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So you're basically saying a trade war over the Irish border should facilitate a British government more open to compromise? I have a bridge for sale here...

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 Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:53:43 PM EST
No. A general election leading to a UK government not dependent on DUP support will resolve the issue.  And yes. The UK will not go to war over Ireland. Your bridge will be blown up...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 04:03:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're getting ahead of yourself now, Frank. The bridges will start getting blown up when Ireland goes back to war with itself, as a consequence of a hard border.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 04:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is what I am trying to avoid...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 05:02:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Frank, I'm about as far from an optimist as it's possible to get, but I think NI has had a taste of peace and likes the flavor.  The DUPes are allowed to make a lot of noise, but how much of their support is solid?  NI doesn't exist in the UK without massive subsidies, and how forthcoming will those be under a hard-right Tory regime?  Add into the mix the social changes of the last 20 years, including the Republic's massive liberalization and most of NI's population discovering it can get on nicely with the southern neighbors, thank you very much.  So when NI finally has to face the issue that has been looming for a century, is it more likely to reboot The Troubles or to tell Ever Littler England to keep itself and its attitudes on the other side of the Irish Sea?
by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 04:46:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The DUPes are allowed to make a lot of noise, but how much of their support is solid?

Their support is solid enough amongst their core fundamentalist protestant base, but that only amounts to 20-30% of the electorate. Most of them actually quite dislike and distrust the English, but know that their diminishing hegemony is based on the "English Backstop" made up of guarantees of being part of the UK and in receipt of £10 Billion p.a. in subsidies. They know the Republic of Ireland couldn't afford such largesse, and, in any case, would have different priorities in spending what subsidies it could afford.

But the elephant in the room is the long term decline and systematic underdevelopment of the N. Ireland economy which has made those subsidies necessary in the first place. From having a GDP/Capita of about twice that of the Republic on independence in 1922, that ratio has now been reversed to being half that of the Republic. If re-unified now, Northern Ireland would be a proportionately larger drag on the all Ireland economy than the former GDR is on Germany.

In principle, however, absent civil unrest, there is no reason why N. Ireland should be any less productive than the Republic if run on similar lines within the EU. The problem is this could take 30+ years to achieve - see continuing underperformance and de-population of the former East Germany within Germany - and there is no way the Republic could afford that under-performance in the meantime, especially with changes in global corporate taxation rules in the offing.

So the DUP support base is stuck in something of a time warp, economically, politically, and socially, with no one really wanting them or being able to afford them, and with their traditional strategy of just saying no to everyone losing its efficacy. The EU/Ireland has steadfastly ignored their objections to the backstop and I suspect Boris Johnson will probably end up doing so too. They will then become a very nasty minority to have to deal with in N. Ireland, Ireland, the UK and, by association, in the EU.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 10:51:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some suggestions that Boris might make the customs border in the Irish sea and rely on Labour leave votes to get him over the line.

FSM knows if there's the votes for that

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 07:13:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect not. But he could then go to the country campaigning on his deal which will be different from May's in that it doesn't trap GB in the Customs Union and Single Market and thus allows the UK to negotiate its own trade deals and control immigration - i.e. deliver on a managed Brexit. If one is to believe the Telegraph poll, he would even have a chance of winning...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 08:05:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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