While ministers and officials in the United Kingdom may have spent the last few days arguing that a leaked government report presenting a series of disastrous “best-case” scenarios for a no-deal withdrawal from the European Union was out-of-date, there is very little sign that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his hardline colleagues are making any realistic attempt to prevent those scenarios from coming true. On the contrary, the UK authorities, aided by an increasingly xenophobic press, seem intent on wrecking any chance of a fair settlement with the EU by suggesting the most ludicrous and frankly revanchist solutions to the current Brexit impasse. From the tabloid organ of Greater England, The Sun newspaper:
BORIS Johnson wants to agree a temporary new arrangement with Ireland that will guarantee no hard border as his bid to break the Brexit impasse, allies have revealed.
In the PM’s first salvo to renegotiate an exit deal, he called for talks on new “commitments” to replace the controversial Irish backstop that leaves Britain tied to EU rules.
The Sun has learned that Mr Johnson is ready to propose a new bilateral deal between London and Dublin to act as a bridge until stand-off border checks – dubbed ‘alternative arrangements’ – are ready.
Under the new idea, Ireland would win a special dispensation from Brussels to diverge from EU rules temporarily so it can stay aligned with the UK.
In other words we are moving from a negotiating position where Britain is threatening to impose a new economic partition of Ireland to a situation where some in Britain are now lobbying for the regulatory annexation of Ireland. And note that phrase suggesting that the Irish should “stay aligned with the UK” when it is the British who are moving away from alignment with Ireland and the rest of the European Union. The unconscious assumption that the island of Ireland is part of a sovereign British hegemony is frightening in its ignorance. And speaks volumes of the contemporary politics of the UK.
here’s the Irish reply to such Conservative/Unionist pipe dreams
Meanwhile the Irish in America start to flex their muscles.
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It’s really a myth that all sympathizers of Ireland in The US have Irish family origins themselves. It’s true most people running organizations such as INC Caucus mostly do, but there’s actually a long history of people who were not themselves of Irish origin and had Irish sympathies. Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, and Bill Clinton are just a few prize winning examples of people whose family background if anything were from very historically anti-Irish demographics, but were well known for their Hibernian sympathies.
One thing that’s likely to make the Brexit mess different from The Troubles is the fact that there’s a track record of non-British Isles and US involvement actually reigning in the worst violence, such as the GFA and The EU’s help in creating The Celtic Tiger. This undermines the view that Ireland is sort of doomed to suffer and that any foreign meddling can only do more harm than good……The thinking of from the late 1950’s until the 1990’s, was that Ireland was just a sort of hopeless country that was damanged beyond any meaningful shot at repair since The Famine, and that Britain was a Cold War ally we couldn’t afford to alienate in the slightest.
Now that the GFA produced peace for two decades and Britain is obviously the main one who wrecked it, changes the equations quite a bit. There are loads of people who were never going to understand the intricacies of The Northern Ireland situation as it was in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s-it simply wasn’t a realistic expectation for them- who can easily look at a lot of stuff that Britain has done or that some Brexiteers have said and easily conclude “That’s just wrong.” I am in a heavily African American workplace, and when Patel made that comment about “threaten Ireland with food shortage”, I remember some of my coworkers standing waiting for The Light Rail just making fun of that from a standpoint of “Who could come up with something that strange?” I told them, “One of the reasons that was seen as so offensive was because Britain shipped grain and other foods out of Ireland during The Potato Famine. The British Civil Servant in charge of any kind of disaster in The Empire, to the limited extent they had such things then, said that The Potato Blight was God’s punishment to The Irish so they shouldn’t mitigate the disaster so much.”, “God’s punishment for what?” one older man asked, “I dunno. Not wanting to be ruled by Britain. Being Catholic. They wouldn’t stop speaking Gaelic. He was never all that clear.” They were pretty appalled. Of course, to avoid raising suspicion that this is some made up “Oppression Olympics” story, it was important to stick to the terms they already know, and ways of framing things that don’t sound like oppression Olympics and hit people’s “That’s too crazy to make up!” instinct.
Of course, trying to explain that The Troubles wasn’t simply “fighting over religion” to most of these people would have been tough. They can easily see why much of The Brexiteers behavior is outrageous with little explanation on top of the daily news.
“…we are moving from a negotiating position where Britain is threatening to impose a new economic partition of Ireland to a situation where some in Britain are now lobbying for the regulatory annexation of Ireland.”
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It’s that and more. Ireland is being set up as the scapegoat for the fallout from a no deal crash out.
Corbyn’s plan is about the only shot of avoiding a no deal crash out, with the LibDems being Liberals it doesn’t seem like it is going to succeed.
If I were there I’d start investing in the lucrative viagra smuggling routes across the Irish sea. The Fingal co. coast has plenty of good spots.
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He wants a new deal as well from the EU and constantly voted against the EU at every opportunity as he was a supporter of Tony Benn, a decent man but strong against the EEC/EU
It’s hard to say what Corbyn wants in the long run out of Brexit, he’s somewhat of a cipher in that regard. The changes he would like from the EU are somewhat clearer. But those are to one side of the crisis, his plan is a democratic route out of a no deal Brexit, or at least an endorsement of it by the electorate.
The Brits army thugs will be able to use all the “skills” they picked up in the North when the riots hit the streets of merry old England, the Yellow Hammer reports states that very clearly.
If they try that it could turn into another English Civil War.
If it comes to that, it could turn into a second English Civil War.
Boris acts like Viagra to the EU, he only hardens everyone’s position
Very witty PaddyT, very witty indeed. Humour alleviates.
The Europeans however know a dangerous moron and his intentions to lock in NI whilst locking out the ROI are clear to everyone. Indeed, the declaration that free movement will end the day after the 30th October are a further example of the way that he seeks to create chaos across Europe.
Presumably in an Irish context that will mean folks will not be able to cross the border. Well that’s a bit of a joke because unless and until PM Jonhnson builds a wall right across Ireland with guards it just won’t happen. But what about people travelling too and from mainland Europe,
Is really intending to cause absolute chaos. With 3,000,000 EU citizens resident in the U.K. and settled with jobs and homes quite how this will play out one shudders to think. Or what about the reverse of all the Brits, and that includes Irish abroad. Or the import and export of the hundreds of millions of tonnes of goods coming through the ports.
And reciprocal health care, the right to drive in other EU states, the right to operate businesses, or work, or the right to a million and one other things. If these haven’t been agreed, and the UK crashes out in a fit of belligerence, the may we’ll need the troops on the streets that they are gaming for. It’s like a declaration of war, and how do you deal with an aggressor. Do you, lie down to him.
But as Boris the balloon’s father Stanley said, who cares if the Irish start shooting each other. Sadly it might not just be the Irish, that the bastard was myopically thinking about.
No surrender, rule Britannia. Got it punks?