Britain Gives into European Demands on Northern Irish Border
As I predicted it would, Britain has given into European demand on the Northern Irish border in order to secure an exit deal on Friday that paves the way for talks about the kingdom’s post-Brexit trade relations with the EU.
In the absence of an innovative solution, Britain is now committed to maintain “full alignment with those rules of the internal market and the customs union which, now or in the future, support north-south cooperation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement” that brought peace to Northern Ireland.
The text also specifically bars the United Kingdom from imposing “new regulatory barriers” that could put the 1998 Good Friday Agreement at risk. Read more
Londoners overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU and a similar deal here could protect tens of thousands of jobs.
Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, agrees:
If one part of UK can retain regulatory alignment with EU and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland) there is surely no good practical reason why others can’t.
A majority of Scots also to stay in the EU last year. Like Londoners, they were overruled by majorities in favor of Brexit in England and Wales. Read more
Irish and Northern Irish Leaders Make Contradictory Brexit Demands
Leaders from Ireland and Northern Ireland have made contradictory demands that threaten to hold up the Brexit negotiations.
Leo Varadkar, the prime minister of Ireland, has threatened to veto progress in the talks unless a hard border with Northern Ireland is ruled out.
Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland, whose support Theresa May’s Conservatives need for their majority in Westminster, has said she will accept neither a barrier between the province and the rest of the United Kingdom nor an agreement that would force Northern Ireland to mirror EU regulations.
The New Statesman reports that none of Brexit’s promises have come true:
Brexiteers said leaving the EU would unleash growth. Instead, growth has stalled and higher inflation has depressed real wages.
David Davis, now Brexit secretary, said Britain would be able to create “a free-trade area massively larger than the EU.” So far, no country has expressed an interest in doing a separate trade deal with the United Kingdom.
Liam Fox predicted that trade talks with the EU would be “one of the easiest in human history.” But the EU insists on properly negotiating Britain’s exit before even starting trade negotiations.
Rather than give Britain an extra £350 million to spend on health care each week, the Office for Budget Responsibility projects that the country will lose the equivalent of £300 million per week because of Brexit.
Little wonder that supporters of leaving the EU have continually lowered expectations. The promise of Brexit has been downgraded from a Singapore on the Thames to not “as apocalyptic as some people like to pretend”.