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UK Politics Hamsterwheel MkII

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UK Politics Hamsterwheel MkII

Old 22nd Jul 2019, 08:54
  #9081 (permalink)  
 
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It’s going to be tough either way: even the rejected deal wasn’t actually a deal, just a starting point for talks. The very fact of a “backstop” being demanded demonstrates their lack of intent to offer a reasonable deal. In all the negotiations we’ve ever conducted, big and small, has anyone, ever, started by agreeing a “backstop”?
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 09:23
  #9082 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ShotOne View Post
It’s going to be tough either way: even the rejected deal wasn’t actually a deal, just a starting point for talks. The very fact of a “backstop” being demanded demonstrates their lack of intent to offer a reasonable deal. In all the negotiations we’ve ever conducted, big and small, has anyone, ever, started by agreeing a “backstop”?
Because of the complicated nature of the NI "backstop" - where the UK / RoI border is both an external frontier of the EU (as is Poland / Ukraine or Bulgaria / Turkey) and at the same time an open border under the common travel arrangements. The backstop is there simply to ensure that there isn't a hard border between the EU and it's non EU neighbour whilst a system radically different to the EU eternal land borders is resolved.

Anyone who has been involved in any way with HMRC computer related projects know how difficult and problem ridden they are to put in place; and I fear that those on the EU side will be just as big a minefield so whilst something is being thrashed out, to protect the interests of in particular, the fragile peace in NI, the backstop is logical, and workable - just not to the DUP and ERG members who's sole goal is to leave and to hell with the consequences, political, social and economic.

I truly despair of politicians who are approaching the whole Brexit negotiation and future arrangements in the way they would were the EU to be a colony of the empire, rather than an equal partner. If Parliament allows the hot heads on the extreme wings of the Conservative and DU Parties to leave with no deal, it will, 100% be a British not an EU decision, and ours, not their fault. Come the election, whenever that be, if Brexit turns out badly, the electorate must not be allowed to forget that, and have it falsely manipulated by the likes of biased sections of the media to read otherwise.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 10:59
  #9083 (permalink)  
 
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Very spot-on take on the backstop issue:

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...kstop-fly-moon

In all the negotiations we’ve ever conducted, big and small, has anyone, ever, started by agreeing a “backstop”?
There is nothing to negotiate.

It iis simply a question of logic.

You cannot be outside a customs union and not have a border.

It is that simple. Really.

To suggest otherwise is like arguing the earth is flat.

And that is the really worrying pont here - that folks like BoJo are either too dumb to understand this very simple logic or too ruthless to let their ambition take the backseat in order avoid armageddon for businesses, farmers etc.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:11
  #9084 (permalink)  
 
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My guess is that the backstop is in fact a red herring. Boris knows that he can't re negotiate because as IDS told Marr the EU are brilliant hard nosed negotiators who totally outmanoeuvred our team. He also will be aware that the chances of being able to leave on NoDeal are, to use his favourite phrase, vanishingly small.

So Bozza will be searching for a get out from his latest declarations of do or die. My guess is that Brexit isn't the ditch that he is prepared to die in he will prefer to trim and stay in No10. Whether that will work is another question entirely but I expect a rapid change of course pdq.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:15
  #9085 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by virginblue View Post

You cannot be outside a customs union and not have a border.
Not at all sure about that. For decades before either the UK or the RoI joined what is now the EU there were markedly different customs arrangements, duties etc between NI and RoI. For decades that border was, to all intents and purposes, transparent. All you even noticed when driving over it in many rural areas was the change in the colour of the lines on the road, plus, perhaps, the occasional road sign that was in km/h or was bilingual. There were no border posts, guards, or anything else on the vast majority of the crossings, some of which are little more than farm tracks. No passports have ever been needed to cross this border, since long before either Ireland or the UK joined what is now the EU.

Yes, there was smuggling over that border. I well remember petrol smuggling being rife, with filling stations springing up on the NI side to sell cheaper UK petrol to those living in the RoI. People drove tankers over to collect cheaper fuel and smuggle it back, too. I dare say there were other goods that went too and fro over this very porous border.

Does the EU have a problem with the almost non-existent border between non-EU Lichtenstein, Monaco, Vatican City etc and the surrounding EU states?

The border between Sweden and Norway is massive in comparison to that between NI and the RoI, yet customs checks are perfunctory. Whenever I've crossed it by car we've not even had to stop, just driven straight through.

The EU are making a fuss about the NI/RoI border just because they can, and because the EU, quite understandably, wishes to make the Brexit process as politically difficult as possible. Doesn't mean that the objections and barriers they are putting up are as serious as they make them out to be, though.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:26
  #9086 (permalink)  
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There is nothing to negotiate.

It is simply a question of logic.

You cannot be outside a customs union and not have a border.

It is that simple. Really.
Someone should tell Dublin......
​​​​​​​
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/n...-38312036.html

Checks at border avoidable even if no-deal Brexit, claims Ireland's man in Brussels

A way can be found to avoid animal and food checks on the border - even in the case of a no-deal Brexit, the Republic's EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has said.

Mr Hogan moved to allay a growing view that checks, especially for live animals, cannot be avoided at the Irish border if the UK quits the EU without a deal on October 31.

Earlier DUP chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said he was open to the idea of checks on animals from Great Britain in a no-deal scenario taking place as they arrive anywhere on the island.

Amid ongoing uncertainty in Britain, there is a growing acceptance that the risk of a no-deal Brexit has increased, with a result in the UK Conservative Party leadership election due next week.

But Mr Hogan also held out the hope that a new Prime Minister - be it Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt - can deliver "a good Brexit outcome" this autumn. He insisted that a no-deal result is far from inevitable. The former Fine Gael minister said the entire island of Ireland was already treated as one entity for animal and public health issues.

"We'd like to continue that arrangement and I don't see any difficulty between the UK and the EU in respect of this," Mr Hogan said.

He said the UK has published 16 pieces of legislation, and the EU 19 draft laws, to allow a smooth transition dealing with border issues on a "pragmatic basis".

Mr Hogan said animal health issues on the island of Ireland were the joint responsibility of the Dublin authorities and the Northern Ireland Office, which reported to the EU in Brussels.

"Even in a no-deal situation, we can put in place the necessary protocols so this would not be a problem," he said.....


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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:27
  #9087 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by virginblue View Post
You cannot be outside a customs union and not have a border.

It is that simple. Really.

To suggest otherwise is like arguing the earth is flat.
Actually the EU has many very porous borders. More than a million economic migrants have walked through them with ease.
.


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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:28
  #9088 (permalink)  
 
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Not at all sure about that. For decades before either the UK or the RoI joined what is now the EU there were markedly different customs arrangements, duties etc between NI and RoI.
I appreciate your postings, they are generally very well sourced, but on this one you're not strictly correct.

I was working in the UK / Irish freight market from 1975ish through to the implementation of the EU singe market. During that time there were several differing systems operating, but there was definitely an internal EEC origin document (T2L) used for each and every shipment that crossed into the RoI from Northern Ireland, and trucks were stopped and groupage shipment cleared into the Irish Republic at Dundalk. if you used the short sea route from UK direct to Ireland (Dun Laoighaire or the Port of Dublin) then clearance was done at port, or if your truck was operating on a full transit (T2) procedure, at an inland clearance depot with Irish Customs control. I can vividly remember going with an Irish colleague to the very grand (colonial one might say) Customs House in Dublin to lodge entries.

Something along those lines is what we'll be back to if Johnson (or Hunt) really is daft enough to leave the EU with no deal. Though I absolutely concede that some form of electronic pre-entry sent from the UK groupage operator at departure may well speed up what was a somewhat arcane process. Things must have moved on a tad over the last 25 or so years!
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:31
  #9089 (permalink)  
 
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Actually the EU has many very porous borders. More than a million economic migrants have walked through them with ease.
All borders are porous to some degree, even East Germans managed to get to the west. I hear today that the Hong Kong / China border is very porous, and I know that the Turkish / Bulgarian one is likewise - and Donald Trump isn't happy with the colander that is the US / Mexican border.

The issue for the EU is primarily trade in goods, and most borders in 1st world countries are pretty tight in that regard, though e-commerce (Amazan, Eday etc) is making them somewhat less so.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:36
  #9090 (permalink)  
 
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With a reasonable trade deal, as both sides claim to want, the question of a backstop is irrelevant. That the EU attach such importance to it strongly suggest they have no intention to agree any such deal. Which leaves everyone without a deal. However many resolutions get passed.

Last edited by ShotOne; 22nd Jul 2019 at 11:50.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:47
  #9091 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Not at all sure about that. For decades before either the UK or the RoI joined what is now the EU there were markedly different customs arrangements, duties etc between NI and RoI. For decades that border was, to all intents and purposes, transparent. All you even noticed when driving over it in many rural areas was the change in the colour of the lines on the road, plus, perhaps, the occasional road sign that was in km/h or was bilingual. There were no border posts, guards, or anything else on the vast majority of the crossings, some of which are little more than farm tracks. No passports have ever been needed to cross this border, since long before either Ireland or the UK joined what is now the EU.

Yes, there was smuggling over that border. I well remember petrol smuggling being rife, with filling stations springing up on the NI side to sell cheaper UK petrol to those living in the RoI. People drove tankers over to collect cheaper fuel and smuggle it back, too. I dare say there were other goods that went too and fro over this very porous border.

Does the EU have a problem with the almost non-existent border between non-EU Lichtenstein, Monaco, Vatican City etc and the surrounding EU states?

The border between Sweden and Norway is massive in comparison to that between NI and the RoI, yet customs checks are perfunctory. Whenever I've crossed it by car we've not even had to stop, just driven straight through.

The EU are making a fuss about the NI/RoI border just because they can, and because the EU, quite understandably, wishes to make the Brexit process as politically difficult as possible. Doesn't mean that the objections and barriers they are putting up are as serious as they make them out to be, though.
The problem is that many Brexiteers see the Brexit-related border issue linked to illigal immigrants swamping the country. The EU sees the border issue as a question of trade, tariffs and standards (and by that I don't mean a private citizen smuggling a crate of booze in the trunk or too many packs of cigarettes....). Two wholly different worlds and resulting problems. Why should the EU be concerned about the RoI/NI border in releation to immigration? As the UK is taking back control over its borders, there will hardly be anyone able to enter the UK in order to sneak into the via NI anyway....

If there is a no deal brexit, there will be a "border". Not necessarily one involving gates and barriers. But gates and barriers are merely a symbolic issue and a question of inconvenience. What really matters are tariffs, checks of standards, heaps of paperwork, the possibility to export at all etc.

As for the microstates comparison, those with some economic relevance are either part of the single market or at least the EU customs territory. The Vatican is not, but come on, that is really clutching at straws...
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:53
  #9092 (permalink)  
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The problem is that many Brexiteers see the Brexit-related border issue linked to illigal immigrants swamping the country. The EU sees the border issue as a question of trade, tariffs and standards. Two wholly different worlds and resulting problems.
Drivel.

I know of no one who in any way associates it with immigration. They do, however, see it is as binding the U.K. into the customs union and single market, and hence observation of the entire EU Acquis and subordination to the rulings of the EUCJ.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:53
  #9093 (permalink)  
 
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There is a border now. And has been since the founding of the Irish Free State in 1922.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 11:57
  #9094 (permalink)  
 
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Iain Dale on Politics Live talking about Tony Blair "One of the greatest Prime Ministers" !
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 12:07
  #9095 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ShotOne View Post
There is a border now. And has been since the founding of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Yes, one I've freely crossed hundreds of times, before and after the EU existed, and I've never yet had to stop at it. We had (still have) a free travel agreement with the RoI, and that never went away after we both joined the EU.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 12:09
  #9096 (permalink)  
 
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If there is a no deal brexit, there will be a "border". Not necessarily one involving gates and barriers. But gates and barriers are merely a symbolic issue and a question of inconvenience. What really matters are tariffs, checks of standards, heaps of paperwork, the possibility to export at all etc.
That's exactly the point. Even during the height of "the troubles" (daft name really for a civil war, but there we have it) movement of people across the border was essentially unfettered, whilst trade most certainly was not. And now, more than ever before it's trade that matters, and I for one just don't see where the UK (or most EU states) are going to find the resources in personnel in either the ranks of officialdom, or the ranks of the freight forwarding / customs brokerage sectors. The people and especially those with the expertise are simply not there - European trade has moved on in the last 25 years or so, and many of those with the expertise have long since retired.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 12:12
  #9097 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Yes, one I've freely crossed hundreds of times, before and after the EU existed, and I've never yet had to stop at it. We had (still have) a free travel agreement with the RoI, and that never went away after we both joined the EU.
True, as did I. But it's important not to confuse free movement of people across the border, which I really don't believe the EU or UK is seriously considering curtailing; it is trade in goods which is probably more important to NI than it is for the Republic and that is the nub of the whole backstop issue.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 12:30
  #9098 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Drivel.

I know of no one who in any way associates it with immigration. They do, however, see it is as binding the U.K. into the customs union and single market, and hence observation of the entire EU Acquis and subordination to the rulings of the EUCJ.
I should have made my point with slightly less irony. As ATNotts has pointed out - and as this thread nicely illustrates - a lot of people think of free movement predominantly as free movement of people, whereas almost all that matters to the EU is free movement of trade and capital. Free movement of people may be of concern to Joe Public who wants to visit his auntie across the border or do some cheap shopping there without having to stop at a gate and showing his passport, but it is really the smallest fish in the Brexit pond from an economic perspective. I find it very unlikely that a no deal brexit will curtail free movement of people between the RoI and NI. But it will impact free movement of trade and capital. And that really is a ticking timebomb for NI.
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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 12:47
  #9099 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by virginblue View Post
Very spot-on take on the backstop issue:

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...kstop-fly-moon



There is nothing to negotiate.

It iis simply a question of logic.

You cannot be outside a customs union and not have a border.

It is that simple. Really.

To suggest otherwise is like arguing the earth is flat.

And that is the really worrying pont here - that folks like BoJo are either too dumb to understand this very simple logic or too ruthless to let their ambition take the backseat in order avoid armageddon for businesses, farmers etc.
In your Guardian quote from Simon Jenkins he states:

”...Johnson must go at once to Dublin and promise its prime minister, Leo Varadkar, to safeguard an open Irish border, which means a de facto customs union, for the time being.”.

My bold. Surely this bolded phrase alludes to a time limited period, not an open ended commitment. If the back stop were time limited I think most MP’s would live with that, even the DUP. Jenkins is arguing with himself here.

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Old 22nd Jul 2019, 12:53
  #9100 (permalink)  
 
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And what happens at the end of that period? There will be the same two options on the table - customs union or a hard border. All it will do is avoiding a hard border very soon. So Boris can make his pick which campaign promise he wants to break.

My favourite line from the Jenkins editorial is, by the way:

"Trade is not about control but about power. The UK has little power against its bigger neighbour. If it wanted power it should have stayed in the EU, or at the very least in Thatcher’s single market. Johnson sacrificed such power to outflank his rivals for the leadership."
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