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The Irish Government is already saying that it wants guarantees there will be no hard border even in the event of a no deal Brexit.
Frank, if there is no deal there are no guarantees of anything. Here it is Ireland that has to explain how it expects this to happen.

This shows that Ireland is playing a very dangerous game of brinksmanship. Ireland's brinksmanship is principled, but that doesn't make it any more feasible to have a no-deal Brexit without an Irish border.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 19th, 2017 at 10:22:15 AM EST
And the Irish government knows this.  But it isn't brinkmanship when you don't have a choice. This is the only time the Irish government will have any leverage in the whole process. Varadker can't afford to be outflanked by Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail on this or his government is history.

Once the second phase of negotiations on trade and transition begins, it is the larger countries and economic players who will be calling the shots and nobody is under any illusions that Irish interests and concerns will have much influence.

The Irish government is fighting hard not to become isolated in Europe on this so it will be interesting to see if the UK diplomatic offensive has been effective in disrupting the common front the EU27 have heretofore shown.

But rather than actually progressing the negotiations in Brussels the UK has been focused on a wider diplomatic offensive with May, Johnson and Davies spending a lot of time schmoozing EU national leaders and emphasising their common bilateral interests.

In footballing terms this is known as playing the man rather than the ball. I await the success or otherwise of this strategy with interest... Merkel and Macron remain key but may have other fish to fry...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 19th, 2017 at 12:19:56 PM EST
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