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Peace in our time. Not so fast! October 11, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This cautious summary seems to me to be probably spot on.

lisa o’carroll
@lisaocarroll
· 1h
So upshot of meeting is cautious optimism that deal can be struck, suggestions concessions on both sides. This obviously not the same as a deal being ratified by parliament and we won’t know where we are with that until Johnson shares details with party and, crucially, DUP. 1/

lisa o’carroll
@lisaocarroll
But this feels like a significant day. Consider that on Tuesday Downing St was briefing that deal was essentially impossible after call with Merkel…to have both leaders issue joint statement agreeing there is path to deal is quite something

And this from RTÉ seems equally so:

However, there are no clear details yet on the elements of any breakthrough.

The sudden outbreak of optimism leaves as many questions as answers.

Whether as some have suggested this is a ruse to buy Johnson time and prevent further machinations in Westminster or it is a serious effort remains to be seen.

Comments»

1. CL - October 11, 2019

“Michel Barnier,the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has secured the agreement of the EU27 to open intensive “tunnel” negotiations on Boris Johnson’s latest proposals in a major boost for the British government.
Sources said ambassadors representing the EU member states had given the “green light” to accelerated negotiations, in the hope of agreeing terms by next Thursday’s summit.
The details of Johnson’s latest suggestion to the EU are yet to emerge.”
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/11/michel-barnier-meets-brexit-secretary-after-uks-positive-talks-with-ireland

“If there is a deal to be done, it seems certain it is Johnson who has given way by denying the DUP a veto and creating an all-Ireland customs union in all but name with a hard border between the UK and Ireland.”-John Crace
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/11/brexit-out-of-time-out-of-ideas-elsewhere-in-life-hopefully-not

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2. CL - October 11, 2019

” two senior EU diplomats told Reuters the possible solution could include two elements: keeping Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom’s customs union and, at the same time, ensuring that customs and regulatory checks were carried out together.
Under a recent UK proposal, the regulatory border would run in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Britain. The sources said they understood that customs checks could be carried there as well under the plan now under discussions.”
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-solution/possible-brexit-fix-keep-northern-ireland-in-uk-customs-but-do-checks-in-irish-sea-eu-sources-idUSKBN1WQ1OL

“The UK appears to be drifting closer back to the original aims of the Northern Ireland backstop, I understand. This is the message Michel Barnier delivered to EU27 ambassadors late this morning following his meeting with Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay”-Tony Connelly.

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Alibaba - October 11, 2019

It seems another version of the Theresa May deal could be cut  because Johnson is not seriously constrained by the DUP, especially if he can get the vote of those departed Tory MPs and Labour rebels who will peg it to avoiding a no-deal Brexit. Of course I could be wrong and supposing his efforts fail, he (or others) could call for an election and sadly his prospects of winning are good on “being thwarted” grounds. Or will a general election result in a hung parliament with no working majority and another backstop non solution? It’s so out of control, anything could happen, hence my puzzled thoughts.

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CL - October 11, 2019

“Unionists have vowed to kill off any Brexit deal which keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s customs union, amid fears that Boris Johnson is ready to make the province a “sacrificial lamb” to secure an agreement with Brussels….
In a statement issued late on Friday, DUP leader Arlene Foster stressed that “the United Kingdom must leave the EU as one nation and in so doing that no barriers to trade are erected within the UK”.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-news-latest-brexit-deal-talks-eu-barnier-tunnel-a9151946.html

English nationalism and unionist atavism may prevent any approach to a reasonable outcome. Even if a deal is reached with the EU, considerable support from Labour will be needed to get it through the HoC. With an election pending there is little support within Labour to give Johnson a victory.
Brexit is revealing rather starkly that the problems caused by the partition of Ireland are not easily solved.

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3. CL - October 11, 2019

A fudge that might work:

“Officials close to the negotiations say Mr Johnson would keep Northern Ireland in the UK customs territory in legal terms, meaning it would benefit from any free trade deals struck with third countries, but in practical terms it would be part of the EU customs area.
Goods entering Northern Ireland would face customs and regulatory checks on the Irish Sea to allow them to move freely on to the Republic. British and EU officials would collect tariffs for the EU at ports in Northern Ireland and remit them to Brussels.

“It’s an elaborate flannel to demonstrate that NI has left the customs union while to all an intents and purposes remaining in it,” said one person briefed on the negotiations….
The Democratic Unionist party, which now faces the prospect of a customs and regulatory border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, has so far reserved judgment”
https://www.ft.com/content/be3bec10-ebf5-11e9-a240-3b065ef5fc55

“But Dublin and Brussels must avoid any triumphalism. The DUP may attract little sympathy, having backed itself so clumsily into its current self-defeating position over the past three years, but it’s in the interests of Northern Ireland – and the various relationships formalised under the 1998 Belfast Agreement – that Arlene Foster’s party be allowed to extricate itself from the current crisis without being humiliated.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/the-irish-times-view-on-the-brexit-endgame-seize-the-opportunity-1.4047861

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WorldbyStorm - October 12, 2019

Wow, it’s like one of those images that seem to be two different pictures depending what Angle you look at them!

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Alibaba - October 12, 2019

Thanks for the updates CL. Makes me comfortable with my uncertainty. Maybe a finger of fudge is good enough, but it could be more likely on then to the next objectionable development.

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4. CL - October 12, 2019

“Whatever destiny decides, the Thornton Manor encounter between Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar was certainly furtive in its planning, and had the makings of a caper comedy.
The location for the meeting was in itself fraught with difficult protocol….
When a location halfway between Dublin and London was finally agreed upon, a government spokesman issued the mysterious notice that the encounter would happen in the “north west of England”.
Thanks to the social media storm about Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, there was a healthy cohort of tabloid journalists on the loose in the greater Liverpool area anyway.”
https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2019/1011/1082783-brexit-connolly/

‘Liverpool is Ireland’s only colony’-Brendan Behan.

Richard North, for one, remains skeptical that an orderly withdrawal rather than a no-deal crash-out will occur.
http://eureferendum.com

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5. Paul Culloty - October 12, 2019

Never let it be said that the DUP ever found a compromise that they couldn’t reject:

https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2019/10/12/news/dup_s_nigel_dodds_rejects_double_customs_brexit_solution_it_cannot_work_-238366257/

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