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Any and every Irish government which attempts to erect customs posts at the land border with N. Ireland will fall, possibly never to be seen again. We fought a civil war over the issue and won't open that can of worms again. If the EU thinks that Theresa May is difficult to deal with, try dealing with an Irish government with it's back to the wall. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. Even if there is wholesale smuggling across the border, some other means will have to be found to deal with it - random, roving customs patrols; trusted trader schemes; checks at Irish air and sea ports etc.

There is a long an honoured tradition in Ireland of laws formally enacted but totally ignored in practice dating back to the time when the British ruled and the Irish subverted wherever possible. This has been in rapid decline in recent years, but can always come back. Think of the black economy in Italy, Greece, Spain and many Eastern European states. It is characteristic of poorer, less rule bound societies or more divided societies with less consensus around the methods of government.

My German relations coming to Ireland used to be astounded at the very relaxed attitude to law enforcement and observance in Ireland when compared to "Vee haf rulz" Germany. That culture has changed in recent years, but you can force an Irish government to sign any law you like, it simply won't happen in practice. Ireland will veto anything it can in the EU until that situation changes. It is simply an existential issue for the Irish political establishment and many more besides.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 22nd, 2018 at 05:32:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
some other means will have to be found to deal with it - random, roving customs patrols; trusted trader schemes; checks at Irish air and sea ports etc.
That should be OK with the EU27, if it works for Ireland. After all, fudging a solution is a time honored tradition in the EU.
by Bernard on Tue Oct 23rd, 2018 at 01:32:49 PM EST
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Controls at air and sea ports can certainly prevent smuggling to the EU26, it's in the Irish Market where smuggled goods may be rife. Not too serious if it is merely some paperwork and tax evasion by private individuals and small businesses etc. and it should be possible to control the Tescos of this world with VAT style import duty collection and on site customs inspections. But we don't want "chlorinated chickens" here either.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2018 at 07:01:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yet it's actually the foodstuffs and the regulations involved that is the sharp end of border situation.

Plus, I imagine that the EU26 may be minded to turn a blind eye if the trade across the border is a trickle. But if it begins to become in any way substantial then they may become much lesss amused.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2018 at 08:32:11 PM EST
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archive

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Oct 24th, 2018 at 06:18:04 AM EST
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way-back cranking machine, 2009

So may I hasten to add: There are always rules to be had. Not those rules, the other rules.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Oct 24th, 2018 at 06:25:30 AM EST
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