Current Affairs Politics

Senior British Official: “Ireland Is Fucked” In Proposed UK-EU Deal

The headline claim comes from a sparsely detailed and frequently contradictory exclusive by The Sunday Times newspaper in Britain, suggesting that Brussels has “conceded” to a draft Brexit deal proposed by London, ignoring Dublin’s concerns about the return of a hard border around the UK’s anomalous territory on the island of Ireland. According to anonymous sources who have spoken to the right-wing publication, the European Union has accepted in principle a new set of proposals by the United Kingdom to unblock its stalled withdrawal negotiations with the EU. These will permit the UK to remain in the bloc’s customs union during its exit transition, albeit with a clause stating that Britain can terminate its membership of the customs area if it wishes to do so. At the end of this extension, a post-EU UK could then seek various forms of economic partnerships or trade deals with Europe.

The article strongly implies that the suggested settlement would free London from honouring the UK-Ireland backstop agreement insisted upon by Brussels, primarily at the behest of Dublin. This would allow Britain to obfuscate or ignore the understanding, which was designed to protect the decades old Irish-British peace process in the UK-occupied Six Counties. Or as The Sunday Times gleefully reports the situation:

“The PM will be able to say there’s no more backstop, we’ve got rid of that — success,” a senior Whitehall source said. “It is UK-wide — success. There’s an exit mechanism — success. And you’ve got Canada. The small print is that Ireland is f*****.”

The whole story is decidedly odd and sounds decidedly unlikely. As the sceptical pro-Brexit academic Richard North points out:

The EU, it appears, is now prepared to accept the regulatory checks can take place “in the market” by British officials, meaning that they can be conducted at factories and shops rather than at the border.

If that is the case, there is clearly an inconsistency in the report, as such checks are related to Single Market administration. Mrs May would have to be conceding a level of regulatory alignment commensurate with full participation in the Single Market. There is no way the EU could allow regulatory checks on the basis described without that concession.

Yet this goes way beyond anything that she could possibly get past the “ultra” faction of her party as it would go back on her commitment to take the UK out of the Single Market. If Mrs May is intending to put this to her colleagues on Tuesday, she is going to have a hard time of it.

In the unlikely event that she did manage to get it past the cabinet, the chance of her getting it through Parliament is not much better than the proverbial snowball surviving a journey through Hell.

Some underhand political game is clearly afoot in Britain, though what faction of the ruling Conservative Party in London is issuing these suspect off-the-record briefings to the British press remains to be seen. Whatever the case, peace and stability for the peoples of Ireland continues to be a secondary consideration for our noisome neighbour to the east.

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19 comments on “Senior British Official: “Ireland Is Fucked” In Proposed UK-EU Deal

  1. This report would seem to suggest that Ireland would not have any veto on the final deal. There is no politician in Ireland who wants to come back to Dáil Eireann carrying the same baggage as Michael Collins did almost a century ago.
    I eagerly await the details of any “solution”. Needless to say, I don’t believe a word from the Times.

  2. “Some underhand political game is clearly afoot in Britain”
    What’s new?
    Remember when Princess Di said “There is darkness at the heart of British politics”?
    There’s nothing new under the sun…
    And the Brits wrote the book on it.
    The entire referendum scenario is underhand.
    They didn’t ask the electorate when the UK joined the EU, why ask them to leave?
    The is no democracy in the UK.
    And IMO the EU are also part of the shenanigans.
    The Irish don’t have a say either, same old story…

    • When you say there is no democracy in the UK, do you mean that due to The House of Lords, Unwrittten Constitution, and low Quorum in Parliament? Or for other reasons?

      This is a sincere question. I’ve heard different Britons say different things about those features of the government.

      • There is actually a written constitution, it is made up of three written documents combined; the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights and the Coronation Oath.
        The fact that this framework was ignored when the UK joined the EEC/EU shows the lack of democracy.
        Also the fact that this framework is never referred to also shows a total lack of respect for any traditional or democratic procedures there may be in the UK, regardless of the historical class inequalities that are reflected in the above documents.
        The UK is actually still a feudal system disguised as a modern liberal democracy.

        The powers that run the UK are not interested in what the public think and work very hard to keep everyone ignorant and confused. The lack of democracy isn’t due to the House of Lords etc, it is due to the fact that the country is actually run in secret by publicly unknown bodies. Remember that the UK is still technically a Monarchy, although who actually makes decisions remains a bit of a mystery.
        The fact that we’re allowed to vote doesn’t mean our votes actually count, of that the results aren’t modified – how can we verify any of it?

        • A Constitutional Monarchy? That’s was always “The Official Story”, I was taught-is that no correct? (no sarcasm or coded language here!!)

          Your posts seems to imply that you are somewhere in Great Britain (vs NI). You also seem to be suggest that your electoral commission and/or other election regulating bodies lack transparency, are somehow insufficient in scope or structure, and/or are not doing their job properly.

          As for “feudal state” and “who actually makes the decisions is a bit of mystery”, you seem to be implying that your government utterly lacks transparency and that HMG is not necessarily calling the shots. Are there any suspects with regard to who these “publicly unknown bodies” might be-or are you being sarcastic and most politically savvy people actually know? If the former, could any journalists find out?

          I hope this does not have a tone that suggests I”m trying to cut you down or outright dismiss what you are saying. I’m just trying not to make any assumptions that might turn out to be wrong.

          I will say that the issue of how local government works in England (if that’s where you are) and the degree to which some English people (don’t know if you’re English or not) appear to treat their local MP as their sole “go to guy” is more than a bit puzzling. Scotland has its own Parliament. NI and Wales have “Assemblies”. And it used to be starting in the 1990’s there were Regional Assemblies in parts of England, but then some years ago they were done away with? But apparently some parts of England, want their local governments?

          Is there anybody where you are, who is serious about reform?

          • I’m actually from NI but currently living in the Republic after living in England for over a decade. I also voted for Brexit, but I don’t trust, nor am I a fan of the UK gov, the EU or the Irish gov. There’s always another path to follow, and the right path is the one between the extremes. Funny how the options we’re presented with by our governments is usually an extreme one – “all or nothing”, just like the EU ref.
            Rarely is the entire concept of a ruling minority genuinely questioned.
            True reform starts at home, although that’s easier said then done…

            With regards to who may be really pulling the strings in the UK we can perhaps look to the institutions that exist in the public sphere yet keep their true motives private; The Royal Institute of International Affairs, The Royal Society, The Tavistock Institute, The City of London (technically a separate state to the UK), the security services (as we know from their behaviour in NI they are above the law) and perhaps even “The Crown” which is a body that represents the Monarchy but whose actual make-up is a complete secret.

            It also appears that the Crown is the most supreme authority in the UK and has the power to veto any law/legal change yet presents itself as an archaic “ceremonial” practice via the Royal Family.

            We’ve been led to believe that reform and/or revolution via the pre-constructed methods that we’re presented with by the media will eventually lead to our “freedom”. I don’t buy it.

            • Well let’s try this. If you could pick three internal changes (other than Brexit decision or those related directly to Northern Ireland) for the UK, what do you think would be the best choices?

              And I don’t just mean ultimate ends (ei abolishing monarchy) I mean strategy interim moves such a overhauling the education system.

              • The only genuinely meaningful changes that can be made in the UK are the ones that individuals make for themselves, internally. It’s not right to dictate to others what they do with their free will.
                But in order for individuals to be in a good position to be making meaningful changes they need to be happy, healthy and have a good relationship with others and the world. Politics does not provide this.
                Society is no greater than the sum of its parts, so if everyone is looking for help from the gov then only the gov can help them. But the reality is that gov is conning people and the real help they need starts at home with good parenting, nutrition, access to nature and meaningful livelihoods, again politics doesn’t provide this.

                So there is only one internal change needed; stop believing in politics.
                Also an understanding that the world is not a rational place and so cannot be “fixed” using rational logic.

  3. “Some underhand political game is clearly afoot in Britain, though what faction of the ruling Conservative Party in London is issuing these suspect off-the-record briefings to the British press remains to be seen. ”

    Nail firmly on head there. Would treat all of these anonymous briefings with a skepticism informed by the above.

  4. Graham Ennis

    There is a darkness falling over Ireland again. The ghosts of 1921 are haunting its politics.
    Michael Collins and his help[less struggle to survive the ruthless treaty imposed on the Country are a blueprint for what is to come. It is now clear that the Irish are regarded by the British Elite as a bunch of troublesome colonial Natives. Their whole attitude towards Ireland is steeped in racism and arrogance. The London Government will get away with whatever the Irish People let them get away with. Ireland is a sideline, as far as the UK is concerned.
    My reading of this is that it is another lump of official disinformation via the Tory press, to control the Tory sheeplings, and delude them, until BREXIT actually happens.

    But what is the reality?.
    In the North of Ireland, the contracts for the roadworks, frontier posts, and border gates have already been let. The Border guards have been recruited (all of this from Newspaper ads in the North, so not exactly secret) The ads for the border guards specify they must be full UK citizens. No Irish need apply.
    This is the actual reality.

    Everything else is lies and deception, disinformation. The so-called “Liberal” London Guardian did not report any of the new frontier arrangements.

    However, the actual Irish “Natives” in the North are not stupid. They are also very annoyed. (Yet again they have been betrayed by a treaty that the UK regime never had the slightest intention of honouring, the very first time that it became the slightest inconvenience to them.

    So what will now happen?
    Well:
    A friend was recently in her old hometown, Crossmaglen, (A.K.A. “El-Paso” during the recent war). She told me: “There are people there silently watching and waiting.”
    People fear the worst, in the frontier areas with the occupied territories.
    I think we all know, and fear, what is to happen next.
    All that it will take is a single elderly retired and embittered Republican, with some equally aged gelignite, and BREXIT day.
    As Lenin said:
    “A spark can ignite a Prairi fire”.
    I hope for the best but fear the worst.
    If another war is to be avoided, then Irish People have a very short time to force the Dublin Government into doing what it should be, which is announcing that it is going to use its EU Veto to prevent any BREXIT agreement that once again sells Ireland down the river. The logical outcome of this is a demand to exercise treaty rights and hold a referendum on reunification in the North, 1n 2019. That will probably be a forlorn hope, but the alternative is yet another burst of violence in Ireland, and none of it the Irish people’s doing. Personally, I think that war is inevitable. Not even St Patrick, with all his powers, can fix this one.

  5. Murdoch-press bollix.

    And North is not an academic – he’s a climate-change denying hack.

  6. Catherine Fee


    https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsWe should have a massive march through Dublin and every town and city all over the country north and south to demonstrate to the world and the EU the defiance of the Irish people allow our peace to be disturbed for any reason.

  7. We should have a massive march through Dublin demanding Irish unification. Problem solved. Btw, did any of you pro EU folk notice the EU Chiefs reject the Italian govts budget proposal? They kindly told them to tear it up and propose a better one. And some say the EU doesn’t interfere in govts’ internal affairs?

    • Does anyone remember the Lisbon Treaty?!?!

    • “Pro EU folk”?!

      Being anti-Brexit (because it isn’t in the interest of the Irish, English, Scottish or Welsh working classes and threatens the peace on the island of Ireland) and being extremely critical of the EU and Eurozone policies are not mutually exclusive.

      The EU and the Eurozone will fall apart unless we European citizens can replace the neoliberal aspects of the EU/Eurozone construction with a trans-nationalism based on solidarity.

      And BTW the Fascist / Clueless-5* Italian government budget will do nothing for the Italian working class. The so-called universal income is just another form of heavily policed unemployment benefit and flat taxes only ever benefit the rich.

      • That, of course, is just your opinion. But the fact remains the Italian people democratically elected their govt and the EU has seen fit to dictate to it.

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