Will Britain Give Explicit Guarantee On No Brexit Border In Ireland?

There’s a plausible report by Dara Doyle on the business and current affairs website, Bloomberg, claiming that the Fine Gael-led government is seeking an explicit commitment from the United Kingdom ruling out any hardening of the soft border around the UK-administered Six Counties. The article suggests that the guarantee is Dublin’s price for allowing London’s exit negotiations from the European Union to proceed unhindered.

Irish authorities are keen to use their leverage in the first part of the negotiations to extract maximum concessions on the border issue, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are ongoing.

Such wording would effectively commit the U.K. and the EU to the idea of a bespoke deal for Northern Ireland, should the two sides fail to reach the type of a free-trade accord that would eliminate the need for a border.

Such a deal might involve designating the region as some special economic zone or allowing the same regulatory standards to apply on both sides of the border.

Ireland won’t push for the phrase “special status” for Northern Ireland to be included, due to the political sensitivities facing Theresa May’s government in London, the people said. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party is propping up the Conservatives…

Persuading the U.K. and the EU to sign up to a commitment to avoid a hard border would also protect the Irish government from political criticism that it’s allowed the island to be effectively re-partitioned.

Given the bullying tactics adopted by the ultra-right DUP in relation to Brexit and the ailing Conservative Party administration in Britain, one wonders which way the Tories will jump if the choice is between preserving power in the UK or preserving peace in Ireland. A century of Irish and British history does not bode well for the latter course of action.

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8 comments

  1. “The Fine Gael-led government is seeking an explicit commitment from the United Kingdom ruling out any hardening of the soft border around the UK-administered Six Counties.

    NB The UK has always argued that it did not want a “hard border” in Ireland . It has never proposed how that could be achieved, beyond pie in the sky suggestions about “technological borders” that were ridiculed by everybody.
    Any proposals forthcoming from the UK?

    “The article suggests that the guarantee is Dublin’s price for allowing London’s exit negotiations from the European Union to proceed unhindered”.

    In the hope it might appear to be enough to argue that “sufficient progress had been made”?

    This story is just . . . . more stating the obvious and an FG attempt to play a 3-card trick!

    1. It’s hard to know what game FG is playing. Hardball with the British, softball with the unionists, hardball with northern nationalists. The SDLP seem as confused by this as anyone else. There is also a sense of mixed messages coming from FG frontbenchers.

  2. Almost 95 years after the 1922 Peace Treaty, the wretched, miserable semi-fascist Unionist parties in the North are still clinging to their delusions. The Good Friday “Peace agreement”, (actually a formal UN treaty) severely damaged their power and hegemony, and even forced them, for a while, to behave in a semi-decent manner, and to stop oppressing the nationalist community in their exceedingly nasty racist, Apartheid Regime. Eventually, that all proved to much for them, and they abandoned any pretence of supporting the Peace Treaty. The latest news, which is well verified from multiple sources, is that the Arlene Creature is pushing, in her delusions, for a hard Brexit. That would achieve several of her objectives, but primarily a dismantling of the peace treaty, enforcement of direct rule, (which excludes the nationalist community from any role in government) and what is effectively, re partition. She is more or less forced to do this, otherwise the more rabid and reactionary elements in her own party would simply destroy her.
    The mainland Unionist parties are in fact complicit in this. The labour Party on the Mainland, not just the Tories, considers Ireland an irritating side issue and a nuisance, and will not do what is required to control the Northern Unionists. let us also consider the bleak situation of the Tories, who have agreed among themselves to sacrifice the North of Ireland, to their own sick internal right wing objectives of a raw BREXIT.
    In all this, the Irish Government will prove to be a helpless bystander, as it has absolutely no leverage with the London government, and is held hostage by the fate of the Irish citizens in the UK, many of whom have a residence there that is solely dependent on the 1922 treaty, or the EU passports and citizenship they hold.
    In the circumstances, it is for the Nationalist community in the North, to take their fate into their own hands. I have previously posted on here that the nationalists have to stand up for their rights, boycott everything unionist, oppose the Direct rule of the North, and revive the methods of the NICRA campaign of the sixties. Total non-cooperation with the Unionists, local rule in Councils where there is a nationalist majority and control, mass civil disobedience to prevent the Border being renewed, and mass civil disobedience every-time there is any oppression or violation of their rights. Given that the closed border will bring economic disaster to the North, and make it a huge burden to the London Government, everything must be done, by popular resistance, to make that burden intolerable. This will be hard, but the alternative is far far worse. Time to implement the “No Justice, No Peace” strategy. (has anyone got any other ideas, apart from restarting the War?. Discuss.

    1. If the Tories are going “to sacrifice the North of Ireland”, how would “economic disaster to the North…make it a huge burden to the London Government”? They would simply stop central government subventions to unco-operative areas leave them to it.
      Indeed, you seem a little confused over what could be done: you seem to think that “mass civil disobedience to prevent the Border being renewed” will somehow “close” the border. Which will it be: closing the border or ignoring it? You can’t do both, though.

      1. Dear Wee Jimmie,
        This is ireland we are talking about. Of course we can do both. BUT NOT AT THE SAME TIME!. but in sequence. Oppose the border, (NO BREXIT hard border) even if that fails, then when that fails, as it will, it will activate a further chunk of non unionists in the North, who now realise that its now time to be hard on the Unionists and all that they are. I should have made this clear. We know that the UK Government has already made its decision. But it must still be fought. This is a mobilising strategy. Then when the border is closed, tear it down, tear it to shreds. That actually, is logical, it shows continuity, and it will mobilise An Phoblact.
        The alternative is to do nothing to oppose the border being re partitioned, (not on, at all) then finding you have to start from scratch in resisting what is going on in the north. Choose one. My strategy is to oppose the border closure, then simply rip it to bits in massive civil actions, when it happens. To not oppose the border repartitioning is to accept it. To oppose the border, when it goes up, and to tear it to bits, is a logical follow on, and it is a moral and political duty of every Irish Patriot, North and South, to do so. In the process, it will totally isolate the Unionists in the North, and totally corner and seriously damage the right wing parties in the South. Saor Eire !.
        my strategy is, ultimately, a sort of mass non-violent palestinian INTIFADA, if that is met by unionist violence, then so be it. Take a look at Catalunya. International and EU opinion is everything. Remember we are talking here about vicious, stupid, nasty right wing thugs. you can absolutely rely on them to fall into this particular elephant trap. This is the “Ennis orange elephant trap”. (patent applied for.)

    2. Interesting suggestion. What would happen if nationalist-majority councils started passing resolutions rejecting Brexit? Or demanding the retention of a soft border/soft reunification?

      SF used local government to undermine British rule during the revolutionary period. And the Catalans have done the same in recent years.

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