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A year after the Brexit referendum… the dust begins to settle but…  June 28, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As ever the sheer fecklessness of the British government is a sight to behold. In a long piece in the IT on businesses on both sides of the Border it remains clear that no preparatory work, let alone information, has been done on the issues impacting on them by the UK state. 

LacPatrick processes 620 million litres of milk annually, of which 500 million litres comes from Northern farmers. Some of this is used by manufacturers of infant formula for the Chinese market.

“There is a potential regulatory issue,” says D’Arcy. “The raw materials for the formula are EU-approved by the Chinese. Post Brexit, it is not EU milk, it’s British. Will that be approved by China?”

D’Arcy is disappointed none of the key Brexit issues has been signalled to business, 12 months after the vote.

Think of that. A whole year and yet business is as much in the dark as it was when the vote was announced. And whatever about business this has huge effects on workers. Already we know that parts of the Irish agriculture industry – mushroom farms in particular, have been very hard hit by the initial effects of Brexit with workers losing their jobs. Obviously more will come. But this sense of these events being played out elsewhere as if they have no connection to ground level is so strange. I’m at a loss to explain it.

Is it that the British government never really countenanced that Brexit could be a reality, or is so overwhelmed by the reality of it that it is unable to move?

As noted here Michael O’Leary was scathing in his criticism of the lack of a Plan B amongst British Ministers. I hold no candle for O’Leary but his openness on their abrogation of responsibility is deeply and profoundly troubling.

And the article in the IT points to the web of interconnections between North and South, organic links that tie this island together and which have largely grown in the past two decades.

And Brexit?

Kennedy explains that all the fabric for O’Neill’s (sports) products is made in Strabane. The undyed cloth is driven to Walkinstown to be coloured. It then goes back up north to be cut and made into finished garments. These are then shipped north and south for distribution.

“We cross the Border several times a day. Think about the mess it would be for us if we had to pay duties in undyed fabric, re-dyed fabric and finished garments. I don’t think it would be workable,” says Kennedy.

“Every business needs clarity. We need to know how this whole Brexit issue is going to be resolved. For us, a soft Brexit would be ideal, where we don’t have tariffs. We don’t have duties. But we’re still in the customs union. We need to know now, so we can plan ahead for the business.”

And already there are major effects:

“We’re concerned about their free movement. It’s a huge worry,” he says. “Every week, it also means 50 per cent of our staff who are paid in sterling must convert their wages into euro to feed their families and pay their bills.”

The weaker sterling as a result of the Brexit vote is an effective pay cut for this cohort.

It is genuinely staggering how little thought has been put into all this.

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1. An Sionnach Fionn - June 28, 2017

the web of interconnections between North and South

That is a crucial point a lot of people are missing. The discussions about a new Brexit Border on our island are frequently taking place in the context of state-to-state or Ireland/EU-to-UK relations. It is the interwoven nature of personal, social, cultural and economic life between north and south, and especially in the so-called border counties, which is under threat.

This is not like the banking crisis, the downfall of the Celtic Tiger, when people (wrongly) felt that there was no one to blame but each other; that we as a nation had been at fault. Even resentment towards the Troika was fairly mild, with the sense that the initial blame was our own and we had to take our medicine.

Here, with Brexit, there quite clearly is someone to blame and some blunt force, the border, partition, the continued British presence, to blame if things go bad.

It might not enthuse the majority but 1966-2005 didn’t require a majority to ignite.

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