Wednesday 20 December 2017

Despite progress, Northern Ireland will still lead to a hard brexit

Not that this is such a terrible thing, but it remains the conclusion of the latest EU proclamations.

Via the excruciating Kamal Ahmed, here is the latest BBC breathless interview to end Brexit with Pierre Moscovici.

"How can you have no border - no hard border - and not have at the same time internal markets and custom unions?" Mr Moscovici asked.

"Because goods can come through that non-border - there would be a non-border between a part of the UK and Ireland, which is a part of the EU, so you see, that would be very complex.

"It's hard to imagine that there is no hard border, and at the same time, no internal market and no customs union, there would be a contradiction there."

So the issue here is taking last week's euro fudge at face value. Clearly, there was no real answer on Northern Ireland and both sides agreed on regulatory alignment as a meaningless phrase designed to allow for the money to be put on the table. The EU still see the UK as some kind of local region which it is indulging.

But in the end, this may yet kill the deal. If the EU decide their rules must be followed for the Good Friday agreement et al to stand, then they are in effect demanding the unification of Ireland and splitting it up politically and economically. The DUP will not vote for this and neither will many Tory MP's.

So, really, the fudge is not sweet enough. Of course, going on history, the EU will find another way around this at the last minute. But with remainers really getting excited on a potential second referendum then 2018 is going to be far from plain sailing.


Anonymous said...

It will be OK if we do nothing. If the EU want a customs post on their side, it is up to them to build it.

Don Cox

Lord Blagger said...

The UK is offering free trade, goods services capital.

That's with Ireland, with the rest of the EU.

That's consistent with the GFA.

Will the EU decide to screw the GFA by putting conditions on it?

Telling Ireland they can't do that?

You need to be clear who is the difficult participant.

Bill Quango MP said...

This second referendum. What will the percentage vote required be!
If 52-48% wasn't enough for leave, then what percentage would be required to decisively remain?

55-45 ?
60 - 40. ?

Otherwise the "third referendum" issue will hang over the UK 🇬🇧.

[That flag, iPad dropped in iteself!?
Is safari pro Brexit ?]

Bill Quango MP said...

Eu can have one of their Swiss style customs and immigration border posts if they like. On their side.

We can have our usual sort of border on our side.

Tony Harrison said...

BQ: in England it was 53%, not a huge difference admittedly but it helps to underline the difference between England (= 85% of UK population) and the outlying Celtic bits more heavily subsidised by both UK and the EU.

Lord Blagger said...

It's important to realize what the EU doesn't want.

The EU is a trade cartel with barriers to trade externally.

It's idea of hell is free trade with the UK [which it wants] and the UK having free trade outside of the EU.

Then the trade wall is breached, smashed, demolished. Companies set up in the UK, import, relabel, export to the EU.

That's why the EU is so against UK Irish free trade.

Anonymous said...

If there's a hard Brexit the Tory traitors will line up to stop Brexit at all, and the PLP will support them, some to get Corbyn in, many Blairites to stop Brexit first then deal with Corbyn later.

No anti-EU vote has stood - they've all either been rerun or ignored.

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

My contempt for the Nicky Morgans and Amber Rudds knows no bounds.

Lord Blagger said...

So consider Corbyn.

Currently the deal is pay the EU 40 bn plus, and have controls over the UK. It's a crap deal.

So the question, will Labour vote for 40 bn of cuts to the NHS to pay the Kinnocks their cash?

Put it that way and I don't see them voting for it.

Plus with their core voters voting out.

AndrewZ said...

Michel Barnier has repeatedly made clear that the only options the EU is offering are EFTA/EEA (or something very like it) or a Canada-style trade deal. The British government has ruled out EFTA/EEA and insists that the type of deal Canada has with the EU isn't enough for Britain. It's also unlikely that the Tories would take the political risk of an economically-disruptive "no deal" exit from the EU if they can avoid it.

So, the most likely scenario is an extended transition period in which the British government gradually makes more and more concessions until we end up with something that is almost the same as the EFTA/EEA option, but not as good. It might even be associate membership of the EU in all but name.

However, the fact that it doesn't say "EFTA" or "associate membership" on the tin will allow May to pretend that she has delivered some super special arrangement just for Britain, and the media are probably ignorant and gullible enough to go along with it. It would be a distinctly sub-optimal outcome achieved on a ridiculously slow timescale, but it would suit the political needs of the Conservative Party and that is what will determine the government's actions.

Electro-Kevin said...

Around 65% of people did not vote to save UK membership of the EU.

They had the opportunity to do so but did not deem it important enough to bother.

CityUnslicker said...

Lord Blagger - its not enough vaguely sensible to say €40 billion is cuts to the NHS. that would be a really crazy sell to try on. it is exactly 4 years net payments, over 4 years (hmm, maybe three, they quietly skated over this bit).

All it serves to do was kick the can over the 2020 threshold so no EU budgets need re-writing earlier. Job Done....for now.

CityUnslicker said...

BQ the 3rd referendum...what an amazing prospect for 2025!

Lord Blagger said...

its not enough vaguely sensible to say €40 billion is cuts to the NHS

Oh but it is.

Lets say the deal is 40 bn.

Now some cuts are being made. What's the response of those in favour of a clean brexit?

The cuts are the fault of remainers and those who voted to pay the EU a bung.

Every time, that's what's going to be raked up.

40 bn with nothing coming back. Mad to sign it and illegal unless they have a vote to make the illegal legal.

MPs get done for spending that is ultra vires.

Just as they will legalise their pension fraud.

andrew said...

I think we need a referendum to agree never to have a referendum again.

Lord Blagger said...

I think we need referedum to get the approval of the public on all bills.

Otherwise it just infantalises the public.

Anonymous said...

The Phase 1 UK/EU agreement is the type of outcome that is normally imposed on a defeated nation. It means huge reparation payments, subservience to the victors' laws and regulations, unrestricted entry and legal privileges for their citizens seeking lebensraum (why does that phrase sound familiar?), and no foreseeable end to the level of population replacement that the UK is already undergoing.

In the case of the border with the Irish Republic, it means allowing an alien state to dictate the terms on which the United Kingdom carries on its trade and immigration policy, in perpetuity.

We have seen this kind of thing before in Europe, and we have also seen how it turned out. Better for us not to go down that route.

andrew said...


I have delegated rubbish collection to the bin men (safe to say man as it usually is)
I have delegated making rules to my mp

I don't have the time or interest to work out what to do with the nation's rubbish or the details of how to regulate snooping on other people's emails.

This is why we have a representative democracy.
Otherwise we would have policy driven by the few who obsess on a topic and naturally they want to do something and so we end up with higher taxes to pay for shiny things and the sewers not being maintained.

I don't see infantilisation
I do see that the rule making class increasingly believe that they are somehow more useful than the bin men.
They are not.