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What’s the point in the backstop if we get a hard border either way?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 803 ✭✭✭woohoo!!!


    To drop the backstop is to agree to a hard border in principle whenever it suits Westminster. If Westminster wants to remove the backstop, then shift a red line and stay in the Customs Union. In short, cake and eat or the Brexit dream is not deliverable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭fash


    At least that is a figure: fifty years. Thank you. Something concrete.
    It could even be shorter if the "stable significant majorities" in both UK and NI itself and "thriving" aspects happen earlier- but personally I can't see the dust even settling for 15-20 years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭Bit cynical


    LuckyLloyd wrote: »
    Sir Ivan Rogers addressed the question of ‘can Article 50 work as an exiting process?’ in his recent speech to UCL. He concluded that it can so long as the exiting country has worked out its desired end point ahead of triggering the process. In this case the UK has been completely hamstrung by its own self imposed negotiating limitations. NI is but one choice or trade off not worked through and agreed internally before they sat down to face the EU. Trying to negotiate with itself and with a formidable negotiating opponent in parallel was always doomed to fail. The only criticism one may have of the EU in this scenario is pressing home their advantage too hard? But I don’t personally see it that way - that we should threaten the European project to give concessions to a dangerous incompetent soon to be competitor.
    While there is a problem with the UK negotiating with itself, it is telling nevertheless that most of the early problems came with cabinet ministers resigning who took a harder line than May. Even when it got to parliament, the backstop which May approved was opposed by Labour who opposed leaving in the referendum. So if the problem of lack of consultation, the backstop would not have been agreed to begin with and talks would have failed already some time back in 2017.
    The point remains though: it didn’t need to be like this. But the UK has lost its way substantially and so we are here due to their repeated political errors and lack of honesty on the realities of the various choices that must be made. In the final analysis, this is their problem to solve. Not ours. We must not agree to any weakening of our sovereignty or major market just because they put themselves in a bind!
    I'm afraid it is our problem. If the UK and the EU don't agree on a WA and there's no deal, we here in Ireland have a problem. Like I said, although we did not initiate Brexit, we are actors in this influencing events. If blaming the UK helped us in some way I would blame the UK, but I don't think it is going to help us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭fash


    While there is a problem with the UK negotiating with itself, it is telling nevertheless that most of the early problems came with cabinet ministers resigning who took a harder line than May. Even when it got to parliament, the backstop which May approved was opposed by Labour who opposed leaving in the referendum. So if the problem of lack of consultation, the backstop would not have been agreed to begin with and talks would have failed already some time back in 2017.
    The half-assed Brady amendment barely won and was opposed by Labour - and there have been calls to discipline the rebels who voted for the amendment :
    www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-politics-47064953

    Nobody there cares about NI - and the only reason the backstop became an issue was because of the DUP and it suits the ERG to hook on anything intractable to achieve no deal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,600 ✭✭✭Charles Babbage


    fash wrote: »
    The half-assed Brady amendment barely won and was opposed by Labour - and there have been calls to discipline the rebels who voted for the amendment :
    www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-politics-47064953

    Nobody there cares about NI - and the only reason the backstop became an issue was because of the DUP and it suits the ERG to hook on anything intractable to achieve no deal.


    Exactly and it suits Labour to keep the Tories in front of the fire for as long as possible.
    The interests of Britain, never mind either part of Ireland come far far behind playing politics.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭Bit cynical


    fash wrote: »
    It could even be shorter if the "stable significant majorities" in both UK and NI itself and "thriving" aspects happen earlier- but personally I can't see the dust even settling for 15-20 years.
    I think the essential thing is that we specify failure criteria for our strategy as you have done. The danger if we don't do that is that we build ourselves into a protective bubble in which we can never be proved wrong even if we are engaged in a futile strategy.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 26,373 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl


    I think the essential thing is that we specify failure criteria for our strategy as you have done. The danger if we don't do that is that we build ourselves into a protective bubble in which we can never be proved wrong even if we are engaged in a futile strategy.

    There are only two options. We either insist on a commitment to no hard border or simply trust the UK not to force one upon us. Given the uproar in the UK over a legal commitment not to institute a hard border I fail to see why anyone would simply trust them not to cause one.

    Without the backstop or a deal that negates the need for it (such as staying in the single market) a hard border is an inevitability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 375 ✭✭breatheme


    The UK will either ratify the WA or they will come back 3-4 months after a no-deal Brexit with their tail between their legs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 383 ✭✭mrbrianj


    As the UK want to leave the single market, customs union, end freedom of movement and diverge from EU regulations and laws, there must be a barrier at their land border with the EU.

    This does not suit Ireland as divergence of any of the above will cause commercial and social chaos on the Island of Ireland- but that's not our choice.

    I cant see any other way out of that - unless there is a permanent agreement on at least some of those issues to lessen the impact of the UK changing the status quo.

    The realpolitik thing is that in any and all practicality the UK HAVE to eventually have a trade deal with the EU which will row back on some of that divergence - the reason for the backstop is to make sure that disruption on this Island is kept to a minimum whilst this happens, the 'unless and until' part!

    The problem with the whole situation is that the UK is still arguing within its own political system as to what Brexit is, and are not in a position to do any sort of deal. Its hard to blame the EU for this and even less so our government (cross party) as there is no good option for us other than try to force agreement between the UK and EU.

    I dont think we will be successful in forcing the backstop and a therefore a border is needed. The biggest cause of mayhem would be no agreement AND no border.


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