Some More Detailed Questions on the Border in Ireland

With the persistent possibility of a “No Deal Brexit” and a ”Hard Border” the following questions might be of relevance.

As most of the border runs through a country where Catholics greatly outnumber Protestants, how can a hard border be created and maintained without the agreement of its population?

Is it securely likely that Catholics will accept such a border?

How could an international border be created and maintained in the face of sustained protests?

If a “Hard Border” is put in place, will it have to be defended permanently by British troops?

If the “Hard Border” is in a hostile environment, how will the equipment required for a “Smart Border” be kept safe and maintained?

If customs personnel are involved in running this border, how will they be confident enough of their safety unless there are police and British Army protection?

Such protection is highly likely to result in an international border incident involving injury and even death. How will this be dealt with in the immediate and the long term?

During the Troubles between 1968 and 1998, many of the 270 public roads crossing the 310-mile border with its 300+ major and minor crossing points were blocked by obstacles or cratered with explosives by the British Army and helicopters comprised the preferred form of military transport. Are we wise to risk a return to this scenario?

Has the Good Friday Agreement worked, as well as it has because it has been, at the least, accepted by the majority of citizens?

Might the imposition of a “Hard Border” change the attitudes of those citizens?

The result of the Brexit Referendum in Northern Ireland was 56% remain and 46% leave. Might this majority feel that their votes have not been proportionately represented at Westminster?

How is this likely to affect their attitudes to a “hard Border”?

The relevant demographics are changing. Both Catholics and Protestants comprise 44% of the working population. 51% of school children in Northern Ireland are Catholic, and 37% are Protestants. How is this likely to affect the sustainability of a “Hard Border”?

If the backgrounding of the border has contributed to a blurring/softening of sectarian and national allegiances, what is likely to happen if the border is foregrounded and made “Hard”?

How sustainable would a “Hard Border” be in the future?

[From an article by P. Cockburn in “Counterpunch” https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/05/stupid-stupid-stupid-english/ ]

* Steve Trevathan is chairperson of Lyme Regis and Marshwood Vale Liberal Democrats.

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46 Comments

  • Christian Davis 6th Mar '19 - 9:07am

    Ultimately May’s deal can only really lead to a soft Brexit because the EU doesn’t believe in tech solutions however Hard Brexiteers refuse to recognise this. They hope for a time limited backstop and a new PM to renegotiate but none of this will happen.

    As we head towards the end of March with No deal the temptation might be to ask for a 2 month extension. But for what? To keep trying to flog a dead horse to Brussels? Brussels could decide to push the UK into a 12-24 month extension, which might be more practical all round but the ERG probably won’t go for that either.

    May has negotiated a deal that looks a lot like a blindfold Brexit. She should put it to the people if she believes in it.

  • Arnold Kiel 6th Mar '19 - 9:32am

    Why would Brexiters start answering questions, let alone truthfully, now? They have come a long way by never doing so, and they are close to success.

  • Nonconformistradical 6th Mar '19 - 9:35am
  • John Roger Roberts 6th Mar '19 - 9:39am

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government what physical arrangements would be necessary to provide a border between the EU and the UK in the middle of the Irish Sea.

  • Philip Boothroyd 6th Mar '19 - 10:14am

    My question is this, and please understand I ask this as someone that voted to remain and who really doesn’t want a hard brexit. But, if we leave with no deal why do we need any infrastructure on the border??

    I can understand policing things like terrorism proactively – you want to stop attacks before they happen, obviously, because of the severity of the impact if/when they do. But I can’t see why someone not paying import duties, or trying to import and sell goods that don’t meet regulatory requirements (which will only be an issue once rules change and requirements diverge) is considered a crime requiring that level of pre-emptive scrutiny.

    In terms of people moving across the border – yes people could get in without the relevant permissions. But to be honest this is happening anyway, and again, this is something that can be policed reactively. In the event of a hard Brexit there would surely be an adverse economic impact and the loss of official status for any new EU entrants, so I’m struggling to see why (m)any EU citizens would want to sneak in here anyway. With regards to wider migration, Ireland isn’t part of Schengen so to some extent that movement of people is policed at the Irish borders.

    If any kind of infrastructure is set up I would imagine it would be because the EU have pressured Ireland into doing so. If we leave without a deal they can’t actually make us build so much as a shed, and for the reasons above I can’t see why we would want to.

    It seems to me that the hard border threat has more to do with the EU using the border as leverage for a deal that suits them, than it does with any actual need for border policing.

  • Nonconformistradical 6th Mar '19 - 10:16am

    Quoting from the article linked from the OP:
    “It is unrealistic to the point of absurdity to imagine that technical means on the border could substitute for customs personnel because cameras and other devices would be immediately destroyed by local people.”

    Exactly! Just as a large proportion of speed cameras in France have been trashed by the gilets jaunes.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46822472

  • Peter Martin 6th Mar '19 - 10:45am

    There is already a hard border there of sorts. We have different currencies on each side of the border. VAT is charged at different rates.

    What is the arrangement at the moment to ensure that Dublin get its rightful 23% VAT and the UK get its 20% VAT? There’s nothing to stop anyone filling up a truck with goodies in Belfast at a lower rate of VAT and taking them to Dublin where they should have paid higher VAT. If this problem has been soluable then the same system can be applied to different tariffs.

    If customs and tariffs are lower in the UK after Brexit then any problem is likely to be more the Republic’s than the UK’s. If the IRA want to blow up EU check points then I’m sure most Brexiteers won’t have too much of a problem with that! Providing they have been safely evacuated in advance.

    One of the more expensive EU tariffs will be on cheese at 45%. So we could have the comical situation of the former paramilitary gangs applying their smuggling skills to such ‘contraband’ as Wensleydale, Stliton and Cheddar!

  • Peter Martin 6th Mar '19 - 11:12am

    @ Steve,

    If the border was such an issue why didn’t Remainers make more of it during the referendum?

    As this article explains:

    “The “hard border” question that the Brexit referendum ignored has come back with a vengeance”

    https://www.vox.com/world/2019/2/18/18204269/brexit-irish-border-backstop-explained

    It’s obvious why Leavers would want to play down the issue. But why did the Remain side largely leave it alone too? They had plenty of smart people at their disposal so I can’t believe they overlooked it.

    It can only think that they didn’t want to state that the UK was trapped in the EU against its will and we just had to make the best of it.

    Can anyone suggest another reason?

  • John Marriott 6th Mar '19 - 11:18am

    And who mentioned the ‘Irish Border’ in the run up to the EU Referendum? I must confess that it never crossed my mind; but, at my time of life, very little does (or at least that’s what my wife keeps telling me).

    I saw Anne Marie Trevelyan MP the other day on TV. Didn’t she take over from Alan Beith? It was interesting to see her fumbling over the technology that was already around to solve the problem. Basically, she hadn’t got a clue. The trouble is that many Brexit supporters are like those, who continue to support Donald Trump. In terms of conversion they are a lost cause. The trouble is that both lots represent a quite large minority, indeed possibly the largest minority, in the scheme of things

  • chris moore 6th Mar '19 - 12:03pm

    @Peter Martin

    Hi Peter, you say,

    “It’s obvious why Leavers would want to play down the issue. But why did the Remain side largely leave it alone too? They had plenty of smart people at their disposal so I can’t believe they overlooked it.

    It can only think that they didn’t want to state that the UK was trapped in the EU against its will and we just had to make the best of it.”

    You are over-estimating the then awareness of principally English politicians of Irish concerns. This is true for both Leave and Remain politicians. (Obviously, it’s even more true of the wider electorate.) Awareness was minimal.

    Of course, one posible inference would be that we need another referéndum where voters (and politicians) are better informed than the first time of the consequences of leaving the EU.

    ((As it happens, though a Lib Dem member and Remainer, I don’t support a 2nd Referendum. You can see the power of the argument though.))

    In my view, the government still don’t appreciate the importance of this issue to the Irish in both countries. They – and Leave politicans, in particular – have constantly failed to appreciate the negative impact of a hard border. (Thank you, btw, for giving the link to the Vox article; one of the best I’ve read on this issue.)

    Is the UK “trapped” in the EU against its Will? No, not at all. We went in of our own accord. Secondly, that was supoorted in a referéndum.

    And now that we have voted to Leave, we can certainly Brexit, but there will be consequences. Many of those consequences will be negative. You may say those consequences are so negative, it’s like we have no choice. But we do have the choice and we are going to go for it and take the consequences. Leave politicians would do better, in my view, to be upfront about that.

    So within Ireland, there will need to be a physical border of some sort. After all, we will have left, won’t we? Why would Leave voters or politicians want to be in and out at the same time. It makes no sense. Leave means Leave!

  • Arnold Kiel 6th Mar '19 - 1:00pm

    chris moore,

    it is not quite as simple: the UK has no right to violate the GFA and risk peace in NI. It must remain in a Customs Union and maintain relevant alignment for NI alone or the whole of the UK. Breaking these obligations would likely result in Irish reunification. A “a physical border of some sort” would clearly be viewed as such violation, if not an outright declaration of war by some on the Republican side.

    The reason this subject was not sufficiently prominent during the campaign was that nobody in the UK (including remainers) cared much about NI. It is only the (here unexpected) strong EU solidarity with the Irish Republic, and the resulting unfamiliar negotiation strength of the Republic that has finally forced home the relevance of the subject.

    This is not the only show-stopper leavers continue to ignore. But the remain-side is also at fault, because it was complicit in offering a practically impossible choice. Therefore, they argued it would be possible, just costly. In reality, Brexit is impossibly costly. As 90% of MPs did not see this, one can hardly blame the voters.

  • William Fowler 6th Mar '19 - 1:10pm

    The DUP are very lucky to hold the balance of power, if there was a good Tory majority NI would have ended up with a border with the UK and most liking joining back up with Ireland… the plus side is that it is going to be very difficult for Scotland to become independent and part of the EU because the same border problems would arise.

    On the other hand, keeping an open border can only be done with a good free trade deal so the UK is actually in a stronger rather than weaker position, just that Mrs May does not seem to realize it.

  • chris moore 6th Mar '19 - 2:36pm

    @ Arnold Kiel,

    Arnold you say, “it is not quite as simple: the UK has no right to violate the GFA and risk peace in NI. It must remain in a Customs Union and maintain relevant alignment for NI alone or the whole of the UK. Breaking these obligations would likely result in Irish reunification. A “a physical border of some sort” would clearly be viewed as such violation, if not an outright declaration of war by some on the Republican side”

    But, Arnold, I AGREE that putting some sort of physical infrastrucutre on the border will have very negative consequences for Irish/UK relations and will increase support for unification. But that doesn’t mean we’re TRAPPED in the EU, does it? We CAN leave, It’s not ILLEGAL to do so. We have the RIGHT.

    If you’re saying that under the GFA, it’s illegal – there is no legal RIGHT – to put physical infrastructure on the border, then I don’t think that’s correct.

  • Peter Martin 6th Mar '19 - 2:46pm

    @ Chris Moore,

    “Is the UK “trapped” in the EU against its Will? No, not at all. We went in of our own accord.”

    Isn’t this how traps generally work?

    “Secondly, that was supported in a referéndum.”

    We went in to the then EEC, a “common market” of just six countries at the time. I think we went in at the same time as Ireland and Denmark. The argument was that we could leave if things didn’t work out. No-one said that we’d have a huge problem leaving unless Ireland left too.

    We were asked in the referendum a couple of years after we’d joined. I can imagine Remainers wouldn’t be too happy having a referendum two years after we’d left!

  • Nonconformistradical 6th Mar '19 - 3:10pm

    @Peter Martin
    “No-one said that we’d have a huge problem leaving unless Ireland left too. ”

    Oh please!!!

    The UK joined the European Community in 1973 (along with Ireland, Denmark and Gibraltar). That long predated open borders between the countries concerned – the Schengen Agreement – from which both the UK and Ireland had an opt-out) wasn’t borught in until the mid-1990s.

    The huge problem at the time the UK and Ireland joined the community was a different huge problem – quoting from that article again “many of the 270 public roads crossing the border were blocked by obstacles or cratered with explosives by the British Army.”

    The Good Friday Agreement was implemented in 1999. That followed referenda in both the north and south of Ireland. The GFA was opposed by the DUP at the time.

  • Mick Taylor 6th Mar '19 - 3:18pm

    Daer mr Peter Martin

    Unlike the referendum of 2016 the 1975 one had an informed debate, which was based on the facts of the case. At the start, opinion was firmly against remaining in by 2:1. Of course there wasn’t facebook, twitter and the like, but there were well attended public meetings, genuinely cross party campaigns and lots of debate in newspapers, on the radio and on TV. As one of the 1975 organisers I ran a shop in the centre of our town where people could drop in for a chat or to pick up information .
    Those who wanted to leave had every opportunity to put their case and they did so robustly, but largely – as I remember – truthfully.
    After a hard fought campaign and with a high turnout the people decided by 2:1 to continue to be in the EEC .
    Now the leaver lie is that the UK never consented to the changes that came along since then. But we’re a parliamentary democracy where decisions are made by parliament and every treaty or change to the name or structure of the EU was agreed to by UK ministers in the EU council of Ministers as well as the EU Parliament (where surprisingly enough we have around 80 MEPs who sit in one or other of the parliamentary groups) and treaties were voted on and agreed by Parliament. The UK has been on the winning side of EU decisions in the vast majority of occasions.
    So Mr Martin, if you wish to criticise please do so on the basis of fact not myth.

  • Arnold Kiel 6th Mar '19 - 3:27pm

    chris moore,

    there are certainly more qualified contributors on this site to address this question. My superficial understanding is that the Irish peace is based on a common travel area allowing free and uncontrolled movement of people in both directions, deep integration of agrifoods-processes (down to agricultural plots) across the border, common energy-supply, etc. etc. I believe there is a count of around 130 commonly regulated topics. All this is underpinned by the dual citizenship-right and a defined process to be triggered if a decisive constitutional settlement is desired by a majority. The UK is a guarantor of the GFA, and anything that would result in new violence must be regarded as a violation of that role. Security services are in no doubt that border infrastructure and related personnel would be targeted by force. In consequence, I believe (again, more qualified views are invited) that any physical border infrastructure would certainly be in breach of the spirit, quite likely also the letter of the GFA, and therefore illegal. Only the nonsensical Norway+ model (at least for NI, a no-go for the DUP) would be a GFA-compatible form of Brexit. If one had more important goals than maintaining peace in mind, one could call the GFA a trap.

  • Arnold Kiel 6th Mar '19 - 4:36pm

    Martin,

    I certainly do not wish to put any blame for the Brexit-mess on remainers, but I am afraid that not many, but rater some of us had truly understood the land-border implications. This is even true of the HoC. Given what we know now, is it not shocking that 90% of mostly remain MPs voted for holding an unspecified in/out referendum (and 80 % triggered Art. 50 without a plan) ?

  • Arnold Kiel 6th Mar '19 - 5:38pm

    Martin, indeed. As you know well, the slogan “control of our borders” does not withstand even mild scrutiny. Especially in the case of a border that is ethnically, religiously and topographically as arbitrary as the Irish one. Reinforcing this slowly blurring divide in the year 2019 is all you need to know to judge the UK’s Brexit exercise an utter and criminal absurdity.

  • Steve Trevethan 6th Mar '19 - 6:07pm

    Thanks to all who have contributed to this conversation on what could be a matter of life, limb and death.
    Can anyone please inform me whether the leaders and/or MPs of our party have raised any of these questions, or the like, clearly and publcly?

  • Peter Martin 6th Mar '19 - 6:16pm

    ” But we’re a parliamentary democracy where decisions are made by parliament and every treaty or change to the name or structure of the EU was agreed to by UK ministers in the EU council of Ministers as well as the EU Parliament……and treaties were voted on and agreed by Parliament”

    This is not good enough. We lend democratic powers to our elected representatives for the period of a single Parliament. Their duty is to return them undiminished afterwards. If they are proposing to give any of those powers away, the people need to be asked for their consent.

    And before that happens – not afterwards!

  • Peter Martin 6th Mar '19 - 6:21pm

    @ Arnold,

    “….all you need to know to judge the UK’s Brexit exercise an utter and criminal absurdity.”

    Is there any chance that the Lib Dems can swing a spot on Question Time for you? I’ll put in my tuppence worth of support if that would help. 🙂

  • Peter Martin 6th Mar '19 - 6:30pm

    @ Mick Taylor,

    “Unlike the referendum of 2016 the 1975 one had an informed debate”.

    Really? In the pre-internet pre-social media age, the Establishment had things all their own way. They had the Radio and TV stations and the printed media. They could also outspend the rest by an order of magnitude.

    As the BBC put it:

    “The financial power of big business was formidable. Sainsbury’s and BP’s donation alone were three times that of the entire “No” campaign.”

    This is your idea of an informed debate?

    PS This is fact and not a myth.

  • Bless Peter what a lesson in stupidity. The continuity IRA won’t be blowing up EU infrastructure, they will be blowing up policemen and soldiers like the last time. The fact you don’t understand that is frightening, you the brightest of the Brexiteers can’t understand reality, tis sad but true. Brexiteers are I’m sad to say at best delusional, at worst damm right stupid.

  • https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/new-ira-has-recruited-dozens-14093143

    The stupidity of Brexiteers has consequences, when the first policeman or woman dies, remember who let this ancient curse out of the bottle. Their inability to see the consequences of their actions cannot and must not be forgotten.

  • frankie – If anyone is murdered by the IRA (or anyone else) it is the murderers who are responsible, not the people who voted to leave the EU. The British, the Irish and the EU have all said they will not put a border in Ireland, so hopefully they are true to their word and violence can be avoided.

  • Arnold Kiel 7th Mar '19 - 7:36am

    malc,

    The UK and the Irish Republic are guarantors of the GFA, not the EU. May’s red lines are in conflict with the GFA, so the problem is created by the guarantor UK. It puts the Republic in an unwanted dilemma between being a frontier EU member and a GFA-guarantor. May’s red lines have the purpose of deviating from EU tariffs and product-standards, sensible or not. So how can the EU enforce its standards if it leaves a substantive piece of land-border unchecked? Smuggling (goods and people) and tariff/tax- and standards-arbitrage would quickly become rampant. After all, NI has a shortage of lucrative jobs and business opportunities. The EU and Ireland could tolerate non-compliance in Ireland, but would then have to ringfence the Republic. The resulting loss of trust in Irish agricultural products on the continent will produce a downturn and drive more Irish into illegal cross-border activities. How long can this be tolerated? NI has a history of crime and lawlessness. How could power-sharing ever be reestablished under such circumstances? How would the inevitable direct rule from Westminster be received? You see the slippery slope? These are very uncomfortable choices nobody but the DUP and some ERG-idiots wanted. Irish reunification is the likely long-term solution. Hard leavers cannot wash their hands from this.

  • Malc,
    The Brexit fiasco has given bad people the opportunity to step back into the limelight. I’m assuming you are a Brexiteer, well your vote has empowered racists, terrorists and other sad individuals. You opened Pandora’s box you can’t now say I didn’t mean to help those nasty people out of it. You created the environment take some responsibility ( an alien concept for most Brexiteers I know). Decisions have consequences Malc, yours was a bad one, you need to own it.

  • Health secretary refuses to guarantee no-one would die as result of no-deal Brexit.
    The health secretary Matt Hancock refused to give a guarantee that no-one would die as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

    Reported C4 news. Well looks like the scare mongering about health risk, isn’t scare mongering at all. Bless isn’t Brexit such a great adventure. Still I believe unicorn milk cures everything, a Brexiteer told me do, must he true then.

  • Mick Taylor 7th Mar '19 - 8:57am

    Clearly Peter Martin doesn’t understand the nature of our democracy at all. Parliament is supreme. It can, as the great constitutional expert Baghot once put it ‘do everything except turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man’. [Given advances in surgery of course even that qualification isn’t true today]. Referenda have been used sparingly and are not binding on parliament, although governments have agreed to implement them.
    It is also true that no parliament can bind its successor, so the 2017 parliament is not bound by the actions of the 2015 parliament, much less the 2010 one.
    Our constitution allows for a new parliament to be elected every 5 years, or sooner under certain circumstances. Our MPs are representatives, not delegates and as Burke once put it ‘owe electors their judgement’.
    I am not a believer in referenda at all. I want a reformed parliament that properly reflects how people have voted and an elected not appointed second chamber.
    In the meantime, I want our MPs to exercise their judgement and do what is best for our country, not what is best for their party. Sadly, I have no confidence that either of the so-called major parties will do that.

  • Peter Martin 7th Mar '19 - 10:08am

    @ Mick Taylor,

    “It is also true that no parliament can bind its successor…………….”

    I’d agree that this should be the case. But what happens if Parliament signs a significant Treaty with a foreign government? It is binding its successors to the terms of that Treaty. Now I’m not saying that Govt should never sign such Treaties but in the case of the Treaties of Lisbon and Maastricht the consent of the UK population should have been obtained first.

    You may take a different view, but that’s my understanding of how democracy should work in the UK and I would say it would be shared by the vast majority of the population too.

    @ Arnold Kiel,

    There has always been free movement of people between the UK and Ireland. Ireland isn’t a part of Schengen so the present arrangements should continue after Brexit. It could be that a problem arises if workers from the EU want to try to circumvent UK border checks by flying to Dublin. It would put the Irish government in a position of denying them entry which isn’t something we can expect them to do. On the other hand they’ll be able to fly in to the UK on tourist visas anyway. That’s a problem for the UK to solve just as it is now with non-EU nationals.

    But if the UK is going to be the basket case economy that Remainers suggest, why would they bother anyway?

    I’m not sure what problems the EU has with UK products. Why is it necessary to apply tariffs of 45% on non-EU cheese? Is Cheddar and Stilton really such a health hazard?

    The problem with keeping NI in the customs union is that Northern Irish people will have to pay high tariffs on UK Dairy products and British Lamb. So what’s going to happen to Lamb and Cheese smugglers? Is it realistic to expect a UK court to fine or imprison people for smuggling food from one part of the UK to another?

  • David Evershed 7th Mar '19 - 11:14am

    The Irish press has reported that in the event of a WTO Deal the EU will establish the hard border between Ireland and the EU so that there is no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    This will mean checks on Irish goods entering the EU to ensure that non compliant goods don’t leak into the EU via Northern Ireland/Ireland.

  • Gleefully David hardly. Fecking seething at the stupidity that has got us to this sorry state. I have two choices cry or laugh. Well I will take laughing at the stupidity that got us here. If pointing out the stupidity of the Brexiteers offends you well for that I am sorry, but I long ago came to the opinion that stupidity should not go unpunished, encourager les autres is my watch word. So if Peter, Jackie et al have to go through the rest of their lives being derided, well tis a price worth paying to prevent others making very foolish mistakes.
    I believe the technical state for my present state is “gallows humour”.

  • David Evershed 7th Mar ’19 – 11:14am…………………….The Irish press has reported that in the event of a WTO Deal the EU will establish the hard border between Ireland and the EU so that there is no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland…………….This will mean checks on Irish goods entering the EU to ensure that non compliant goods don’t leak into the EU via Northern Ireland/Ireland…………..

    As the core value of EU membership is “The free movement of goods, service, people and capital” such action would never pass muster. Such a ‘betrayal’, of one of it’s members, to favour a non-member would mean the end of the EU.

  • Peter Hirst 7th Mar '19 - 1:04pm

    The elephant in the room in these discussions is re-unification of Ireland. If this happened, how would the protestants respond? Could we see mass migration across the Irish Sea. Do they have the right of abode in Britain and should they have?

  • chris moore 7th Mar '19 - 2:29pm

    @ Arnold Kiel,

    Hi Arnold, You say, “In consequence, I believe (again, more qualified views are invited) that any physical border infrastructure would certainly be in breach of the spirit, quite likely also the letter of the GFA, and therefore illegal. ”

    Hard border might be against the spirit of GFA but it’s not against the letter.

    We have every RIGHT to leave the EU and, indeed, in the last analysis to trash the GFA, if we so choose.

    We are not “trapped” in the EU, as Peter Martin likes ot put it. We can leave, but this will have very negative consequences, (including repercussions in Ireland). Another way of putting this is that we benefit greatly from EU membership.

    (Perhaps, Peter, after all, is a closet Remainer.)

    Tearing up GFA would be a dreadful error too, but the government are at liberty to do so (and take the consequnces):

  • Arnold Kiel 7th Mar '19 - 9:52pm

    chris moore, one can do anything, if one perceives no moral obligations and “takes the consequences”, but here, the consequences are inflicted upon other people who did not want this.

    By your logic I could say: Mr. Putin had any RIGHT to buy the leave-vote. Reigniting violence in Ireland will be his second-best (after Trump) trophy.

  • Arnold Kiel 7th Mar '19 - 10:02pm

    Peter Martin, we seem to agree that free movement of workers never was, and will not be a problem. It just poses the question what to Brexit for, anyhow a forgotten question. But the deteriorating economic and social structure outside London will bring people and activities nobody wished for. Concerning tariffs, you should familiarise yourself with the WTO’s most favoured nation clause.

  • What is clear that there is no new solution to the border and thus the government’s “The UK has put forward clear new proposals.” is simply lipstick on a pig – the UK government & Brexiteers know this, but are complaining because the EU has seen through their deception and in any case it is so much easier to blame the EU (T.May’s stated policy) than accept their stupidity…

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