The screw is being turned on the DUP

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joe sod

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It is different. It is covered by the free movement agreement between UK and Ireland which is planned to keep - we're not part of Schengen for example and originally the plan was for us to remain out of it for this reason
Whatever about the backstop it is vitally important that the common travel area is maintained at all costs. This was a lifeline for ireland during the financial crisis when graduates and tradesmen were able to find work in the uk when our jobs market was non existent. The UK is vital for graduates to get their initial experience, their companies are much bigger and deeper than ours.
I sincerely hope that in the coming months and if brexit negotiations become intractable that the irish authorities in a fit of pique dont jettison the centuries old common travel area to join the shengen zone. There are some continental countries that now deeply regret being part of shengen due to the difficulties in controlling illegal immigration.
 

EmmDee

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I would have to respectfully disagree. It is set out clearly in the British Government EU Exit document above that taking back control of borders means an end to free movement and new controls for a fairer immigration system.
If there are no border and customs controls required at the UK/EU between NI and RoI, as the DUP claim, then why would there be any need for border and customs controls at the UK/EU borders in Britain?
I understand that but their position has up to now also called out the Ireland / UK free movement agreement and recognised the need to maintain it - which doesn't mean at some point they won't withdraw from that (or threaten to). But for the moment, the position above should be read in conjunction with the free movement agreement.
 

WolfeTone

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Yes, and all of that is welcome, it is an Irish/British arrangement.

So im a Dundalk construction firm that regularly takes construction projects in the north each year. My site supervisor is Polish. Without the WA, or any subsequent trade deal, how will a no-deal Brexit effect my business.
According to DUP, there will be no checks at the border, and any checks needed can be done away from the border.
My Polish site supervisor will be able to enter the UK, unimpeded, and work in the UK.
This is at odds with what is being touted by British government after Brexit.
And if there are no need for checks at the UK/EU border in Ireland, then why have checks on UK/EU border in Britain?
It is apparent to me that London, DUP and everyone else considers the border in Ireland to be different, separate, from the heavy customs and immigration posts in Britain at sea and airports.
And they are correct, it is a different situation. Impossible to police for starters, with populations in close proximity on both sides of the border. The level of trade, relative to Irish/British/rest of EU, is miniscule.
Nevertheless, if DUP are intent on NI not being treated separately or differently, then to me, that would mean the application of same checks at the border as in Heathrow and Dover.
That is not practical and not desirable, so a separate, different arrangement for Irish border is called for, which is what the DUP are advocating for - frictionless, free movement.
Which means that the DUP are agreeable to NI being treated separately from rest of UK, but just haven't gotten around to saying it.
 

EmmDee

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Well - a couple of things.

The CTA isn't a north/south thing and not driven by the DUP. It is an Ireland / UK thing so applies east / west as well as north / south. I'm not sure it is anything to do with the DUP. It is also related to people and not goods or services. So your Polish manager could go up North without checks - but he couldn't work there. Or probably couldn't drive a construction vehicle through without being stopped and asked about it.

There won't be a difference with the various ports. There will be checks on the border - just as there will in other ports - for goods & customs. And it's possible that Irish passport holders could join UK passport queue in Heathrow for example. So it's not really treating the Northern border differently.

The bigger question for you might be whether you will have ability to pitch for jobs up North after Brexit
 

rob oyle

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The CTA isn't a north/south thing and not driven by the DUP. It is an Ireland / UK thing so applies east / west as well as north / south. I'm not sure it is anything to do with the DUP. It is also related to people and not goods or services. So your Polish manager could go up North without checks...
Just to say - the CTA applies to British and Irish citizens, not EU citizens in general. So free travel continuing is not the same for all residents of the two countries.
 

WolfeTone

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So your Polish manager could go up North without checks - but he couldn't work there. Or probably couldn't drive a construction vehicle through without being stopped and asked about it.
The bigger question for you might be whether you will have ability to pitch for jobs up North after Brexit
This doesn't sound like the frictionless trade that the DUP are advocating. If I have to hire new staff, that is a cost. Or if my Polish employee needs to apply for a work visa, that is additional burden.
And if it puts in jeopardy my trade and business, as you have alluded to, then the DUP promise of a borderless trade is bogus - meaning the backstop is critical.
 

EmmDee

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This doesn't sound like the frictionless trade that the DUP are advocating....
The whole "frictionless trade" or "nobody wants to put up borders" is a bluff - not just from the DUP. Both governments are saying it as well. But it's politics not reality. Neither side want to put in a position where they are blamed for doing so.

The reality is that if there is no deal, both sides are obliged to monitor trade across borders - unless they applied "no checks" across all ports of entry (which won't happen). So it's a bluff. But it's not a DUP bluff - it's being said by UK, Ireland and EU (to some extent).

No deal means some form of cross-border checks
 

WolfeTone

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The whole "frictionless trade" or "nobody wants to put up borders" is a bluff - not just from the DUP
That is what the backstop is for. To prevent border checks, customs checks, immigration checks. ie keep things the way they are now. It was proposed for Ireland only. The British government applied it to the whole of the UK.

It is the DUP who saying that there is no need for the backstop. That frictionless trade can continue without it. That frictionless trade and travel can continue while a free trade agreement is negotiated. Which is nonsense.

It is nonsense because such a scenario makes mockery of Brexit in the first place. What is the point of Brexit, if after leaving the EU the laws that permit free trade and free travel across UK and EU are still applicable after 31st Oct?

So a backstop was agreed, within the WA, to facilitate the current arrangements, and an orderly Brexit, until such time as something else is agreed - ie a free trade agreement.

But as you quite rightly point out;

No deal means some form of cross-border checks
Here is Nigel Dodds


His point is that there is no need for a backstop in the WA. Clearly, without it, or a subsequent trade deal that removes the need for customs and immigration checks, then checks will be required.
Otherwise what is Brexit about at all?
 

EmmDee

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Yeah I know - but what I'm saying is that it isn't JUST the DUP. It is the whole "no deal will be grand" lot. In fact, Dodds is just parroting the ERG loons.

There is a whole hard-Brexit sect in UK politics that are throwing out all sorts of red herrings (GATT 24, side deals, existing mini deals - all that guff) to make the claim that no-deal won't be that bad. This includes the DUP but it doesn't originate from them. They are taking the lead from the likes of JRM and others

I'm not sure that Dublin Govt stating "we won't be the ones to put up borders" was a smart long term strategy. I know they didn't want to been seen to be the ones threatening it (for the sake of the GFA etc). But I think it would have been politically smarter to have stated from the beginning that a no-deal Brexit and the GFA are mutually exclusive
 

WolfeTone

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Yeah but the point about the DUP is, they are a tiny constituency in the whole scheme of things, and represent a minority view within NI.
The real politik says that a British government that doesn't rely on their votes to stay in power, would do the pragmatic thing and agree a backstop for NI, citing GFA and removing the backstop after a free-trade deal with EU.
That is the point of this thread. There may be bluster from a lot of quarters, but it is the DUP, in my opinion, that needs to be called out specifically for its bluster.
Ideally, a form of words, as Merkel alluded to, that doesn't see anyone losing face is what is required, but ultimately it will be treating NI separate to the rest of the UK which afterall, is what the DUP are asking for but wont admit to.
 

Purple

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I think the DUP position is that we (as in Ireland the country) should move away from the single market in order to facilitate a frictionless border. After all, we are really British, aren't we?
 

WolfeTone

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I think the DUP position is that we (as in Ireland the country) should move away from the single market in order to facilitate a frictionless border. After all, we are really British, aren't we?
Yes, I've had this discussion with some Unionists (DUP) before. The talk of the whole of Ireland re-joining the UK was proposed. I wasn't against it, I just asked that in exchange, the Home Rule parliament of 1912, as legislated for through the British parliament be implemented. An All-Ireland parliament for a return of Ireland back into the UK.

They couldn't contemplate the idea I'm afraid to say.
 

joe sod

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Ideally, a form of words, as Merkel alluded to, that doesn't see anyone losing face is what is required, but ultimately it will be treating NI separate to the rest of the UK which afterall, is what the DUP are asking for but wont admit to.
leo varadker is not helping things by continuing to say that the backstop cant be tweeked, even if he shut up for a while it would be a help. If they are to get the dup on side with a "more acceptable" form of words then they need to stop inflaming things. If the UK crashes out then leo varadker will be in big trouble . Surely he needs to see beyond brexit and the economic turmoil that will hit this country
 

WolfeTone

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I can see where you are coming from, but for every time BJ says the backstop needs to be abolished, Leo, and Barnier, need to remind it wont be.
It is the British government that has got itself into this mess. One calamitous Tory decision after the other.
To me the answer lies with the DUP, and the British government willingness to 'help' them along. The WA is all ready and set. Britain can be out of the EU, the Single Market, the Customs Union etc by 31st Oct if they want. BJ can be the hero.
With the only compromise to make, that NI remain in CU, SM until such time as a free trade agreement is made which will remove the backstop from NI then.
There are zero Tory votes, zero Tory seats in NI. A majority of NI wants to stay in EU.

Everything in pragmatic terms, including the DUP insistence that there should be frictionless trade between North and South, points to NI being treated separately.
 

Duke of Marmalade

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Simon Varadkar really need to turn down the green dial here. Sammy Wilson has a fair point (I cringe to admit) when he says the sea border proposal by the pan nationalist front is in breach of the GFA (ok a bit rich given that the DUP did not accept the GFA). He points out that one of the key planks of the GFA is the principle of consent. What this really means is that the constitutional position of NI can only change with the consent of a majority in NI, or more crudely the unionists/protestants have a veto on any change. The border isn't mentioned in the GFA but the pan nationalists have convinced everyone from Merkel to Pelossi that a visible trade border on the island is in breach of the spirit of the GFA. Well to me, the imposition of a sea border between NI and GB is every bit as much a breach of the spirit of the GFA unless it is tested for consent. Any proposal for a NI only backstop should be subject to a referendum in NI (ok throw in a border poll at the same time for balance). Now we keep getting reminded that the DUP view on Brexit is a minority one in NI. I am not so sure and I would say the odds would be against the sea border getting a majority Yes in a referendum especially now that Simon Varadkar has made this as much of a tribal issue as a Celtic/Rangers match.

On the freedom of movement thing, my understanding is that Irish citizens have, before the EU, during the EU and after the EU the right to migrate to Britain. There are therefore no checks at Ireland/UK entry points. Of course that leaves open the possibility for illegal entry of foreigners into the UK via Ireland, which has always been the case. But frictionless illegal entry is a far cry from freedom of movement - there would be no rights to work, social welfare etc. It wasn't an issue pre single market days that there was this different approach to checks between Holyhead and Dover and there is no reason why it should matter in the future.
 

cremeegg

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On the freedom of movement thing, my understanding is that Irish citizens have, before the EU, during the EU and after the EU the right to migrate to Britain. There are therefore no checks at Ireland/UK entry points.
Its been a while since I was in Heathrow, but I well remember being "checked" there. Three hours is a locked room with several large men and a woman with a broken Irish accent.
 

WolfeTone

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that the constitutional position of NI can only change with the consent of a majority in NI, or more crudely the unionists/protestants have a veto on any change.
The backstop is not a constitutional change to NI. That is nothing more than drum-beating from Unionism.

It will still be part of the UK. It wont be part of the EU. It will have separate trade and customs rules for dealing with goods and services in/out of EU, but a constitutional change it is not.
No more than NI uses a...separate...form of the Sterling currency. No more than its...separate...laws on abortion, same-sex marriage, language Acts, etc.
All the backstop is doing is facilitating an orderly and pragmatic Brexit in Ireland until such time as a free-trade agreement is agreed between UK/EU.
Unfortunately, the Dodds and the Wilsons have convinced everyone from May to BJ to Rees-Mogg that the backstop represents a threat to the Union.
It doesn't, it is a simple, pragmatic facilitator for trade and customs.
Unfortunately, however, the numbers game in HoC has sold the British government a pup and captured the entire British political establishment into a quagmire.
To think a NI Secretary once said that Britain had no economic, selfish or strategic interest in NI.
And yet here we are, 100yrs after the first phoney constitutional crisis which usurped British law at the behest of a Unionist minority. Is history to repeat itself, or can 'Great' Britain withstand the emotive flag-waving claptrap of Ulster Unionism?

Now we keep getting reminded that the DUP view on Brexit is a minority one in NI. I am not so sure
You may not be so sure, in the same way that im not so sure a Brexit vote would pass pass on a second round. For sure, the over-riding emotive sentiment of the UK leaving the EU still prevails, but it has come unhinged somewhat by the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. Something that was promised would never happen.
This is evident in recent by-elections where the Brexit Party has failed to capitalize.
But all of this is speculation. Lets stick with the facts. NI voted to Remain. The DUP represents a minority view in NI on Brexit.

there would be no rights to work, social welfare etc. It wasn't an issue pre single market days that there was this different approach to checks between Holyhead and Dover and there is no reason why it should matter in the future.
It may not have been an issue pre-single market days, but unless you missed the referendum campaigning on Brexit, you might have picked up on a sense that illegal immigration is quite an issue today.
In Britain at least, perhaps not so much in NI, but that is maybe a...separate...issue.
The point being, that behind the emotive illegal immigrants issue, of hiring 500 border force patrols for UK air and seaports (as announced this week) lies a more dull and boring reality. The UK/EU border in Ireland is different to UK/EU borders in Britain. It cannot be policed effectively. So notions of ramping up port patrols to prevent illegal entry into the UK are doable in Britain, not so in Ireland. The UK/EU border in Ireland is...separate...to the UK/EU borders in Britain.
Pragmatic and practical solutions are required for the continuance of orderly trade and customs - a frictionless border, as everyone has agreed to (including DUP).
But what is the point of Brexit, from a DUP perspective, if everyone and everything can come and go as they please into the UK via the border in Ireland? That is a...separate...approach to what is being touted for Britain.
The point being, the DUP recognise that NI is different, it is separate - economically, politically, geographically - from the rest of the UK.
It is nothing more than idealistic bombast that prevents them entering into pragmatic and realistic solutions so that all of the people of this island can move one step further away from the hatred and acrimony that prevents its people living in a real peace.
 

WolfeTone

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More Brexit shambles. The reciprocal citizens rights of UK and EU nationals is already settled in the WA.

An effective backstop, for 3m EU citizens in the UK and 1.3m UK citizens living in EU to protect against any unnecessary and detrimental upheaval to their lives, jobs and careers, and families after Brexit.


But because of the Ulster Unionism whim - "we cant be treated separately", this pragmatic and utterly sensible approach to citizens rights in both UK and EU is now politicised.
 
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