Tag Archives: irexit

Brexit : if there’s a hard border the UK must build it

A question gets frequently asked in relation to Brexit – it always comes from the exit side and is “who is going to build a border with Northern Ireland?”. The argument is this ” Well, what if the United Kingdom declines to impose a hard border with the European Union, well then there’s nothing else to be said. Presumably the European Union could decide to build its own hard border, but that’s their problem?

Would that it was so simple… See below the fold

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A-fisking we shall go – Ray Kinsella Edition

So Ray Kinsella has an op-ed in the Irish Times today advocating Irexit.  It’s full of tropes and assertions. Newspapers need to do some basic fact checking. This is the political economy equivalent of a oped calling for the repeal of gravity. My views on Irexit are wll known – see here, here, here. Irexit is proposed by the pale, male, aged, conservatives (I score 2.5, or 3 so I can say that) . It has nothing to do with economics, and  in my reading is all to do with a desire to get us back to the good old days of homogeneous Catholic poor but proud Ireland.

So, a-fisking we will go. Ray in Italics.  Continue reading

The UK- EU border In Ireland – possible solutions

  1. The UK doesn’t leave the Customs Union. By far the simplest. But the demented ideologues of Brexit see leaving the CU as the talismanic, totemic, ne plus ultra of Brexit. So that is a non starter
  2. A full hard militarised India-Pakistan, West Bank type border. Not going to happen.
  3. Ireland leaves the EU. Err no, thats a non starter.
  4. A united Ireland. Definitionally no UK EU land border in that case. This is a long way off so wont happen if at all before March 2019. So that is a non starter
  5. NI as part of the CU, but rUK not. Politically that would be a non starter for the DUP who are the tail that wags the westminster dog so that is off. Economically most NI trade is with the UK so thats that dead in the water.
  6. So some form of increased hardness over the existing border is going to happen.
    1. This can’t be done with electronic surveillance and IT alone. Leave aside the technical, legal and other challenges.
    2. A return to the days of spiked roads and hard customs posts would be a gift without parallel to the still active dissident republicans. So thats a problem
    3. Anything in between would allow for an increase in the massive smuggling that already goes on. Where now it is confined to fuel , this would expand to Every. Single. Thing. Presumably Brexit doesn’t mean “lets give more cash to ex IRA and UVF hoods who now engage in smuggling” .
    4. So expect a border zone of control, where there is much increased mobile customs and immigration, much more intrusive and engaged than now, increased disruption to the daily lives of those on and near the border. Thats going be popular.