Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Ireland and the UK have both signed into Schengen cooperation agreements. They enjoy the status of partial participants.

This participation requires the free movement of people, therefore, if Brexit is to be taken literally, the UK will also exit Schengen cooperation. Under that scenario, the new Northern Ireland - Republic of Ireland border will enter a statute similar to the Norwegian - Russian border. By default this means thorough border controls.

Some have suggested a special agreement between the UK and Ireland to leave the border as it is. However, this puts Ireland's partial participation into Schengen in question.

I refrain from issuing any definitive prediction on this matter, because it really is a thorny issue.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Tue Aug 2nd, 2016 at 11:39:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish Taoiseach, Enda kenny, has been busily making the argument that the Peace Process is a special case.  Having gotten a bit of a brush off from Merkel in Berlin, he got a much more sympathetic hearing from Theresa May in Downing Street and Hollande in Dublin.  I have already discussed the problematic aspects of the Brexit process for Northern Ireland in some detail in Brexit and a United Ireland, but no one - not even in Ireland - sees the future status of Northern Ireland as being a deal breaker for either May or the EU in the forthcoming talks.  That is also why the Irish Government may get their way and achieve some kind of special status for the island of Ireland in whatever new relationship is negotiated between the UK and the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 2nd, 2016 at 01:57:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I missed the bit about Merkel brushing Kenny off over Northern Ireland. She really is a piece of shit of an Empress of Europe.

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 Tue Aug 2nd, 2016 at 07:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be honest, nobody made too much of it. It's early days in the "negotiation" and at this stage every one is carving out their formal broad brush positions.  In Germany's case, that means one deal between UK and EU with no side deals or special cases for previously existing pre-EU common travel areas or trade deals.  I wouldn't really expect her to say anything different at this stage, as otherwise there could be a proliferation of 27 special cases.

Northern Ireland simply isn't strategically important enough for anyone except Ireland to become a major stumbling block to a final deal.  Irish diplomats will do their homework, network diligently, and hype the risk of the Peace Process breaking down. In the end a few clauses specific to N. Ireland and Ireland/UK will be included if there is a formal Brexit agreement.  

The problems arise if there simply is no deal and the UK simply falls out of the EU at the end of the 2 year Article 50 period. Then force Majeure could take over, and Ireland will simply refuse to operate border controls whatever the EU might say.

That could become a major flashpoint and crisis in Ireland/EU relations which it would be unwise to underestimate.  Northern Ireland could become a "back channel" for technically illicit EU/UK trade ignoring tariffs and other controls, although the UK might still want to operate immigration controls at ports connecting with N. I.

These things have a habit of festering on for quite a long time before a solution is found.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 3rd, 2016 at 09:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Germany's case, that means one deal between UK and EU with no side deals or special cases for previously existing pre-EU common travel areas or trade deals.
I thought we were talking about the Good Friday agreement, which is definitely not pre-EU.

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 Fri Aug 5th, 2016 at 07:42:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Irish Government will deliberately conflate the three, arguing that the Good Friday Agreement is predicated on continuing and ever closer ties between the Republic, Northern Ireland, and Britain.  The tsxt of the GFA agreement is very explicit in this respect, and sets up a number of institutions to underline and strengthen those ties, specifically because Unionist agreement is dependent on close ties with Britain, and Nationalist agreement is dependent on ever closer ties with the Republic.  Border controls would be anathema to all of that.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 6th, 2016 at 10:26:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland will be supported by EU in Brexit talks, Minister says

The Government is confident it will be supported by all EU member states when it makes an argument for Ireland's "unique" circumstances during Brexit negotiations, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

The Minister confirmed he had spoken personally to every foreign minister in the EU and said they were unanimous in acknowledging the unusual challenges facing Ireland once Britain left the bloc.

The main issues include the retention of the invisible border with Northern Ireland, the status of the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Britain, and EU involvement in the peace process and institutions established by the Belfast Agreement, as well as the substantial trading relationship between both islands.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 6th, 2016 at 03:59:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you're assuming neither the UK nor Ireland would police the land border even if they're supposed to?

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 Fri Aug 5th, 2016 at 07:43:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Practically, it depends on the difference between the right to travel and the right to work. If the outcome is that Visa free travel between the UK and EU breaks down then the border problem becomes impossible.

If the outcome is simply that EU people lose their right to work in the UK, then border controls don't matter except for checking for excluded individuals at the Irish border - which is a non-Schengen one anyway, so passport controls are carried out anyway. I don't know what you do with those individuals, since they have a right to work in Ireland, and you can't control the IE/UK border in a way that really stops them crossing.

You'd need a much less porous border than used to operate even at the height of the troubles, and the potential for smuggling gangs (there's a long standing fuel smuggling business due to different taxation regimes) to earn money would make the whole thing either impossible or appallingly oppressive.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2016 at 09:55:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Bigotry loses in Romania

by IdiotSavant - Oct 10
6 comments

Wilding

by Cat - Oct 10
7 comments

What A Joke He Is!

by Oui - Oct 12
4 comments

Nobel Prize Medicine - It's Personal

by Oui - Oct 2
25 comments

Occasional Series