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Old 08-09-2021, 04:14 PM   #76
ntubski
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Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
This is getting political, and I'm not getting political.
How could a thread about Brexit be anything but political from start to finish???
 
Old 08-10-2021, 05:14 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by valeoak
But accepting that there is some line to which I am utterly oblivious, I'll withdraw from this thread.
The line in the sand in that I personally strive to remain neutral in politics and don't vote. There's no obligation on you to be non political. I simply get informed by the Irish news, and it struck me that folks might want to know, especially if Brexit goes pear shaped. So I started this thread.
 
Old 08-12-2021, 12:09 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by valeoak View Post
Oh, I know the RoI doesn't want any changes to the NI Protocol. I'm sure that the RoI would think it ideal if all Unionists in NI moved to GB, NI was handed over to the RoI and 25 years of transition subsidy were paid by GB to the RoI to smooth over such a transition. What one wants and what one will get are, of course, two very, very different things (as Britain also has to accept in its wider deal with the EU).
To my knowledge neither of the two major political parties would support this fanciful fable. The majority of people vote for either one and that party which does have unification as a clear goal, is a minor one.

This seems to indicate what I have always assumed to be the case - Ireland for the most part, prefer that Northern Ireland remain a problem for the British.

If it all goes to hell over the Irish border, it will be squarely a problem for NI and The rest of the UK. Ireland can walk away knowing that they were not the architects of Brexit or the "deal" which was between the EU and UK.

In the most simple terms - as I have said before - this was never going to work unless the Unionist leadership would accept that NI should have simply remained in the single market and customs union from the very start with a border down the Irish sea. Anyone with a basic grasp of why and how the good friday agreement came about, a basic understanding of the single market, the customs union and freedom of movement, could quickly grasp why a border on the island of Ireland would lead to far worse consequences than NI in effect "remaining" and things continuing as they were i.e. with free trade and movement, and people living normal lives absent of the threats, violence and deaths they had to endure for decades.

Last edited by cynwulf; 08-12-2021 at 12:18 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2021, 02:41 PM   #79
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Given I said I was done with this, I'm probably going to regret this, but anyway...

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Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
To my knowledge neither of the two major political parties would support this fanciful fable. The majority of people vote for either one and that party which does have unification as a clear goal, is a minor one.
I hope that it was obviously fanciful - that was rather my point. But for what it's worth, the two largest parties in the Dáil - Fianna Fáil (the party of the present Taoiseach) and Sinn Féin - are both officially committed to the unification of Ireland. Fine Gael are always much more equivocal as a party.

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Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
If it all goes to hell over the Irish border, it will be squarely a problem for NI and The rest of the UK. Ireland can walk away knowing that they were not the architects of Brexit or the "deal" which was between the EU and UK.
This is obviously completely untrue as the EU will force the RoI to implement significant customs checks along the NI border (with all the financial costs and political headaches that will cause). And the Irish Government know this which is why they are so (understandably) concerned. Indeed, in terms of immediate pressures around the NI border, it will be far more severe for the Irish Government than HM Government as the latter can decide what - if anything (and I suspect it would be next to nothing) - it does.

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Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
Anyone with a basic grasp of why and how the good friday agreement came about, a basic understanding of the single market, the customs union and freedom of movement, could quickly grasp why a border on the island of Ireland would lead to far worse consequences than NI in effect "remaining" and things continuing as they were i.e. with free trade and movement, and people living normal lives absent of the threats, violence and deaths they had to endure for decades.
I don't really understand this. Whilst I fully accept the political impact of a hard border between NI and the RoI (which is why I think the UK would be conspicuous in its absence from conducting border checks), it's got nothing to do with the GFA (which permits "normal security arrangements") nor even - where you think it might - the Common Travel Area (as demonstrated by the fact that all sea and air arrivals to the RoI - even from within the CTA - are subject to immigration controls and there are even occasional targeted operations on land entry from NI). But even in the event of a collapse of the NI Protocol and the UK-EU deal, as the RoI is not part of the Schengen Area it will not (and does not now) need to apply Schengen Treaty checks and controls on persons entering the RoI. The irony is, the RoI applies a harder immigration border now that it would be required to apply by the EU in case of a complete collapse in the NI Protocol.

The issue would be customs and agricultural checks. But why would a hard border with GB be better than with the RoI (neither, of course, is preferable!)? NI-RoI trade pales in comparison to the value of NI-GB trade. In 2017, NI exports to the RoI were £3.9bn and with the rest of the EU £2.0bn. NI exports to GB were £11.3bn. Even if you put all of the rest of the world together (including the RoI and EU), NI still exported £1.2bn more to GB. Likewise, with imports, from the RoI it was £2.6bn and the rest of the EU it was £2.2bn. Imports from GB were £13.3bn (~87% more than the entire rest of the world). Northern Ireland (unsurprisingly) is much more economically integrated with Great Britain than it is with the rest of Europe put together, let alone its immediate neighbour to the south. This will (and is) being distorted by the NI Protocol - but it won't be overturned.

And if you think abandoning the Unionists in NI to the full Protocol as conceived doesn't risk "threats, violence and deaths", you're much more of an optimist than I am.
 
Old 08-13-2021, 06:52 AM   #80
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As the comments make clear, it's a mess. Ever since partition, like India & Pakistan it has been a mess and continues to be a mess. The NOI Protocol is the best fudge that could be done under the circumstances. Folks will change it at their peril. What Boris effectively wants is to have the NOI in the UK and in the EU, and he can't, because of the lack of an effective border. So the UK will lose market share there.

No fixed positions have been taken on what the ROI plans for Nationalist or Unionist in the event of a United Ireland. No politician has addressed it, except for Sinn Féin, who expect a civil war, and intend to win it. The scene is set for changing, as diehard Unionists are aging, and younger generations are more amenable and realistic. Mind you, only extremists are elected up there. But the realities could be radically different if this system goes on for 30 years. As early as the next Census there could be a Sinn Féin First Minister replacing Geoffrey Donaldson.

EDIT: The Irish Civil War was really Fine Gael vs Fianna Fáil and all their NOI positions were set then. Fine Gael accepted partition and formed the first Government, Fianna Fáil started the armed resistance. In fact they are now both pragmatists and all that stuff & nonsense has to do with the last millenium. They just have different choirs to preach to.

Last edited by business_kid; 08-13-2021 at 07:00 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2021, 08:18 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valeoak View Post
I hope that it was obviously fanciful - that was rather my point. But for what it's worth, the two largest parties in the Dáil - Fianna Fáil (the party of the present Taoiseach) and Sinn Féin - are both officially committed to the unification of Ireland. Fine Gael are always much more equivocal as a party.
Point taken - I was referring to the big picture, not the result of the 2020 election. That could be a blip and you don't know for sure if the surge towards Sinn Fein was driven by republican sentiment / support for unification. Either way, it could be short lived. People are fickle when it comes to voting, especially when you see such sudden swings it's often a sign of protest voting or disillusionment with the two main parties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valeoak View Post
This is obviously completely untrue as the EU will force the RoI to implement significant customs checks along the NI border (with all the financial costs and political headaches that will cause). And the Irish Government know this which is why they are so (understandably) concerned. Indeed, in terms of immediate pressures around the NI border, it will be far more severe for the Irish Government than HM Government as the latter can decide what - if anything (and I suspect it would be next to nothing) - it does.
You clearly miss the point I was making - the UK and the Unionists in NI will be blamed by most, not Ireland and not the EU. I don't see how you can possibly put the blame on Ireland and the EU for a situation which was wholly created within the UK, by the Tory government and their shaky alliance with the DUP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valeoak View Post
I don't really understand this. [etc]
None of that is really relevant. The good friday agreement doesn't really deal with the hard border, but does cover "demilitarisation", any return of any kind of border checkpoints - not necessarily manned by military, but by customs officials from both sides, would still be seen as a breach of the agreement by certain parties - consider why the agreement came about in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valeoak View Post
The issue would be customs and agricultural checks. But why would a hard border with GB be better than with the RoI (neither, of course, is preferable!)? NI-RoI trade pales in comparison to the value of NI-GB trade.
A large expanse of sea water is a factor. Everything going UK-NI / NI-UK has to be put on a ship or plane anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valeoak View Post
And if you think abandoning the Unionists in NI to the full Protocol as conceived doesn't risk "threats, violence and deaths", you're much more of an optimist than I am.
No, the much worse situation is border checkpoints and border guards (if everything goes badly wrong and it comes to that).

The fact remains, that there is an EU border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. There is no sane way this can be made to work without either a hard border and customs checkpoints (which still won't work) or by NI effectively remaining in a "Norway style", or similar, agreement with the EU. Johnson and May before him, also knew full well this could never work any other way.

Last edited by cynwulf; 08-13-2021 at 08:20 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2021, 10:28 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
You clearly miss the point I was making - the UK and the Unionists in NI will be blamed by most, not Ireland and not the EU. I don't see how you can possibly put the blame on Ireland and the EU for a situation which was wholly created within the UK, by the Tory government and their shaky alliance with the DUP.
You can seriously blame the UK for accepting the NI Protocol (and previously the backstop, which created much the negotiating environment and constraints in which the Johnson ministry approached its negotiations over NI) and now trying to reverse direction, but most truly independent observers would struggle with themselves to put the blame squarely on the UK. The UK would happily take a mutual recognition of standards and a laissez-faire, no-tariffs approach to NI-RoI (even GB-RoI) trade (though that obviously isn't something the EU will ever consider). The UK would (be forced to) stomach some changes to the NI Protocol such that GB-NI trade proceeded with fewer disruptions, something the EU is already saying it won't do. It's not like the UK wants a hard border with the RoI, but nor does it want a position where an internationally-recognised part of its territory is effectively cut-off from it - a situation most states would refuse to accept if actually put in the situation. A truly independent observer is hardly going to blame the UK significantly more than the EU just because the UK refused to blink first and roll over.

Now, of course, many observers may not be properly independent (that includes the UK, obviously). But then it comes down to how much you care about being blamed by the opposing side: not everything in life comes down to being liked or even not being disliked. That HM Government are currently abrogating the NI Protocol and have said they will continue to do so if if there are no changes to it suggests that they are willing to risk the most serious consequences (loss of the UK-EU agreement) if it comes to it. Outside the US and Europe, most won't care whatever happens.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
None of that is really relevant. The good friday agreement doesn't really deal with the hard border, but does cover "demilitarisation", any return of any kind of border checkpoints - not necessarily manned by military, but by customs officials from both sides, would still be seen as a breach of the agreement by certain parties - consider why the agreement came about in the first place.
In the same way that the nationalists believe wrongly that the GFA prevents a hard border between the RoI and NI, the Unionists in NI believe wrongly that the GFA prevents a customs border between GB and NI. In the same way that a hard border between NI and the RoI would be a causus belli for more aggressive nationalists, so too will the full implementation of the current Protocol for the more aggressive Unionists.

Perhaps you believe that potentially (though often overstated) negative long-term prospects for the Unionists means they'll just play ball. On the contrary, I think they'll conclude they have very little to lose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
A large expanse of sea water is a factor. Everything going UK-NI / NI-UK has to be put on a ship or plane anyway.
You and I obviously have different definitions of a "large expanse of sea water": the average widths of St George's Channel and the Irish Sea are smaller than that of the English Channel and the North Channel is considerably narrower. But in any case, despite this "large expanse", there is considerably more economic activity between GB and NI (UK-NI doesn't make sense; Northern Ireland makes the United Kingdom) than there is over the land border and a considerably smaller value of goods disrupted with checks by the RoI on that border than the equivalent between GB and NI.

Yes I agree, the border between NI and the RoI will be terribly difficult to police, but that's more a problem for the side trying to police it, as of course the UK had to learn. And, if you don't want a hard border between NI and the RoI in itself, it's almost a good thing, right? Of course, there will be a risk of violence - particularly to the Garda policing the border, but then so too are Border Force at risk with the GB-NI arrangements. One of the consequences of lacking any backbone and standing up for what you believe to be right even in the face of violence is that you very quickly find yourself blowing in the wind as all sides quickly conclude that the threat of violence really can get you what you want.

And, in any case anything that goes to Ireland (the island) has to go by sea (or air) wherever it's coming from. And if it wants to bypass Great Britain it has to traverse - I guess - an "enormous expanse of sea water". Perhaps the RoI should be treated like the UK for the purposes of customs by the EU? No, no, you're right - that would be an affront to the integrity of the EU's customs territory and a middle-finger to the RoI's sovereign decision to be a part of the EU...
 
Old 08-13-2021, 12:08 PM   #83
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You guys quoting each other and making retaliatory points might refresh yourselves by reading post#1, which sets out the situation from my perspective. I pointed out it was going to be a good spectator sport, although people in ther UK are probably more up close & personal with it.

Once Biden has long-fingered any UK-US trade deal unless there's an open border here, I think we can forget scenarios where things go badly wrong with the NOI Protocol. Boris can't afford that. He'll be left cap in hand going to Moscow, Peking, & Oz for his trade deals without the US.
 
Old 08-13-2021, 12:13 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by valeoak View Post
Perhaps the RoI should be treated like the UK for the purposes of customs by the EU? No, no, you're right - that would be an affront to the integrity of the EU's customs territory and a middle-finger to the RoI's sovereign decision to be a part of the EU...
I've been following this thread on and off but that is an excellent point.
 
Old 08-13-2021, 12:17 PM   #85
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The UK left the EU and you can bet that the leave/remain vote in NI was roughly divided along the usual lines. This doesn't invalidate the result but it does show that some - perhaps knowingly - went for an option which could lead to greater partition - with that as their princpal aim.

Your comments on the "lack of backbone" remind me of the British stance towards the NI problem. "Never" giving an inch allowed the situation that began after the partition, to fester throughout the 20th century. That was tried and didnt work. The peace agreement did work, because the only solution to such a problem is reconcilliation. Sitting down with these people provided the solution, which historical pig headedness never did.

You're nitpicking somewhat over "large expanse of water". A "large expanse" in that it's a natural border. The border between north and south fits neither category.

(Picking me up on my use of UK instead of GB is another nitpick. I use UK in the sense of "rest of UK". I haven't suggested that NI isn't part of the UK.)
 
Old 08-13-2021, 04:52 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
(Picking me up on my use of UK instead of GB is another nitpick. I use UK in the sense of "rest of UK". I haven't suggested that NI isn't part of the UK.)
You're right, I did nitpick there and that was poor form. My apologies.
 
Old 08-14-2021, 04:11 AM   #87
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The reason the EU won't budge on the NOI protocol is that the lack of it, or change to it creates a leak of non-EU goods into the EU. So a whole rake of animal diseases we used to struggle with (Like foot & mouth disease in cows) could assert theoretically assert themselves in the UK, and be imported to the ROI via NOI, and from ROI to the EU mainland.

Now the UK wants to be independent, to do what it wants to do, and will not undertake to keep any EU standards, because British Independence is what Brexit is about. Hence the need for NOI Protocol. Now it all sounds very petty when NOI supermarkets can't get UK sausages. But the NOI is in the EU,(for import/export rules) and the mainland Britain is not.

The EU referendum in the NOI was very tight, iirc. Younger Unionist & Nationalists voted for the EU in the main. Travel appealed to them. Older Unionists & some Nationalists voted for the Union. A lot of Nationalists didn't vote. But everybody went guessing how the mainland would vote, which wasn't at all clear.

Last edited by business_kid; 08-14-2021 at 04:18 AM.
 
Old 08-19-2021, 03:56 PM   #88
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The vast majority of this thread is highly political and it can't be anything other than political when it concerns geopolitics generally, and international negotiations between the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the EU. To pretend otherwise is in my view fanciful.

But accepting that there is some line to which I am utterly oblivious, I'll withdraw from this thread.

All the best, business_kid. Thanks for the exchange.
I confirm.
Thats too political for this forum.
(my view).
And (I just come back from Ireland): nobody (= low qty of people) cares of brexit and its effect on ireland in Germany. I said to my friend in Ireland: UK was placing itself at the level of Usbekistan and Ukraine in contracting with EU. Lets accept it and do the best (dont blame the EU like a small child with attention deficit syndrome..).
 
Old 08-20-2021, 04:42 AM   #89
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Yes, it is getting political. I'm not interested in the politics, but the economics. I was watching it because I thought Ireland was most likely to be affected economically. But in fact, to date it's been British expats (in Belgium) and Unionists in NOI who seem to be feeling the ill wind.
 
Old 08-20-2021, 11:48 AM   #90
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Re-read all of your posts - you made it political throughout.

You're discussing Brexit, the Irish border and the EU. Politics is unavoidable. And you and many others create threads of this type knowing a) that they are political and b) that they can degenerate quickly and get locked.
 
  


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