The media is being very quiet about this aspect, I haven’t seen any reports of what’s been proposed. Maybe for good reason, it’s clearly a sensitive and potentially inflammatory topic. But I still don’t quite swallow the logic that we must agree a trade deal first before we can agree how to control the border. Whatever the deal, there will have to be some form of controls, you can’t have an open border to allow all the UK’s trading partners (hollow laugh) back door access to the EU market, likewise uncontrolled passage into the EU for non EU citizens. So I would have thought you need to work out an infrastructure for controls on principle. Then you can establish exactly what controls will need to be implemented - but you need an infrastructure in place, no matter how minimal or how rigorous the eventual controls are going to be.
If we negotiate membership of the customs union then we do not need to check goods as they cross the UK-Eire border. It would then be possible to set up a “green channel” for Irish nationals to go through “unimpeeded” between the North and South - yes it would rely on trust but no more so than existing “nothing to declare” channels at airports.
That might be close enough to the spirit of the Good Friday agreement to be acceptable.
If we need to check goods at the border it all gets a lot trickier.
Just one of the many impacts the Brexiters failed to predict.
I think arguments about the percentage of those who voted are missing one important point, and that is some people’s understanding of the fact that they needed to vote at all. I have encountered a few individuals who thought that, because they were happy with the status quo and saw no need to change, i.e. they were, in effect, remainers, they didn’t need to vote! They assumed that the default position was that nothing would happen and we would carry on as before. How many more of these people might there be who, given the chance again, would vote to remain?
On another note, are many government bills etc. passed on a ‘simple’ majority? Surely there must be a principle of two-thirds (or similar) being required for momentous changes such as this to be agreed?
That’s fine for goods originating from the UK if we stay in the EEA, but what about the vast quantities of goods that will be shipping into the UK under Maybot’s low regulation / low tarif trading deals with the rest of the world, that could then find their way from the UK over the Irish border with no further checks? No skin off the UK’s nose but I doubt the EU will see it that way… omg we could even ship chlorinated chicken from the US into Germany via Ireland
Given that Southern Ireland has no land border with the rest of the EU so goods must leave via ports* you could institute an “origin check” at that point - although Eire would have to agree to this obviously.
It just boils down to the fact that the Brexiters were misguided or out-and-out lied when they told everyone how easy and low impact leaving the EU would be.
*I’m not considering illegal activities because they will always be occurring at some level, whatever the agreement.
Well yes that would stop chlorinated chicken etc from getting to mainland Europe via UK-Ireland, but it wouldn’t keep it out of Eire would it.
As I see it, the moment the UK and the EU start diverging in terms of import standards you need a border, otherwise how can Eire keep out goods that meet UK standards but don’t meet EU standards.
I didn’t say there was a perfect solution, in fact I am sure that there isn’t one because of the almost completely conflicting requirements that are in play.
As it happens the EU quietly decided that chlorine washed chicken was actually OK, but I get your point
Clearly there is going to have to be a ‘hard’ border somewhere between Eire and the mainland UK in order to prevent the inapropriate transfer of both goods and people between the EU and Great Britain post Brexit.
If that border is not to be between Northern Ireland and Eire, then it has to be between the island of Ireland as a whole and GB because effectively Ulster will be remaining in the EU for both customs and ‘freedom of movement’ purposes.
Bearing in mind the existence of the Common Travel Area between Eire and the UK, and the fact that freedom of movement will obviously be continuing between Eire and the rest of the EU, then there will have to be passport checks between Ireland as a whole and Great Britain in order to prevent the movement of unauthorised persons.
Fortunately Eire is not in the Schengen Area at present, so presumably there are passport checks between Eire and the rest of the EU.
I wonder whether a condition of the Common Travel Area agreement between the UK and Eire is that the latter does not join the Schengen Area group of countries. Does anyone know if that is in fact the case ?
I agree with you that there is no reason at all from the EU point of view that they should do so.
The point I was trying to make is that I think that the UK Gov’t ‘plan’ hinged on the belief that the talks being held in Brussels were in fact ‘negotiations’, and that it has now become apparent that such is not the case. Monsieur Barnier has made plain that there will be no concessions made or expected, and by so doing has made it plain that to regard the current talks as being ‘negotiations’ is in fact a misconception of what is taking place.
That’s an interesting comment in the light of what Juncker said yesterday, to the effect that he doesn’t see why citizens rights have become such a long drawn out problem when it could have been settled so quickly and easily if Britain had just agreed to keep the status quo, as in essence the EU did. The talks could then have moved on and would by now have reached the phase 2 issues that do need “negotiating”, ie the future relationship, because there is no existing framework for that so obviously it is all up for negotiation. But as you say, the UK seemed to imagine that everything was up for negotiation, even things that are already goverened by treaties, so they’ve been wasting time and losing goodwill trying to renegotiate things that aren’t up for negotiation.
Junckers version of citizens rights status quo is everything as is under the jurisdiction of the European court of justice, obviously unacceptable to most brexitaires.
The cash side of things is totally unacceptable to most Tory eurosceptics, and the only real answer to the Irish problem is reunification, which is totally unacceptable to a small percentage of the northern Irish Protestant’s.
The EU were quite heavily involved in the Irish negotiations and freedom of movement totally unhindered freedom of movement is a cornerstone of the good Friday agreement.
With the Cash bit, apparently the onus is on the UK negotiating team to agree to the UK’s financial liabilities, agree a figure and a payment plan. Figures keep getting bandied about like 50 billion, 80 billion, 100 billion, whereas what we actually want is someone to step up to the plate and quote the actual facts.
The problem is you have a situation where both sides have to be seen to come out on top. The UK cannot be seen to be better off out than in but then the UK must not also be seen to have received some sort of punishment fro the EU.
Call me stupid if you like, but to me logically it seems that article fifty was chucked together by a team who never considered the idea that a member would ever leave, and logically the UK should have issued its notice to leave, covered its financial liabilities and left. Third country status out of everything. Negotiate a trade agreement with the EU 27 after leaving and be the total responsibility of the UK government to sort out what to do about EU citizens in the UK and sort out the Irish problem.
Regardless of what people seem to think, the EU 27 only needs the UK as a market for its various product’s, doesn’t actually need the UK for anything much else. Countries like Germany, Holland Belgium etc do quite well trading with the world using WTO terms, and there’s absolutely no reason why they couldn’t simply trade with the UK using WTO terms. Trade would reduce both ways due mostly to inconvenience rather than tariffs and eventually most mainland European companies with interests in the UK would simply ship those interests into the EU. Motor vehicles are a prime example of what the UK’s future holds outside the EU. French, Italian, Polish and German companies cast components, ship to other parts of the EU including the UK where they are machined, then shipped off somewhere to be put into motor vehicles. The UK with tariffs both ways, border controls, customs checks will soon be cut out of the chain.
I agree with all your post except this bit:
I don’t think the EU would abandon their citizens and a member state to the mercies of the UK government, and quite rightly so. Even if they had full trust in the UK I doubt they would do this, and how can you have full trust in the current government.
The problem with citizens rights is their rights relate to whatever laws apply in the countries in which they live, you can’t have an institution beyond your control dictating the rights of third country citizens living in your country. People regularly confuse the European Court of justice with the European court of human rights, its the European court of human rights that should have the final say on the abuse of any third country citizens rights not the EU run and funded ECJ. Once the UK becomes a third country, a Pole or Czech citizen becomes a Polish or Czech citizen not an EU citizen, the EU is not a state. In other third countries EU citizens are represented by their own embassies, the EU doesn’t have embassies, so once out, Polish and Czech citizens would be represented by the Polish or Czech embassies, unless they take out some form of dual citizenship.
That’s one view and technically it’s perfectly valid, but there is also the view that depriving people of rights that they currently enjoy, thereby throwing their lives into chaos and potentially destroying livelihoods and families, is unfair and is not something that any responsible government should do. Hence the general consensus that people who are currently exercising EU treaty rights should not lose those rights overnight, provisions should be made to allow them to continue living the lives they’ve built for themselves with minimal disruption. Nobody AFAIK is saying that any concessions should be made to other Poles, Czechs, Germans, or Brits for that matter, who are not currently exercising treaty rights.
All of this only goes to underline the fact that it is not as easy as the Leave campaign made out simply because there are different, in themselves valid, ways of looking at the problem and each side will bring their own interpretation to the table. And that is before we get to the fine details.
Well very nearly, but I understand that post Brexit, the EU do not wish UK expats to continue to enjoy the right of ‘Onward Movement’ between EU member states that we enjoy at present.
This would not be a problem for me personally, but for those living near to borders between EU member states it could have a negative impact when seeking work for example.
Not sure on that one but I know there was some dispute over EU citizens in the UK having the right to return to their home country and then return to the UK whenever they wished without needing a Visa. General consensus on the UK side was once you leave, you lose your automatic right to stay.
I think that was when the UK citizens living in the EU rights to roam was chucked in. Could cause quite a few problems for quite a few retiree’s who spend half the year here, and half the year in the UK or half the year in another EU member state.
I agree that once you have built a life in another country, and you have certain rights, it is quite mean to be suddenly stripped of all these rights, but its also incredibly mean to hold a referendum where a percentage of your citizens whose lives could be badly disrupted by the outcome, were not allowed the right to vote.
I believe Article 50 was drafted to address the possibility of an EU member country ceasing to be a democracy and therefore having to leave the Union at the behest of its tin pot dictator.
It was never seen as likely that a democracy with a market economy that benefited hugely from membership would decide to leave.