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Barnier has specifically signalled that the Irish Border will be treated as a special case and cannot be used as a trojan horse for the EU-UK border in general.
"The UK wants the EU to suspend the application of its laws, its Customs Union, and its Single Market at what will be a new external border of the EU. And the UK wants to use Ireland as a kind of test case for the future EU-UK customs relations. This will not happen."

---<snip>---

It insists, as Mr Barnier has repeatedly done, that it is the responsibility of the UK to spell out such solutions and "ensure that its approach to the challenges of the Irish Border in the context of its withdrawal from the European Union takes into account and protects the very specific and interwoven political, economic, security, societal and agricultural context and frameworks on the island of Ireland".

Ensuring the avoidance of a hard border on the island of Ireland is central to protecting the gains of the peace process underpinned by the Belfast Agreement, the paper argues. It accepts that a new border arrangement on the island will be unique in the EU, but insists these solutions must respect the proper functioning of the internal market and the Customs Union, as well the integrity and effectiveness of the EU's legal order.

Mr Barnier said that he was personally and politically deeply committed to the Irish strand of the talks, a commitment, he said that went back to discussion in the mid-90s with "Nobel winners" John Hume and David Trimble who had impressed on him their sense of the importance of the EU engagement to the peace process.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 7th, 2017 at 06:24:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You Brexit, you fix it
Under the so-called `transparency' rules, the Commission publishes the minutes of its weekly meetings but always with a big delay, which gives the hapless spokesperson the chance to claim that the context has changed in the meantime.

heh
[Barnier] added the UK appears to be going backwards on agreeing on a financial settlement and said he was worried about the UK's paper on Ireland and Northern Ireland, because, in his words, London wants to use Ireland as a kind of test case for the future EU-UK customs relations.

"This will not happen," Barnier said. In its new position, the Commission makes it clear that the solution to the Irish border problem is strictly Britain's responsibility.

EURACTIV asked an Irish diplomat what he thought. He commented that it was up to the UK to propose a workable solution. "You Brexit, you fix it", he said. They created Brexit after all (although it was EURACTIV that indirectly coined it).

Who ya gonna bet on? Barnier or ... Patrick Smyth?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 7th, 2017 at 10:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Patrick Smyth, Irish Times Europe correspondent?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 8th, 2017 at 04:32:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You betcha! The very one whose article titled Do not use Irish Border as test case for EU-UK border, says Barnier to which you refer: "Barnier has specifically signalled that the Irish Border will be treated as a special case  ...

Fear not, Frank! Unity is in hand! The Republic has already priced it -- the true "special case"!

Irish PM warns turning goodwill into border solution looks `extremely difficult' June 2017

"From my meetings in Brussels and elsewhere, there is a real understanding of the issues that are unique to Ireland, a sympathy for us and a lot of goodwill," Varadkar told a conference."
[...]
Varadkar, who took over from Enda Kenny as prime minister this month, maintained his predecessor's view that Dublin would ask the EU for specific assistance in dealing with the economic fallout from Brexit.

Ireland's top civil servant overseeing Brexit planning said last month one of the areas being examined was a potential exemption from EU state aid rules, enabling Ireland to provide financial support to companies adversely affected by Brexit.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Sep 9th, 2017 at 09:46:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I knew Patrick Smyth vaguely in college.  He was never a member of Sinn Fein or various republican organisations. and his ambitions do not stretch to Irish unity.

Survival is the name of the game for the Irish agrifood sector at the moment, already struggling with 20% plus Sterling devaluation. As Barnier himself said, there are no winners from Brexit (except perhaps the European financial services industries).  All else is damage limitation and risk mitigation.

Ireland, in and of itself is not important enough to swing a Brexit deal one way or the other as far as the UK or the EU is concerned. The positive flip side of that, is that it is not big enough in the context of the EU as a whole, to prevent the adoption of a "temporary" solution which may be anomalous in the broader context - so long as any such solution does not have major implications for other EU members.

In that context, private and small trader cross border trade is not material. Using the border as a back door to facilitate major EU/UK trade bypassing tariffs and other controls would be. Allowing the first while preventing the second is the trick that has to be performed. A combination of Certificates of origin, trusted traders, online pre-clearance procedures, number plate recognition cameras, customs spot checks, and customs controls at all Irish ports and airports may accomplish it. But I wouldn't expect anything to be finally agreed until the small hours of the last morning... when the lawyers have all gone to bed.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 10th, 2017 at 05:09:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PS - I would regard any such "solution" to be less problematic for the EU than relaxing state aid rules -which could create all sorts of unwanted precedented for other EU countries.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 10th, 2017 at 05:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You Brexit, you fix it
Under the so-called `transparency' rules, the Commission publishes the minutes of its weekly meetings but always with a big delay, which gives the hapless spokesperson the chance to claim that the context has changed in the meantime.

heh
[Barnier] added the UK appears to be going backwards on agreeing on a financial settlement and said he was worried about the UK's paper on Ireland and Northern Ireland, because, in his words, London wants to use Ireland as a kind of test case for the future EU-UK customs relations.

"This will not happen," Barnier said. In its new position, the Commission makes it clear that the solution to the Irish border problem is strictly Britain's responsibility.

EURACTIV asked an Irish diplomat what he thought. He commented that it was up to the UK to propose a workable solution. "You Brexit, you fix it", he said. They created Brexit after all (although it was EURACTIV that indirectly coined it).

Who ya gonna bet on? Barnier or ... Patrick Smyth?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 7th, 2017 at 10:39:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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