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  #1  
Old 09-24-2017, 12:25 PM
Chad Sudan Chad Sudan is offline
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Brexit and the Irish Border Conundrum

As it leaves the European Union, the United Kingdom must figure out what to do about its 310-mile-long border with the Irish Republic, which remains an EU member.

The UK pledges it will not return to the pre-1992 days of a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Yet there doesn't seem to be any way around this!

Here are the four options being discussed:

* Hard border returns (destroying local economy and possibly reigniting armed conflict)

* UK uses "technology," not border posts, to check vehicles and goods crossing border (simply impossible, says everyone else)

* Northern Ireland joins customs union with Irish Republic (which means a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK!)

* Northern Ireland unites with Irish Republic (!!)

http://www.theweek.co.uk/87818/will-...conundrum-work

I personally cannot wait to see how they square this circle.

Has anyone heard of any options besides these?
  #2  
Old 09-24-2017, 12:36 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Has anyone heard of any options besides these?
Leave things as they are, and everyone quietly agrees to never mention the open border?

Seriously though, it's a massive sticking point. It's one of the three issues that must be addressed before the Brexit negotiations can progress - along with the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and the exit payment - and it is by far the most difficult one. It's practically a showstopper, to my mind.
  #3  
Old 09-24-2017, 12:37 PM
PastTense PastTense is offline
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A technological solution doesn't have to work 100% as nothing does--it just has to reduce the problems to an acceptable level. Back when there was a hard border there was still a substantial amount of smuggling. Even with both Ireland and the UK still in the EU there are still concerns about smuggling concerning a sugar tax in Ireland which opponents think will result in smuggling:
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...ling-1.3208397
  #4  
Old 09-24-2017, 01:17 PM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is offline
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Can someone explain to this dumb American why Brexit makes such a big difference? I mean, if I understand the situation correctly, there are open borders between EU and non-EU countries elsewhere in Europe (e.g., Switzerland and its neighbors), and there aren't open borders between the UK / Ireland zone and the rest of the EU. Why can't they simply keep their current arrangement in place, irrespective of the UK's membership in the EU?
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2017, 03:04 PM
wevets wevets is offline
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Why can't they simply keep their current arrangement in place, irrespective of the UK's membership in the EU?
They could, but since the UK has not negotiated the terms of its exit from the EU, no one knows whether they will keep the current arrangement in place.

The UK has always been suspicious of the movement of people back and forth from the EU, and opted out of the Schengen Area Agreement, which allows for easy flow of people between most EU nations and four non-EU nations. The Common Travel Area Agreement covers movement between EU member Ireland and soon to be non-EU member the UK, the UK government has publicly stated that it wishes to keep this agreement intact, and Ireland would also like to keep the agreement intact. The way this could get derailed is that a new UK government decides it doesn't want to keep the agreement, and/or something goes horribly wrong during negotiations and one side or the other believes it can use the Common Travel Area as a bargaining chip.

I don't know how this is likely to be a "show-stopper" but then my knowledge of internal UK politics is very limited. Is there a constituency which would rejoice at seeing the agreement revoked?
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:30 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fretful Porpentine View Post
Can someone explain to this dumb American why Brexit makes such a big difference? I mean, if I understand the situation correctly, there are open borders between EU and non-EU countries elsewhere in Europe (e.g., Switzerland and its neighbors), and there aren't open borders between the UK / Ireland zone and the rest of the EU. Why can't they simply keep their current arrangement in place, irrespective of the UK's membership in the EU?
The UK is a bit unique, their main complaint about immigration is that there are too many people from eastern Europe who are working legally in the UK as part of the EU's free movement of people. An open border with Ireland would allow people from EU countries to go to Ireland first and then cross into the UK.
  #7  
Old 09-24-2017, 05:11 PM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
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Cancel Brexit as the whole thing is a bad idea anyway, and the referendum was won based on lies and false, undeliverable promises.
  #8  
Old 09-24-2017, 05:52 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Yeah, they should just cancel Brexit. Better to renege on whatever promises Cameron made and have a more workable arrangement than to get in more and more trouble trying to keep a promise made by a PM who immediately resigned when the vote came in.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 09-24-2017 at 05:53 PM.
  #9  
Old 09-24-2017, 05:56 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Yeah, they should just cancel Brexit. Better to renege on whatever promises Cameron made and have a more workable arrangement than to get in more and more trouble trying to keep a promise made by a PM who immediately resigned when the vote came in.
Cameron didn't make any promises. He really didn't expect to lose the referendum.

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 09-24-2017 at 05:57 PM.
  #10  
Old 09-24-2017, 07:42 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Maybe it's my American bias but why would having a border between the two countries be such a big issue? The United States has a border with Canada and we manage to have friendly relations despite it. Norway and Sweden seem to get along okay and so does Switzerland and its EU neighbors. An international border doesn't have to be a symbol of hostility.
  #11  
Old 09-24-2017, 08:14 PM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is offline
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Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
The UK is a bit unique, their main complaint about immigration is that there are too many people from eastern Europe who are working legally in the UK as part of the EU's free movement of people. An open border with Ireland would allow people from EU countries to go to Ireland first and then cross into the UK.
OK, but if (after Brexit) they would still need a UK work permit to work in the UK, why is the ability to get there without passing through UK border control a problem? I mean, heck, as an American I can easily go to Ireland as a tourist and cross over into the UK, or vice versa (and I assume this would also be true for most people from the EU even after Brexit); that doesn't mean I can get a job in either country.
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Last edited by Fretful Porpentine; 09-24-2017 at 08:16 PM.
  #12  
Old 09-24-2017, 08:29 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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Maybe it's my American bias but why would having a border between the two countries be such a big issue? The United States has a border with Canada and we manage to have friendly relations despite it.
Did you follow the news during the last election? The United States also has a order with Mexico and there was... more than one mention of issues about it, and has been for all the decades that I've followed politics. Immigration is a huge issue in America, and part of the winner's presidential campaign was about putting a wall up along one border, so I'd expect Americans to get that borders can cause issues.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:35 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Did you follow the news during the last election? The United States also has a order with Mexico and there was... more than one mention of issues about it, and has been for all the decades that I've followed politics. Immigration is a huge issue in America, and part of the winner's presidential campaign was about putting a wall up along one border, so I'd expect Americans to get that borders can cause issues.
Yes, I did. Which is why I referenced Canada instead of Mexico.

Lots of countries have hostile borders. But I was pointing out it's not inevitable. The United Kingdom and Ireland can have cordial relations if they wish even if there's a hard border between their countries.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:59 PM
chizzuk chizzuk is offline
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Yes, I did. Which is why I referenced Canada instead of Mexico.

Lots of countries have hostile borders. But I was pointing out it's not inevitable. The United Kingdom and Ireland can have cordial relations if they wish even if there's a hard border between their countries.
Are you familiar with the Troubles and the Good Friday Agreement? The Anglo-Irish War? There is a lot of very ugly history involved here that is very complex and hardly ancient--the British and the Irish were killing each other as recently as 1998, and the sectarian divisions are very much still there. We're not even 20 years out from the Troubles and nobody wants to risk pouring gasoline on a fire that was hopefully going out by disrupting the border and violating the GFA.
  #15  
Old 09-25-2017, 02:41 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is online now
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Maybe it's my American bias but why would having a border between the two countries be such a big issue? The United States has a border with Canada and we manage to have friendly relations despite it. Norway and Sweden seem to get along okay and so does Switzerland and its EU neighbors. An international border doesn't have to be a symbol of hostility.
In those examples, there's not quite the same history of violent disagreement, marked at times by near civil war and ongoing terrorism, as to whether one of the territories involved should come within the sovereignty of the other.

In this case, part of the (largely but not yet totally effective) solution to that problem has been completely open borders (i.e., people commuting backwards and forwards for work or leisure, and goods passing backwards and forwards for processing and sale, and all without any documents and checks, as if the difference in national governments were as irrelevant as the difference in local governments.

In the circumstances, the possible re-imposition of regulations as to documentary checks, product standards, trade tariffs and so on, makes a real difference, in terms of both practical convenience and the historical symbolism. There are still some people around who would claim it a sacred national duty to bomb border posts and shoot at customs officials.
  #16  
Old 09-25-2017, 04:00 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
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It doesn't help that for many Brexiters, the solution is that Ireland leave the EU too.
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:26 AM
Lord Feldon Lord Feldon is offline
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Maybe it's my American bias but why would having a border between the two countries be such a big issue? The United States has a border with Canada and we manage to have friendly relations despite it.
IMO the US-Canada border is the cautionary tale, not the good example. It's much "harder" than it needs to be, and consequently the economies of both countries suffer, but domestic superstitions block the government of either country from doing the right thing and cutting the red tape.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 09-25-2017 at 04:29 AM.
  #18  
Old 09-25-2017, 12:06 PM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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The UK is a bit unique, their main complaint about immigration is that there are too many people from eastern Europe who are working legally in the UK as part of the EU's free movement of people. An open border with Ireland would allow people from EU countries to go to Ireland first and then cross into the UK.
It's also a (long held) desire for the UK to maintain control over who it lets in, not just (currently) legal immigrants from the EU, but also illegal immigrants crossing over from, eg, Turkey into Greece, or Libya into Italy.

It's worth noting that Ireland is also, currently, not a member of the Schengen zone, precisely because it opted to keep an open border with the UK instead.

I guess one option to maintaining an open border would be an agreement from Ireland to maintain border checks with the rest of the EU, and not join Schengen.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:09 PM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is online now
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I guess one option to maintaining an open border would be an agreement from Ireland to maintain border checks with the rest of the EU, and not join Schengen.
That's beside the point. Schengen is about who checks the documentation, not about who controls the legal criteria for admission. Even outwith Schengen, the UK as an EU member is bound by the freedom of movement principle, and could not require other EU citizens to have work permits to take up a job in the UK. Even if the Republic remains outwith Schengen, but a common travel area remains with no border checks, there's nothing to stop any EU citizen who enters the Republic from making their way to the UK.

Besides, there's the issue of trading standards, tariffs and custom checks when production processes currently have goods passing backwards and forwards across the Irish border as on their way to finished products.
  #20  
Old 09-25-2017, 11:18 PM
gatorslap gatorslap is offline
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Why wasn't this issue litigated during the campaign for the Brexit referendum? I heard barely a word about Ireland at the time.
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  #21  
Old 09-26-2017, 12:07 AM
UDS UDS is offline
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Why wasn't this issue litigated during the campaign for the Brexit referendum? I heard barely a word about Ireland at the time.
Because the campaign was absolutely appalling, and a textbook example of how not to do these things.

The referendum was brought forward by a government which did not wish to leave the European Union, had no concrete plan or proposal about how to do this or what leaving would look like or how it would play out in practice, and refused to do any thinking or planning for what would happen in the event of a "Leave" vote on the grounds that that would be defeatist. (Of all 28 member states, the one whose government did the least contingency planning for Brexit was the UK.) Those who did favour leaving were not in government and would have no responsibility for implementing a decision to leave, and could therefore promise or project whatever they liked.

Furthermore, the referendum was about whether the UK should leave the European Union. There was no question on the ballot paper about whether the UK should also leave the European Economic Area or the European Customs Union, both of which are larger than the EU. If the UK remained in the EEA and the Customs Union the Irish border would be unaffected. It was only after the referendum result was known that the UK government adopted the position that leaving the Union must also mean leaving the EEA and the Customs Union, and it was the latter decisions which really brought the Irish border question into focus.
  #22  
Old 09-26-2017, 12:12 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Are you familiar with the Troubles and the Good Friday Agreement? The Anglo-Irish War? There is a lot of very ugly history involved here that is very complex and hardly ancient--the British and the Irish were killing each other as recently as 1998, and the sectarian divisions are very much still there. We're not even 20 years out from the Troubles and nobody wants to risk pouring gasoline on a fire that was hopefully going out by disrupting the border and violating the GFA.
Yes, I am aware that the United Kingdom and Ireland have a troubled past. But it appears to be the past at this point. Terrorists haven't been crossing the border while it's been open. Why would they suddenly decide to do so if border security was raised?
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:49 AM
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Yes, I am aware that the United Kingdom and Ireland have a troubled past. But it appears to be the past at this point. Terrorists haven't been crossing the border while it's been open. Why would they suddenly decide to do so if border security was raised?
Because they - and not just they - would resent the imposition of controls on movement and goods.

The partition of Ireland is one of the factors that contributes to the problem. The more intrusive, expensive, restrictive, overt, invasive, etc that partition is, the more reaction you can expect.
  #24  
Old 09-26-2017, 03:59 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is online now
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Why wasn't this issue litigated during the campaign for the Brexit referendum? I heard barely a word about Ireland at the time.
Because, as the current mess displays, referendums are not about litigating - or only if it's a matter of securing a public demonstration of approval for something already substantially litigated: which the design of this particular referendum didn't. In 1975, the terms of what voters were being asked to approve in relation to Europe were known. In 2016, the idiot Cameron didn't ask for public approval of his (non)deal with the other EU members, he phrased it terms of leaving altogether. Ask a silly question........

I'm sure the point was made in the campaign in Northern Ireland, but elsewhere in the UK it was another example of what all parties in Ireland have always complained of - being the afterthought while the rest of the UK is attending to something else.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:02 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is online now
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Terrorists haven't been crossing the border while it's been open. Why would they suddenly decide to do so if border security was raised?
They have, actually, but currently are so few in number as to have been contained by the police and security forces without too much trouble. But once a physical border and all its attendant annoyances exist, there are convenient targets and a handy recruiting tool for them, with no guarantee that the situation would be controllable or containable.
  #26  
Old 09-26-2017, 04:25 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
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Even if the Irish border had been raised in the referendum Leave would have simply kneejerked 'scaremongering!' and the idiot public would have believed them.
  #27  
Old 09-26-2017, 04:35 AM
Les Espaces Du Sommeil Les Espaces Du Sommeil is offline
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Yes, I am aware that the United Kingdom and Ireland have a troubled past. But it appears to be the past at this point.
The Troubles are still within living memory of lots of people. There are probably hundreds of people alive today who lost family members or friends. Not to mention those who may have blood on their hands. I don't think it's unreasonable to worry about reopening (not so old) wounds.
  #28  
Old 09-26-2017, 11:03 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Yes, I am aware that the United Kingdom and Ireland have a troubled past. But it appears to be the past at this point.
If you want to understand this, as an American, wouldn't you think our Civil War should have been "in the past" by this point?
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:41 PM
PastTense PastTense is offline
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Furthermore, the referendum was about whether the UK should leave the European Union. There was no question on the ballot paper about whether the UK should also leave the European Economic Area or the European Customs Union, both of which are larger than the EU. If the UK remained in the EEA and the Customs Union the Irish border would be unaffected. It was only after the referendum result was known that the UK government adopted the position that leaving the Union must also mean leaving the EEA and the Customs Union, and it was the latter decisions which really brought the Irish border question into focus.
Well immigration control was clearly a major focus of the referendum--and you can't control immigration if you are a member of the European Economic Area. Likewise it is hard to reconcile "taking back control"/regaining national sovereignty with remaining in the European Economic Area.

Last edited by PastTense; 09-26-2017 at 12:41 PM.
  #30  
Old 09-26-2017, 01:08 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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The Troubles are still within living memory of lots of people. There are probably hundreds of people alive today who lost family members or friends. Not to mention those who may have blood on their hands. I don't think it's unreasonable to worry about reopening (not so old) wounds.
To make that clearer, it hasn't even been twenty years since people were killed in an IRA bombing. This isn't some ancient history that a handful of old people had experience with.
  #31  
Old 09-26-2017, 01:22 PM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
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The likely answer: announce that the problem is being solved by "technology", declare victory, sweep the issue under the rug.
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  #32  
Old 09-26-2017, 01:24 PM
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The UK was a founding member of the EFTA before joining the EU years later. It would make a certain amount of sense that leaving the EU would mean going back to the EFTA.
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  #33  
Old 09-26-2017, 01:59 PM
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Cancel Brexit as the whole thing is a bad idea anyway, and the referendum was won based on lies and false, undeliverable promises.
Don't believe they can, though. My understanding (admittedly weak) is that once May started the 2 year clock, that there is no provision for stopping it.

I am curious about what happens if there is no agreement on the exit conditions.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:55 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Don't believe they can, though. My understanding (admittedly weak) is that once May started the 2 year clock, that there is no provision for stopping it.
It could be stopped by all the other EU countries agreeing to do so. Realpolitik, if nothing else, although Article 50 does set out the criteria for an extension to the two-year period.

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I am curious about what happens if there is no agreement on the exit conditions.
The UK exits, and then has to trade on WTO terms not just with the EU, but with all the countries that the EU has trade agreements with that the UK doesn't (the UK doesn't have any significant trade deals in it's own right). If this happens, expect to learn a *lot* about tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers.

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 09-26-2017 at 06:58 PM.
  #35  
Old 09-26-2017, 07:13 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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I am curious about what happens if there is no agreement on the exit conditions.
Sorry, meant to add the UK/RoI border becomes a hard customs border, never mind the freedom of movement implications. The Brexiteers, as with so many other things, didn't spend a moment considering this.
  #36  
Old 09-26-2017, 08:38 PM
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Well immigration control was clearly a major focus of the referendum--and you can't control immigration if you are a member of the European Economic Area. Likewise it is hard to reconcile "taking back control"/regaining national sovereignty with remaining in the European Economic Area.
Sure. In a rational and sensible debate about the implications for the UK of leaving the EU, this issue would certainly have been canvassed.

But that wasn't the kind of debate they had. The government which put the referendum to the people did not favour leaving and offered no plan for leaving that could be discussed and debated. The leaver advocates had no responsibility for implementing any decision to leave and saw no political advantage in getting specific, teasing out the implications of leaving and the questions that would have to be addressed.

Plus, on the specific question of the Irish border, the British public are heartily sick of Irish affairs and any attempt to frame the refernedum in terms of what it would mean for Ireland would go down like a ratw sandwich with the electorate at large. So all they were offered was a few platitudes.

I said before, this train wreck of a referendum is going to be held up for years to come as an Awful Example of how not to form public policy.
  #37  
Old 09-27-2017, 02:20 AM
Chad Sudan Chad Sudan is offline
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Original poster here. After doing some more reading, I think one option (while politically deeply unpalatable) is not entirely unworkable.

Northern Ireland must remain in a de facto customs union with the EU. A customs border, with EU and UK personnel working together, needs to appear at airports and seaports for when people and goods cross the Irish Sea.

British and Irish citizens need to start showing an ID to cross the Irish Sea. (Everyone else must show a passport.)

As for the customs procedures, the more the UK can cooperate with the EU and accept EU regulations, the more porous the border can be.

Will it be awkward to set up an intra-UK border? Yes. Will it outrage the Ulster Unionists, thus jeopardizing the Tory government *and* the peace agreement? Yes. Might it be a step toward the UK losing Northern Ireland? Yes.

But logistically, the Irish Sea is already a border. People and goods already come to a halt before boarding planes and ships to cross it.

Curious what other posters - especially those of you in the British Isles - think of this option.
  #38  
Old 09-27-2017, 02:51 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is online now
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Will it outrage the Ulster Unionists, thus jeopardizing the Tory government *and* the peace agreement? Yes. Might it be a step toward the UK losing Northern Ireland? .......

Curious what other posters - especially those of you in the British Isles - think of this option.
You've answered your own question, and therefore shown why it would be a total non-starter.

One further twist: to the Unionists it wouldn't be a case of the UK leaving Northern Ireland, as of the rest of the UK forcing Northern Ireland out. Northern Ireland isn't part of the UK because the rest of us want to hang on to territory come what may, but because that's what the people there voted for. We have a formula in the peace process by which the rest of the Ireland formally acquiesced in that, and by which there is a peaceful route to change if everyone involved agrees.

For the rest of us to upset the apple-cart in the way you propose would simply raise all the issues of 1912 and what followed all over again. This government would simply be in no position to, nor is there any conceivable government that would propose such a thing.
  #39  
Old 09-27-2017, 03:01 AM
PastTense PastTense is offline
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The UK exits, and then has to trade on WTO terms not just with the EU, but with all the countries that the EU has trade agreements with that the UK doesn't (the UK doesn't have any significant trade deals in it's own right).
Even if there is a UK-EU deal the UK has got to set up separate trade agreements with all these other countries as well. Suggestions have been made to simply more or less copy the EU deals with those countries.
  #40  
Old 09-27-2017, 04:15 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
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Don't believe they can, though. My understanding (admittedly weak) is that once May started the 2 year clock, that there is no provision for stopping it.
Apparently it can be rescinded if the other Member States unanimously concur with it.
  #41  
Old 09-27-2017, 04:17 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
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Even if there is a UK-EU deal the UK has got to set up separate trade agreements with all these other countries as well. Suggestions have been made to simply more or less copy the EU deals with those countries.
Can't simply be snapped into existence though. Those countries have to formally agree them, ratify them, and enforce them. And there's very little chance they'll simply want the same deal, given that the current deals relate to trading with the whole of the EU, while a trade deal with the UK will concern itself with only the UK. There'll be delays.
  #42  
Old 09-27-2017, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad Sudan View Post
Original poster here. After doing some more reading, I think one option (while politically deeply unpalatable) is not entirely unworkable.

Northern Ireland must remain in a de facto customs union with the EU. A customs border, with EU and UK personnel working together, needs to appear at airports and seaports for when people and goods cross the Irish Sea . . .

Curious what other posters - especially those of you in the British Isles - think of this option.
The main objection is that this is not a good idea from the point of view of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland does far more trade with Great Britain than it does with the Republic of Ireland, so a sea border between NI and GB would be far more disruptive to NI trade and economy than a land border with the RoI.
  #43  
Old 10-01-2017, 02:27 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
IMO the US-Canada border is the cautionary tale, not the good example. It's much "harder" than it needs to be, and consequently the economies of both countries suffer, but domestic superstitions block the government of either country from doing the right thing and cutting the red tape.
Right on. Used to be you needed only a driver's licence. Now you need a passport or a special travel document. And stopping cars to ask questions is an enormous waste of time for everyone. Now I have gone (by ferry) from Denmark to Sweden and also to Norway and back without seeing a border guard ever. I have gone from Switzerland into France with only the most nominal inspection. So an EU/non-EU border can be as tight or as loose as the countries involved want it. I like the idea mentioned above of leaving it as it is and saying nothing about it.
  #44  
Old 10-02-2017, 11:55 AM
Sandwich Sandwich is offline
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No-one is really bothered about people crossing the border. There doesn't need to be, and hence won't be, any restrictions on the movement of people (unless and until third world migrants manage to get into Ireland and use this border to cross into the UK).

What matters is the trade in goods and services. Now, the UK wants to leave its customs union with Ireland and the EU, but does not want any customs restrictions on its trade. That doesn't work. If the UK leaves the customs union then the EU will be forced to set up customs posts on the Irish border - otherwise WTO rules would oblige it to unilaterally offer free trade to the whole world. And those customs restrictions will have to be strictly enforced. Which will greatly irk all those in Ireland (north and south) who do any sort of business across the border. And indeed anyone who has a non-trade reason to drive regularly across the border in a van.

It will also greatly irk all those in Ireland who strongly object to any division of the island. Their reaction is unpredictable but unlikely to be entirely peaceful.

Last edited by Sandwich; 10-02-2017 at 12:00 PM. Reason: punctuation
  #45  
Old 10-02-2017, 12:30 PM
AK84 AK84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
Even if there is a UK-EU deal the UK has got to set up separate trade agreements with all these other countries as well. Suggestions have been made to simply more or less copy the EU deals with those countries.

Oh ye innocent lamb. One of the biggest stumbling blocks with FTA's and such is Visas. Countries need to setup relatively easy/painless mechanism for each other's citizens to travel. Being part of such a big block, the UK was able to get more or less unequal agreements on this issue. Pluckly little Britain on its own? Yeah not so much. The UK is currently scared shitless of brown people coming in. I can just imagine the negotiations. Hey Mr Singh/Mubarak/Chen, really want a good free trade system with you, but we must have strong border controls, tough visa policies. I can just imagine what the reaction would be.

One suspects that they.did.not.think.this.through.
  #46  
Old 10-02-2017, 01:19 PM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is online now
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Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
One suspects that they.did.not.think.this.through.
Yathink?

There are plenty of us who have run out of ways to say "WE TOLD YOU SO!"
  #47  
Old 10-02-2017, 04:09 PM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
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And yet there's people who think this sham of a referendum should be respected.
  #48  
Old 10-02-2017, 06:43 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malden Capell View Post
And yet there's people who think this sham of a referendum should be respected.
The referendum was no sham. We were asked a simple question. Both sides put forward their cases and we freely chose to leave the EU. Not liking the result is not a good reason for not respecting it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AK84
One suspects that they.did.not.think.this.through.
Actually, that was the genius of the Leave campaign. They knew there would be a huge fight afterwards so left everything in that regard vague, concentrating on problems.
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  #49  
Old 10-02-2017, 06:53 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Actually, that was the genius of the Leave campaign. They knew there would be a huge fight afterwards so left everything in that regard vague, concentrating on problems.
Yep, this is totally the n-th dimensional chess game that the top Leavers planned.
  #50  
Old 10-02-2017, 07:15 PM
gatorslap gatorslap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
We were asked a simple question.
It wasn't a simple question, it was just worded that way.
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