There is, I think, another aspect to this, which has not really been commented on widely - an elephant in the room - which should perhaps be addressed. Quite apart from the fact that the Tory govt is supported by the DUP, there is a considerably body of opinion in the Tory party which is strongly anti-Irish and views Ireland in a rather condescending, supercilious manner. So, it's one thing to view to be forced into a course of action by the EU (for that, in many Brexiteers' minds, read "the Germans"), it's quite another to have that done by Ireland or the Irish. Obviously, they won't say this publicly, but I think that there is an aspect to the Brexiteers' psychology which is perhaps being overlooked and for Britain to be forced into agreeing to a backstop, it would effectively be perceived as Britain being forced by the EU to surrender to the Irish. Of course, the Tory party is also the "Conservative and Unionist" party, so that is another factor, but there would be a considerable body of opinion within the Tory party which would find it difficult to accept a solution which involved a concession to Ireland, particularly where it involved the sovereignty of NI. And here again, they are seeing NI as simply a territory, without any consideration of the interests of its population.
Good post. Fintan O'Toole make the good point about English Identity as being a cause of brexit. https://youtu.be/1SeadvWsn_k?t=340
Here is what I find funny, when Bojo said they could have an electronic border he was called a loon, then someone went and negotiated a back-stop agreement with the EU that no one in either party wants, now there is talk about an electronic border.
Getting very interesting as we approach the March deadline.
Please tell us about this 'electronic border' of which you speak of. If it's so simple and workable then the backstop won't need to be implemented.
How can it be that the people who are saying that the solution is easy - "lets just have some cameras" are the same people who say "no, signing up to a backstop agreement that stays in place until somebody invents that solution completely unacceptable" ? How? The people who say that it's easy are the same ones who say that the UK cannot sign up to a commitment to leave things the way they are in Ireland, until this easy solution is in place.
Are people who believe this completely inable to think critically?
Yep, the same technology that has not been implemented anywhere worldwide..... or even invented yet!!
ERG cling to it as it is the only “answer” they have....
I happily take some economical headwind just to see how the Brexiteers are coping with the results of a Hard Brexit. A very interesting political and economic experiment
I think it is important for people to learn that elections have consequences.
With Brexit, the EU may be beginning to devolve to a smaller and less powerful institution, going back more to its origins to coordinate trade.
You are talking in riddles here, for the single market to operate (i.e. the origins, the EEC) you need to co-ordinate standards and rules which you have criticised above. For the single market to be wholly effective a customs union, bringing down borders is also necessary.
And if you don't, some players will cheat the market - to the detriment of others.
Too many regulations to coordinate trade
Honestly, I never understand people making this argument. Think about it with a bit of perspective. Pretend for a moment that you are, for example, a chocolate manufacturer and exporter in the UK. Before the EU existed
: You have to comply individually with the food safety laws of each individual nation that you export to. Assuming that you are already UK compliant, that means you have to research the other 26 different food safety standards and adapt your production so that your products are compliant with each market. Switzerland requires "Milk Chocolate" to be made with full fat milk. Sweden requires trim milk. Those two are contradictory - Chocolate bound for Sweden will have to be produced in a different production run from Chocolate bound for Switzerland. Austria has no specific food safety rules relating to chocolate, so can be made with either batch. Belgium requires the Cocoa used in food products to be certified 'fair trade' Cocoa and audits this rigorously - none other countries that you export this have such a requirement, so do you make Chocolate bound for Belgium on its own production run with (more expensive) 'free trade' Cocoa? Or do you just not export to Belgium altogether? Italy requires that the factory be lab-tested for cleanliness on a monthly basis and audits this closely.
Once the Chocolate is made there are a tonne of packaging regulations that must be complied with for each country. Germany requires that the nutritional information be printed on the back of the label and that this be done in lettering no less that 3mm tall. Netherlands says 1.5mm. Belgium does not permit regular chocolate to be sold in less than 20gram pieces. Denmark has none of those rules, but does state that confectioneries must be sold in 100% biodegradable packaging.
The point being that there is 27 different sets of regulations to follow defining indigence, foodsafety, packaging etc. Complying with all of them makes for significantly more complication, which equates to added cost, or not exporting to some markets. Once the Chocolate leaves the factory, there are no tariffs to be paid for it to be exported to any of the other EU members, making for a relatively even playing field. With the EU
: Chocolate manufacturer has once set of rules to follow defining permitted indigence, foodsafety & packaging. Chocolate bound for all EU nations can be made in each production run, with the only complication being the need for labeling in different languages to match the market.With the UK outside the EU
: Chocolate manufacturer has two sets of rules to follow: one for EU bound chocolate and one for Chocolate to be sold domestically in the UK. Although the UK's politicians have valiantly and courageously fought to "take back control", most of the Chocolate made at this factory is not bound for the UK, so is following the EU regulations anyway. Once the EU bound Chocolate leaves the UK, it will no longer be entering the EU from a Member State. With a hard Brexit and no Free Trade Agreement between the UK and EU a tariff will be charged. The tariff is 35.00%
for White Chocolate and 43.00%
for Chocolate containing Cocoa. It will be very hard to compete with Belgian, Austrian or Italian Chocolate producers with a tariff of 43.00%.
What I wonder is what will happen to the left-right political spectrum in Brexit Britain, will poor people realize that their fate is mostly due to the rich ruling their country, not the EU ?
One think to worry about is if Scotland becomes independent. Without the Scottish seats in parliament, what's left of the UK will be strangled for generations by a Tory majority.
A funny consequence of the chaos of brexit is that the right wing extremist party in Sweden has dropped the demand for us to leave.
At least Brexit is having one positive effect!