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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
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