Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
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.

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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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