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Brexit hardliners have long argued that Ireland will be so scared of the damage a no-deal exit would do to the Irish economy that it will tell the EU to back down on the most controversial part of the withdrawal agreement -- the so-called Irish border backstop. The measure is unpopular in the U.K. because it would keep the U.K. tied to EU trading rules indefinitely unless another solution is found."

Isn't the whole point of "the backstop" that it is only to be a backstop and only to be used in the virtually impossible and, actually, unimaginable case that some other solution to divided Ireland is not found? In other words, if half as much energy had been spend on finding that other magical solution, then the backstop would already be a moot point.

Maybe everybody in the UK will be so overjoyed to have BoJo in office that they will be able to throw the DUP overboard, cast NI adrift, let Ireland unite, and then follow their own English path back to the 1950s.

by asdf on Thu Jul 11th, 2019 at 07:08:06 PM EST
well, that last paragraph is everybody's best guess right now. Nobody likes the DUP, they pissed away any sympathy they might have had in Westminster last year.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jul 11th, 2019 at 07:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why the House of Commons just passed legislation legalising same sex marriage and abortion in NI over their dead bodies - if the NI assembly and Executive aren't back up and running by October, which they won't be. Effectively the HOC has sided with Sinn Fein on these issues - who'd have thunk?

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 11th, 2019 at 10:17:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Four out of five chieftains are workin' on it.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jul 11th, 2019 at 10:28:34 PM EST
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Having a customs border "down the Irish sea" merely means that existing checks at ports and airports for animal welfare, disease control and a number of other things are augmented by checks for compliance to Single Market standards and any tariffs which may apply.

As  a practical matter everyone recognises this is far simpler to do than to try to stop traffic at 300 official and unofficial border crossings along the 500k land border between Ireland and N. Ireland. In many instances the same road weaves across the border several times.

For the avoidance of doubt, this need have absolutely nothing to do with a "united Ireland" except in the fevered imaginations of paranoid loyalists and ideological imperialists many of whom wouldn't know "a technological solution" to customs controls if they met one despite the fact they continually claim this would solve the Irish land border problem...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 12th, 2019 at 11:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Loyalist have been sitting pretty by ruling NI for their own benefit for hundreds of years, wrapped in privilege.  They're losing both power and privilege and they don't like it.  The UVF, et. al., are not going to accept anything that even remotely looks like unification.  As they have recently demonstrated:

Belfast council backs down on Twelfth bonfire after UVF threats.

I note, with cynicism, the UVF disarmed in 2009 so it's a complete mystery what a " severe violent confrontation" would entail.

The UVF, et. al., have received help in the form of logistics and intelligence from various members - and bureaus? - of the UK military and intelligence services for decades.  IMHO, anyone who thinks this isn't continuing is a fool.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jul 12th, 2019 at 05:09:06 PM EST
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There has been a lot of scuttlebutt about a marked increase in illegal imports of weapons in the last 5 years. So far, these have not been accompanied by an increase in armed crime (teenage knife crime doesn't count), so the view has been that these are being held by far right terrorist groups in anticipation of civil strife around brexit.

these people regard the UVF as brothers in arms, so I'm quite sure there has been substantial flow of weapons that way.

Fact is, just as it's undeniable that MI5 were an enthusiastic partner of the UDA/UVF during the period of the Troubles because UK plc had a vested interest in maintaining ownership of significant military industrial assets in Belfast, now that these have closed, UK plc is no longer the lsightest bit interested in supporting these embarrassing historic remnants.

MI5's phones will not be answered when the UDA ring.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 12th, 2019 at 07:30:01 PM EST
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A feasible response to the bondfire: send in a helicopter with a load of orange fire suppressant foam.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 12th, 2019 at 11:48:09 PM EST
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These people's idea of a technological solution is a magic wand.  Which actually explains so many things.
by rifek on Fri Jul 12th, 2019 at 11:35:24 PM EST
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