The UK Customs Bill Amendments Makes The Return Of A Hard Border Inevitable

Less than two weeks after announcing a much derided compromise plan to solve the United Kingdom’s failed Brexit negotiations with the European Union, the UK premier, Theresa May, has surrendered to europhobic members of her own party – allied to MPs from the hibernophobic Democratic Unionist Party – and accepted uncompromising additions to new legislation which will all but guarantee the imposition of “hard border” around the British legacy colony in the north-east of Ireland. According to the Guardian newspaper, the crisis-ridden Conservative Party leader,

…caved in to hardline Brexiters and accepted all four of their amendments to the customs bill, rather than allowing Jacob Rees-Mogg and colleagues to stage a show of parliamentary strength.

That legislation has been passed by the House of Commons in a move described as “…the stuff of complete madness” by the Tory lawmaker and former minister Anna Soubry. One of the amendments to the proposed Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill includes this blunt rejection of a deal already entered into by London with Brussels; and by extension, with Dublin.

It shall be unlawful for HMG to enter into arrangements under which Northern Ireland forms part of a separate customs territory to Great Britain.

In other words, the so-called “backstop agreement” signed up to by the UK and EU, which will guarantee an open frontier around the British-administered Six Counties through regulatory alignment, is no longer valid. A sop to the DUP which is seeking to return the disputed region to the militarised partition of old, while pretending otherwise to those journalists and commentators foolish enough to listen to their empty platitudes.

Meanwhile, the Irish and European Union citizenship of men, women and children in the north-east of the country is under threat, as reported by The Detail:

Northern Ireland residents risk losing citizenship rights linked to the Good Friday Agreement due to new policies being drafted for Brexit, legal experts have warned.

A key element of the 1998 Good Friday peace deal allowed those born in Northern Ireland to be British, Irish or both, thereby also providing the rights of citizens of the European Union (EU).

But under new Brexit proposals Northern Ireland residents with Irish citizenship (plus those who identify as British but are entitled to Irish citizenship) risk losing a range of EU rights including access to the European Health Insurance Card, access to EU student fee rates, the right to vote for MEPs, plus the right to be joined by non-EEA family members.

Opposing the imposition of a Brexit border on our island nation and maintaining the rights of its citizens – regardless of where they are born or live on the island – is the next front in the Irish liberation struggle.

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6 comments

  1. The likes of JRM John Redwood and Arron Banks are disaster capitalists they actively want to trash the U.K. economy so they can buy distressed assets on the cheap and make themselves even richer Ireland is minor collateral damage as far as they’re concerned and they have their useful idiots in the DUP and other loyalist figures such as Willie Frazer who relish a return to a hard militarised border to give them back their sense of colonial superiority

  2. Just got an new Irish passport and inside is a map of Ireland and no border signified, is this a sign for the future?

  3. Ok, I am going to be very blunt. The recent Uk parliamentary bill has now crossed a red line. In strict legal terms, it has violated the peace treaty that stopped the war. probably without repair. This is very very serious, incredibly, Irish history is now repeating itself. The horror of horrors. we are now back in 1910, with the orange gun runners and the UVF. Really. The ghost of Carson now haunts Ireland. A hard border is now inevitable, as it is clear there is going to be a hard BREXIT. This is a blatant violation of international treaties, the peace process, and much else. The only way a hard border can be imposed and maintained is by force. That force, ultimately, means the UK army. Plus Unionist forces, that are now reappearing. The situation of the nationalist community will be very dangerous. But now they are about the same size as the Unionists. They are not going to allow themselves to be treated as they were in 1968. This is going to lead to a direct confrontation with the Unionists. We face, then, the dangers of the ethnic cleansing that we saw then. So what can be done?
    1: The Irish government is going to have to grit its teeth, and make it clear that this is not going to happen. They must announce that unless there is a solution by April 1st, 2019, they will denounce the Peace treaty,and not accept the reimposed hard border, and will not accept any danger or threats to the nationalist community in the North. Any other Government would do the same. This means emergency planning, and making it clear that at the first sign of violence (inevitable) against the nationalist community, they will mobilise a peace keeping force, to protect the centers of the nationalist community. This also, is legal under international law. The other thing is that they have to stockpile a substantial arms supply, to be distributed to endangered nationalist community, if there is any violence against them. ( a 10ituation. 0,000 Kalasnikovs goes a long way.). this totally changed the dynamics of the situation. all of this, as well, is lawful. Then go to the United Nations, demand a peace keeping force, and make it clear that they will act if one is not installed. This is the stuff of night mares, but is legal, and essential. No state would allow its minority population in an occupied and disputed zone, to be attacked. The Dublin government is then going to have to find some strong nerves, mobilise international opinion, and act, if all else fails. I cannot see any other way out of this mess. The Unionist block are beyond rational discussion. So is the deeply racist, anti-Irish Tory UK Government.They only understand force and the threat of force. As of now, after the illegal vote in the UK Parliament, rthe peace treaty is defunct. The costs of violating the treaty, must be made as harsh as possible for theUk Government. otherwise, it is 1968, all over again. Has nayone else got any ideas?….the Dublin Government,i fear, will not have the nerve toprotect the Nationalist population in the North. This is now a more serious situation than 68.

  4. I hate to say this, but a hard northern border is going to isolate, economically damage and politically and communally divide the North in ways not seen since 1968. There is going to be a serious danger of intercommunal violence, and a resumption of the War, unless great care is taken. The end result of all this would be to turn the North into an Irish version of the Gaza Strip. Hard borders will require hard sealing, with fences, armed strongpoints, and militarization of the Border. Violence is then inevitable. All of this should have been avoidable, but the Uk government has taken a racist, cynical attitude to the peace treaties, and is clearly prepared to accept a renewed military conflict as the price of its larger objectives. The suffering and horror this is going to inflict on Ireland is an acceptable price, and basically, of little or no interest to them. it appears that the Dublin Government is going to ignore, for as long as possible, these developing events, and a lot of pressure needs to be put on the Government right now before it is too late.

  5. “Hard Border.” People keep talking about the return of this mythical creature, but could someone tell me when it actually existed? The I.R.A. seem to have had no problems crossing it on numerous occasions to carry out their “operations” and the loyalists likewise could transport bombs to Dublin and Monaghan. Incidentally, if any of the doom-laden predictions of Mr Ennis come true I’ll eat my car, he obviously doesn’t live in N.I. and has little grasp of reality.

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