Brexit and the Border

cremeegg

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As it becomes more and more apparent that Brexit will being back a hard border, it is time for the Irish government to put the UK and the rest of the EU that we will veto any Brexit deal that involves a return of the border.
 

dub_nerd

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This is a tough one. If the UK is outside the customs union then a soft border is nigh on impossible. Let's assume that their fantastical idea of using technology -- with the corresponding imposition of costly tech requirements on other EU member states -- is never going to fly with anyone. But our veto on a hard Brexit deal, while it sounds satisfyingly like sticking two fingers up to them, cannot improve things. The default WTO rules leaves them outside the customs union and we get the hard border anyway.

Basically, the hard border is the inevitable consequence of Britain leaving the EU. The only alternative is the one that Labour have had their recent epiphany about. But it is only temporary, and essentially amounts to pretending to leave the EU without actually doing so. Everyone is going through contortions to pretend that Cameron's gamble (and its outcome) wasn't the most monumentally stupid decision ever. But we probably have to face that reality.
 

cremeegg

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If we make it clear at this stage in the negotiations to the UK and indeed the other EU members that the only alternative to the WTO rules is no return to the border it should serve to concentrate minds.

The EU had agreed that the Irish question needs to be addressed before trade negotiations begin. We should use that support our fellow EU members have given us.
 

dub_nerd

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But what does "no return to the border" even mean? Certain elements of the British establishment believe that they are mandated -- indeed, required by the results of their referendum -- to leave the customs union. Are we going to tell them they can't? Or are we just going to have no border even if the UK is outside the customs union? Clearly the EU can't let us do that.

If you're going to insist on no border you have to start by putting forward a proposal where that's possible.
 

cremeegg

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If you're going to insist on no border you have to start by putting forward a proposal where that's possible.
That is looking at Brexit the wrong way around. The British have decided that they want to leave the EU. They want to negotiate a deal on their relationship with the EU post Brexit.

Ireland will have some input into this deal as a member of the EU. However when (if) a deal is reached by the negotiators it will be put to the EU council for approval, at that point Ireland will have a veto. I am suggesting that Ireland should make clear now and not at the last minute that we will veto any deal which involves a return to a hard border. The EU has accepted that progress in relation to Ireland is one of the three pre-conditions for talks on a post Brexit trade deal. We should use this support from our EU colleagues to indicate our position now.

It would not be appreciated if ireland were to say nothing at this stage and then object to a deal at the end stages.
 

Purple

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What scenarios are possible that don't involve a hard border?
None, other than the UK reversing their decision.

What we really have to avoid is being foisted with the utterly dysfunctional State-let that is Northern Ireland; the poorest region of the UK which, without the subsidy it gets from London, would be running a budget deficit of 25%. The gap in GDP per person between here and there is similar to West and East Germany in 1990. They have no functioning private sector economy. Partition has been an economic and social disaster for Northern Ireland. We shouldn't be left to foot the bill, socially or economically.

Brexit was just that; Britain wanting to leave the EU. They didn't even spare a thought for Northern Ireland because to most people in the UK Northern Ireland is not really part of their country.
 

dub_nerd

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None, other than the UK reversing their decision.
That was my impression too. Which is why I can't really fathom what the OP is getting at. There's no point threatening to veto a Brexit deal if all options lead to the same result, vis-à-vis the border. We can't veto Brexit itself.
 

Duke of Marmalade

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Partition has been an economic and social disaster for Northern Ireland. We shouldn't be left to foot the bill, socially or economically.
That's a tad revisionist. For the greater part of this State's existence we have been chronically poor and disadvantaged compared to the six counties. What changed all that was our joining the common market in 1973. Picture the scenario, a group of eight of the richest nations on earth plus a ninth peripheral but tiny basket case. We were lavished with what amounted to charity. Add to that a good bit of cute hoorism, bending the single market rules on taxation for example, inspired by the likes of CJH and Larry G and we rose to the top of the prosperity league.

I read in today's IT that Prof Kinsella is urging that we join our neighbour in pursuing Irexit. Part of his case is how the EU abused us over the bail out. Irexit means a return to the pre 1973 norms. By the way I remember the Hard Border pre 1973. The customs checks were all on the Southern side. Latterly the security checks were on the Northern side, but it was the South that was most exposed to a customs free border.
 
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Duke of Marmalade

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We have no veto on the terms of Brexit. That will be subject to qualified majority rules. We do have a veto on any postponement of Brexit or allowing a transition period. Fintan O'Toole has suggested that like OP we should use this veto to get what we want on a seamless Border.

That's fine in principle but in a scenario where the UK and the rest of the EU 26 were happy with a transition that included keeping current Border arrangements do we really think we could use that Nuke to have the Border thing sorted out up front. Especially since ever before we joined the EU it was us who were mainly responsible for the hard customs Border (see above). It wouldn't work anyway, we would be the biggest victims in the fall out - just about as useful as that guy Kim's nuke.
 

Firefly

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We have no veto on the terms of Brexit.
I believe any trade agreement between the EU and any other country (including the UK) needs to be ratified by all members of the EU (which will be a major hurdle for the UK). So we could technically veto any trade agreement put forward unless the border issue is resolved...
 

Purple

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That's a tad revisionist. For the greater part of this State's existence we have been chronically poor and disadvantaged compared to the six counties. What changed all that was our joining the common market in 1973. Picture the scenario, a group of eight of the richest nations on earth plus a ninth peripheral but tiny basket case. We were lavished with what amounted to charity. Add to that a good bit of cute hoorism, bending the single market rules on taxation for example, inspired by the likes of CJH and Larry G and we rose to the top of the prosperity league.
Loath that I am to quote your favourite ginger economist this is interesting reading.
Your presentation of how things went before and after we joined the EEC and what caused our economy to grow sounds like the sort of thing a bitter-orange man would say and ignores the main factors in our growth; tax competition (within the EEC and EU rules) which drew in FDI, location, access to markets and a low wage moderately educated English speaking population. The low wage thing is well gone and we are slipping back on the education front but we got here on more than corruption and handout's.

I read in today's IT that Prof Kinsella is urging that we join our neighbour in pursuing Irexit. Part of his case is how the EU abused us over the bail out. Irexit means a return to the pre 1973 norms. By the way I remember the Hard Border pre 1973. The customs checks were all on the Southern side. Latterly the security checks were on the Northern side, but it was the South that was most exposed to a customs free border.
I wasn't born when we joined the EEC so that bits all before my time.
What is the case is that the Northern economy has been in decline since partition and that since the late 50's ours has been getting better. It is the unwanted member of the family that nobody wants.
 

Duke of Marmalade

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Purple, I have to say that is an excellent article by Him, if his statistics are correct which they often aren't. I must say that I expected Him to be a contrarian Irexit chap but it seems Prof Ray Kinsella is alone in that.
 

cremeegg

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We have no veto on the terms of Brexit.
As I understand it we have a veto on the final deal. Not on the terms of the deal. I.e. we can say no to the package presented, we cannot pick and choose within the package.


do we really think we could use that Nuke to have the Border thing sorted out up front.
Probably not, that is why we should announce as loudly as possible and as soon as possible that we will.

That would increase the pressure on both the UK and the EU negotiators to do a deal that avoids a return to a hard border. We can climb down if necessary later but we should be as vociferous as possible now. After all how to define a hard border.
 

Duke of Marmalade

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As I understand it we have a veto on the final deal. Not on the terms of the deal. I.e. we can say no to the package presented, we cannot pick and choose within the package.




Probably not, that is why we should announce as loudly as possible and as soon as possible that we will.

That would increase the pressure on both the UK and the EU negotiators to do a deal that avoids a return to a hard border. We can climb down if necessary later but we should be as vociferous as possible now. After all how to define a hard border.
I suppose. It's the equivalent to firing missiles over Japan without actually deploying them. I see your point,
 

cremeegg

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This Brexit thing is getting more serious by the day.

It has now been decided that Irish people will be able to travel freely to Britain after Brexit, it has not been decided that Irish people will be able to work there. Excellent news, this according to the IT is a "Major Breakthrough"

"At the end of the third round of talks in Brussels, Mr Barnier and his UK counterpart David Davis articulated a mutual understanding that the British-Irish Common Travel Area would remain largely unchanged after Brexit, allowing EU citizens to travel – but not necessarily work – within both jurisdictions."


I am overjoyed.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/major-breakthrough-in-irish-strand-of-brexit-talks-1.3205341
 

Duke of Marmalade

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It is clever politicking by FG but they are seeking the commitment from the wrong source. The UK has been very clear from the outset that they want the continuation of full free trade with the EU so they have been quite genuine that they don't want a hard border albeit admittedly this would not be primarily driven by concern for Ireland North or South. It is the EU who do not want the UK to have their cake and eat it and who will impose tariffs on UK exports to the EU. It is the EU who will force Ireland to implement a hard border.

Everybody knows this and last week we were let into the plan to square all these circles - an EU/UK border in the Irish Sea. FG are playing the SF/IRA card and it will backfire.
 
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Purple

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It is clever politicking by FG but they are seeking the commitment from the wrong source. The UK has been very clear from the outset that they want the continuation of full free trade with the EU so they have been quite genuine that they don't want a hard border albeit admittedly this would not be primarily driven by concern for Ireland North or South. It is the EU who do not want the UK to have their cake and eat it and who will impose tariffs on UK exports to the EU. It is the EU who will force Ireland to implement a hard border.

Everybody knows this and last week we were let into the plan to square all these circles - an EU/UK border in the Irish Sea. FG are playing the SF/IRA card and it will backfire.
The EU are saying that they want the UK to work within the same framework as every other country which has free trade with the EU. The UK does indeed want it all in their favour. To suggest that it is the EU who are being difficult, or to suggest that the UK is being genuine by an reasonable measure, is erroneous.

Politics on the "little englander" wing of the Tory Party is driving the UK's narrative, not reason or the UK's broader self interest.
 

Duke of Marmalade

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The EU are saying that they want the UK to work within the same framework as every other country which has free trade with the EU. The UK does indeed want it all in their favour. To suggest that it is the EU who are being difficult, or to suggest that the UK is being genuine by an reasonable measure, is erroneous.

Politics on the "little englander" wing of the Tory Party is driving the UK's narrative, not reason or the UK's broader self interest.
I agree with all that. Dan O'Brien had a good article in the Sindo. He observes that Leo is playing a very high stakes game. There is nothing the little englanders would like better than to throw the toys out of the pram and as a bonus be able to blame Ireland. On the other hand if we get what we ask for our position is weakened with our EU partners the next time we try and veto progress on corporation tax.

We need to start evaluating all the various possibilities and prioritise them. Is it really a red line that there should be no border frictions, Sweden/Norway manage fine?

Whilst the IRA in us all would love to stuff it to the DUP and have a border in the Irish sea, how important is that really?

Our corporate tax regime advantage trumps all these factors. If it really does look like coming to the UK throwing the toys out, Leo should concede; think of the brownie points that would give us on the CT thing. It would be the end of Leo domestically of course, won't happen.
 
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