Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
No, this doesn't need armies to resolve, just some diplomatic resolve. Ireland and the EU don't have much leverage over what happens in N. Ireland because it is under UK sovereignty. Nobody disputes this as the matter was settled under the Good Friday Agreement whereby it takes a 50%+1 to transfer Sovereignty from Britain to Ireland.

We're not there yet, and it is doubtful if a majority in Ireland would want sovereignty over the north while a very large minority are adamantly opposed. What we need is a less binary solution, and this is where the EU came in as an over-arching constitutional structure the large majority could accept.

Brexit has changed all that and we are back to binary solutions in the minds of many. But the EU does have huge control and leverage over what happens in Calais and over "equivalence" in services and in lots of other areas the UK wants cooperation and support from the EU.

This is where the Johnson/Frost strategy is so incredibly short-sighted. The crowing over vaccine procurement has created mortal enemies and I doubt Denis Staunton, the IT London correspondent is up to speed on the change of sentiment in Brussels.

The next step I expect is for Maroš Šefčovič to announce he has appointed some civil service flunky unpopular elsewhere to take his place as co-chairman of the joint UK-EU monitoring committee and direct counterpart to Lord Frost. It made sense for a Commission Vice-President to be involved when Gove was his counterpart, as Gove is effectively deputy Prime Minister.

No doubt the UK will complain that the EU is appointing yet another unelected official to a key role to which the EU will respond by pointing towards Lord Frost...

The Joint Committee will then become a shitshow with the Commission official saying "non" until such time as the UK withdraws all threats of unilateral action. Disputes will be escalated to to Gove/Šefčovič level and vd Leyen will only get involved with Boris whenever a new deal is agreed.

But the real action will be in Calais and on equivalence for services. The next Biden intervention will not be on N. Ireland, but on UK/EU relations which will have deteriorated so much that they have imperilled NATO and western alliance cohesion on a host of global issues.  Watch this space.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 6th, 2021 at 11:18:35 AM EST
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