Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I found this backgrounder quite interesting; it even explains some of your reactions that, at first, I didn't fully understand.

Why Dublin won't yield on the backstop - Eurointelligence

If border checks have to go up as a result of no deal, it may look materially the same, but it is politically a different story. For one thing, the responsibility for the debacle would rest squarely with London, particularly as seen from the narrow vantage point of Irish nationalism. The government in Dublin would still be shielded from Irish nationalists' accusation of having accepted some deal with London entailing the possibility of a return to border checks. To be clear, this is not just a question of appearances, but one of a possible revival of now-latent tensions in Irish politics, comporting a possible threat of Irish-on-Irish terrorism.

Just as importantly, the unspoken Irish gamble is that border checks as result of no deal would sooner or later be overcome. The hope is that the UK would find a no-deal relationship with the EU economically and politically so uncomfortable that reason would ultimately prevail. A chastened London would come back to the negotiating table to work out a deal with the EU entailing the restoration of an open inner-Irish border, this time for good.

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 at 07:53:30 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 at 08:41:31 PM EST
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At one level, the government is playing a long game - looking forward to a time when the DUP will no longer hold the balance of power, and UK objections to N. Ireland remaining within the customs unions disappear.

Sinn Fein is actually pushing for a referendum on Irish Unity in the event of a no deal Brexit. That would solve the border problem too, but most doubt such a referendum is winnable in the short term, and there is also the small matter of the £10 Billion p.a. London subsidy of the North, which Dublin cannot afford.

The official position is that this is a problem for the UK to resolve, either now or even after a no deal Brexit. It is a game of chicken. Dublin is hoping Brussels won't be too legalistic or impatient, and allow the situation to linger until a solution on the lines of N. Ireland remaining within the customs union is agreed. After all this only reflects the democratic wish of N. Ireland to remain within the EU.

In the short-term the problem may be relatively trivial - while there is no regulatory divergence or widespread imposition of tariffs. But the German's aren't noted for their ability to tolerate ambiguity - an Irish trait - and so sooner or later a crisis may occur.

The Commission should be wary of doing the UK's dirty work for them - and caving in to DUP obstinacy when the majority in N. Ireland clearly  want to live and work as part of the union. They have rights too.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 at 09:34:33 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 at 09:47:28 PM EST
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I'm not sure that Britain can afford £10 billion pa for N Ireland after brexit. There's a lot of things we won't be able to afford, but propping up a bunch of bigoted medievalists is one of the more easily removed.

I have long felt that if Westminster wants to sort out N Ireland, then the mainland non-sectarian political parties should organise there. Whilst they refuse to do so and allow sectarian parties to dominate political debate in Ulster to the exclusion of all else, then there will never be progress there.

The deliberate propagation of sectarianism by the Westminster Establishment is the most sure sign that Ulster is a colonial project. In consequence, all talk of it being an indivisable part of the United Kingdom is complete tosh, a knowing and deliberate lie promoted at the expense of community harmony for the sake of fostering a false sense of superior citizenship on the part of Protestants, against a catholic minority.

If non-sectarian parties organised, this sense of superiority would be revealed as baseless. Historically the Westminster Establishment never wanted to risk that inevitable sense of betrayal on the part of the protestants because of the importance of Befast to the defence establishment. I really don't don't believe Ulster is that important anymore. Ulster is disposable, even if Westminster won't admit it. Yet.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 at 10:17:54 PM EST
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