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The Forum > Article Comments > A personal, alternative interpretation of the Northern Ireland Brexit 'Backstop' > Comments

A personal, alternative interpretation of the Northern Ireland Brexit 'Backstop' : Comments

By Charles Essery, published 4/3/2019

So, if you want to do your bit for world peace, try to include Northern Ireland as part of you next (or first) tour of Europe.

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The glaringly obvious is for Scotland to get out of the UK, stand as an independent nation and ask Northern Ireland to join as a loosely aligned autonomous region that wants to stay in the EU.

The fact that neither of these nations has a common land border would assist and enable northern island to become the import-export hub for as to ameliorate border protection and customs etc. Alternatively, apply the same sane logic to the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Wales if so disposed? Could join in a loose entirely autonomous Celtic (UK) union/federation of autonomous states?

And leave the English to Sh!t in their own nest?

A bridge from Wales to Ireland and a tunnel from Scotland to EU Scandinavia? Would allow this to proceed? And possibly funded by the EU?

Hadrian's wall could be rebuilt/restored and used as border control and a customs check?

Alternatively, Thersa May could choose to stop behaving like a power junkie, hold a second referendum and just turn the debacle into an expensive exercise in applied insanity that doesn't harm them too much economically!?

Also allows them to exercise a little more discretion on who enters therein? Given a second referendum could pose that as a, what if we stayed question?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 4 March 2019 12:21:36 PM
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I think the article is more than a little naive, though I do agree with the author's positive sentiments of not wanting Brexit to be divisive. I also support his encouragement for Australians to visit Northern Ireland, which indeed has very many beautiful spots.

The author's asserts that "if Brexit is hard and "backstop-less", there is no reason why the hard border should be an issue, unless the politicians and United Ireland Brigade set the balls rolling again". The fact is that Brexit itself does just that.

The two events that lessened divisions in both parts of Ireland and brought peace to NI were (1) UK and Irish entry into the EU and (2) the peace agreement in Northern Ireland. There used to be a militarised border between NI and the Republic, which is now dismantled. Also, before the UK and Ireland joined the EU, there was a thriving smuggling trade across the border, controlled mainly by paramilitaries and organised criminals.

Brexit, especially if hard, will inevitably lead to greater tax and customs differences between both parts of Ireland. These sorts of changes will bring back conditions that allowed smuggling to thrive. The hard border that everyone says they don't want is the almost inevitable consequence because other ways of controlling smuggling are generally ineffective.

The real risk is that (especially a hard) Brexit will eventually bring about a hard border once again. This would damage commerce on both sides and place the peace agreement under pressure. Other parts of the UK (e.g. Scotland) are also unlikely to be pleased, increasing the likelihood or Scottish Independence.

The biggest problem at the moment is not the antics of either the EU or the Republic of Ireland. Instead it is the inability of politicians in the UK to agree on anything. Nobody knows whether a majority in the UK still supports Brexit, paricularly the increasingly likely hard version.
Posted by Bren, Monday, 4 March 2019 3:05:29 PM
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I had hoped that writing this opinion would help educate and inform people of the facts about the backstop issue and hopefully persuade readers that the scaremongering from Remainers, EU bluffocrats and Irish Republicans NOT to evoke threats to peace. I love being called naïve (I particularly like one of Collins Dictionary definitions “of or denoting art produced in a style which deliberately rejects sophisticated artistic techniques and has a bold directness”), and while the comments are appreciated (as it shows someone thought about the issue), I fear the commentators fail to recognise the real threat of renewal of the IRA. January 19th saw bombing of Londonderry Courthouse and now today three parcel bombs sent from Republic of Ireland to key London Transport hubs. As with all terrorist acts, they aim to evoke fear and angst. I repeat, the Brexit NI Backstop is not a technical/trade issue, but rather a disgraceful political “hand grenade”, lobbed by insensitive political/s/bluffocrats who “will do whatever it takes” to get their way.
The IRA of the 1970’s used electronics degrees from UK/NI universities, were trained by the most ruthless terrorists in Libya and Palestine, and funded generously from the donations collected from ex-pat “patriotic supporters” in the pubs of New York, Boston and from personal experience, Sydney! Today’s future terrorists will probably have PhD’s, fashional ponytails, online training and access to copious donations (may be even crowd funded). While I will proudly ware/wear the badge of naivety, I hope others who support the divisive politics of the backstop think again about the potential consequences of such ideological beliefs.
I do hope this minor issue does not become the seed that sets off the next version of seemingly resilient “Troubles” that have ruined this beautiful country.
Please keep think about what you get from the media and take the time to look beyond the packaged stories/messages and consider the consequences. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit games. NI and RI should remain on you holiday/bucket lists, You will enjoy the food, drink, company, scenery and most of all the “Craic” (Irish word for fun/enjoyment)!!
Posted by Alison Jane, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 9:02:22 AM
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