

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016

What though is a hard line? Freedom of movement? Its not the Eu that doesn’t want that, its the UK. It is the entity that dismissing freedom of movement while wanting full access to the market. If the EU says you can’t have one without the other and has specific models for this ie Norway style arrangements then surely it is the UK that is taking the hard line in this. I’m unaware of any other EU state that is seriously considering leaving the EU, though I could have missed that. And even if for the sake if argument two or three were eyeiing exit but 23 were not whatvwould that say really? Hardly that the EU was in a state if collapse.

Like

CL - October 4, 2016

“EU leaders fear a string of copycat polls could tear the organisation apart, as leaders come under pressure to emulate David Cameron and hold votes.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/23/the-brexit-contagion-how-france-italy-and-the-netherlands-now-wa/

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016

My caveat there is that no state actors, ie govts of likely govts of those states will go that route. Moreover the report is five months old. Me Pen is offering a ftexit as prez but fingers crossed she won’t get there and none of her rivals are. Italexit is remote as is Nexit. A lot of this is British sources whistling in the dark hoping others will join them.or the EU will collapse.

Like

CMK - October 4, 2016

This piece by Gerassimos Moschanos is worth reading on the limitations of what’s possible for the Left within the Eurozone and the EU. Not really optimistic but realistic and food for thought.

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2863-greece-and-the-crisis-of-democracy-in-europe-an-interview-with-gerassimos-moschonas

Like

WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016

Just to say thanks CMK, that’s a brilliant essay and I’d tend to view most of what it says re the EU as spot on. Just to be clear I don’t have any allegiance to a belief in an instrumental aspect of the EU as a progressive force. What I do believe though is that the space within it and some aspects of it can be used against both it and national govts to progressive ends. Therefore it as an institution is of no concern to me as such. But certain out workings are of utility from a left progressive position and can be worked from that. I also think it is necessary to build even in shadow form pan continental alternative structures and linkages outside EU structures.

Like

Gewerkschaftler - October 4, 2016

Seconded – the essay was an insightful update from the worst treated nation in the EU (arguably GB was the best). The other EU country I’d rate for a possible exit would perhaps be Greece.

However, this is most certainly true:

While citizens tend to reject mainstream policies, they remain at the same time skeptical towards alternative policy proposals. I think, or perhaps sense, that citizens fear the uncertainty that is entailed in alternative proposals. The major obstacles that the predominance of the markets poses for any project of changing the economic paradigm engender a fear of uncontrollable consequences. Strategies of social transformation, whether radical or reformist, appear unconvincing, not to mention dangerous. They create uncertainty and insecurity in all European populations.

The example of Greece is, in my view, representative of the “electoral economy” of fear. The proposal of exiting the Eurozone, whatever its economic rationality, was not electorally attractive as the average voter does not easily choose a decline in his living standards (even though Greece has lost more than 25% of its GDP!) for the prospect of a future medium term improvement. Many left-wing analysts in Europe have not realized the great fear of uncontrollable consequences and, from this perspective, the limits of radicalisation in the Greek population.

And this overriding atmosphere of fear of disintegration is what drives voters to alternatives that are no alternatives – like the AfD or the FN.

Like

Gewerkschaftler - October 4, 2016

This special legal status is going to be easy-peasy, walk-in-the-park stuff.

Never new about the imbalance of trade between the two parts of the island:

A third of Northern Ireland’s exports in 2015 (£2.1bn out of £6.3bn) were to the Republic (trade with Great Britain is not considered an export), while only 1.6% of the Republic of Ireland’s exports of €111bn (£97bn) were to Northern Ireland.

RoI figures are inflated for corporate tax evasion, of course.

Like

Joe - October 4, 2016

Lies, damn lies and statistics. That imbalance – stuff the RoI sells/exports to Britain is counted in the RoI total, stuff NI sells to Britain isn’t counted in the NI total. That’s apples and oranges, no?

Like

Gewerkschaftler - October 4, 2016

There’s a job for you in the Ministry for Brexit (or whatever it’s called), Roger.

Yep, sure, it all be dandy. No worries.

Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: