jump to navigation

The issue of the border and Brexit… again. September 19, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Very good, if very depressing podcast on the Guardian recently about the question of the Border. The contributors are listed below.

Lisa O’Carroll, the Guardian’s Brexit correspondent, Ruth Taillon from the Centre for Cross Border Studies, and Martina Anderson, a Northern Irish MEP for Sinn Féin.

All excellent to be honest.

But one point brought up was that in relation to the GFA, the UK Northern Ireland Act of 1998 brought into implement the GFA, actually specifically mentions the ECJ.

12 Reconsideration where reference made to ECJ.(1)This section applies where—
(a)a reference has been made under section 11 in relation to a provision of a Bill;
(b)a reference for a preliminary ruling has been made by the [F1Supreme Court] in connection with that reference; and
(c)neither of the references has been decided or otherwise disposed of.
(2)If the Assembly resolves that it wishes to reconsider the Bill—
(a)the Presiding Officer shall notify the [F2Advocate General for Northern Ireland and the Attorney General for Northern Ireland] of that fact; and
(b)the [F3person who made the reference in relation to the Bill under section 11 shall request the withdrawal of the reference] .
(3)In this section “reference for a preliminary ruling” means a reference of a question to the European Court of Justice under—
[F4(a) Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; or]
(c)Article 150 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.

And not just the ECJ but to EU law…

24 [F1EU] law, Convention rights etc.(1)A Minister or Northern Ireland department has no power to make, confirm or approve any subordinate legislation, or to do any act, so far as the legislation or act—
(a)is incompatible with any of the Convention rights;
(b)is incompatible with [F1EU] law;
(c)discriminates against a person or class of person on the ground of religious belief or political opinion;
(d)in the case of an act, aids or incites another person to discriminate against a person or class of person on that ground; or
(e)in the case of legislation, modifies an enactment in breach of section 7.
(2)Subsection (1)(c) and (d) does not apply in relation to any act which is unlawful by virtue of the [F2Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998], or would be unlawful but for some exception made by virtue of [F2Part VIII of that Order].

And as was pointed out, that’s not a technical issue and tweaking it given the lack of political consensus that begins to pick apart the agreements, that’s fundamental to the GFA and the dispensation on the island. Moreover the point was also made that the Brexit referendum saw no effort to engage with not just the reality of the North but also Scotland and Wales.

As to the future. Pessimism was the general consensus. Consensus was that Irexit was a complete non-starter. Lisa O’Carroll argued that it was good some like Bassett and Kinsella talk about Irexit but simultaneously noted that there was no political or popular support for Irexit in the RoI.


1. CL - September 19, 2017

“Coveney said the U.K.’s current position on Brexit makes it “very difficult’’ to maintain the invisible border, and urged the U.K. to enter a new customs union with the European Union

In the meantime, Ireland wanted a long Brexit transition period, which essentially maintained the status quo, he said.”


bjg - September 19, 2017

Here’s a piece https://www.ceps.eu/publications/irish-border-customs-frontier-after-brexit on the practicalities of the border as a customs frontier. It’s by Katy Hayward and Maurice Campbell, mentioned yesterday, with Rob Murphy “an independent customs expert (formerly Irish Customs authority, DG TAXUD and EFTA Secretariat)”. Their conclusions seem rather less worried than the rest of the piece would warrant. Of course the border won’t be the only customs frontier: the effects on (especially) Dublin Port could be horrific. There just isn’t room to park all the RORO trucks to await inspection. Perhaps that idea of building a new port at Balbriggan (or was it Drogheda?) will have to be revived, while Rosslare could find a need for expanded services to the continent. bjg


2. bjg - September 19, 2017

Did you know that

Amongst the young the historical tribalism of Unionism and Nationalism is much less important. Unionists increasingly see Sinn Fein as being a forward-looking party for the young.




Joe - September 19, 2017

Gosh, I didn’t know that. But it’s there on the internet so it must be true.


3. gendjinn - September 19, 2017

The DUP never signed up to the GFA and the UUP never signed up to the SAA. The UUP now repudiates the GFA and the DUP now repudiate the SAA.

There is nothing to be done with Unionism except to re-unify. These are the same people that sang GSTQ in Trinity until the 70s. The same people that refused to call it Dún Laoghaire until the day they died.

Look at the generational change happening between under/over 40s Unionists. That’s the effect of peace, generations largely freed from the bitterness of bomb, bullet and murder.

Unionism always negotiates in bad faith and then embarks on goal post moving. Re-unification is the only resolution.


4. roddy - September 19, 2017

After the assembly election,BBC interviewed “young people” in what I expected the usual “one sides as bad as the other” shite.Surprisingly two pupils from posh protestant schools confounded me.Both hated the DUP and one girl said the only candidate she encountered was “Mairtin” ( O’Muilleoir) and voted PBP1 SF2 as “the best way to stop the DUP”!


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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: