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The Brexiteers are essentially English nationalists with little interest in Ireland or N. Ireland. That the Irish border issue has now created complications for the Brexit negotiations is an irritating irrelevance as far as they are concerned, to be minimised, pooh-pooed, and wished away with false analogies and magical thinking. The Legatum Institutes "solution" is of that ilk.

If they were honest they would simply accept that N. Ireland will have to remain in the Single market and Customs Union if the Irish border (and commitments made under the Good Friday Agreement) are not to become problematic. They can then have their "invisible", "frictionless", and problem free border in the middle of the Irish sea.

The problem is they require the parliamentary support of the DUP for whom any semblance of any border between N. Ireland and Britain is anathema.  So the fall-back position is to argue that it is really the Irish government which is being unreasonable, and if the Irish government had any sense they would join the UK in leaving the EU, and hey presto, the need for an Irish land border would disappear. The Republic would effectively be re-joining the UK.

In the meantime, and given the obduracy of Varadker et al, the best strategy is to seek to isolate the Irish as a means of weakening the EU's negotiating position as whole. Any old non-factual blather about how well other borders operate will do. The LSE's paper, by two Queen's University, Belfast academics, begins the process of debunking those claims.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 at 10:38:38 PM EST
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