‘You Are Treating Us All As If We Are Stupid’


This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed (top left and above) spoke to Audrey Carville about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

From their discussion…

Audrey Carville: “Who will check the contents of that tanker-load of milk as it prepares to cross the border on a daily basis?”

Michael Creed: “What is abundantly clear and has been from day one, Audrey, is that this government is not countenancing in any circumstances returning to a situation where we have hard border infrastructure. That…”

Carville: “So where will the border be? Will you check it in the factory?”

Creed: “That will not happen. There will not be hard border infrastructure. We have a solution to these issues in the context of the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK Government must be the focus now. It is not for us, who have engineered this solution, in negotiation with the British Government…”

Carville: “Minister, many people listening to you this morning might think you are treating us all as if we are stupid.”

Creed: “No, what I am clearly stating is this is a moment of high political drama and it is imperative that the Irish Government’s position is clearly understood in the context of a debate that is current and fluid in the UK parliament. We have a solution to these issues. We share the same position that the Northern Ireland Secretary of State shares in the context of there being no hard border under any circumstances.”

Carville: “So you are not prepared…Yes, but you’re not prepared to say, in the event of a no-deal, where the European Commission is absolutely clear – there has to be checks on live animals and animal products, where those checks will take place and who will do the checking?”

Creed: “We share the exact same position as articulated by president of the Commission when he articulated in the Dail chamber that there would be no hard border infrastructure sought by the European Union.”

Carville: “So where will the border be?”

Creed: “Well, the border issue is dealt with in the context of the backstop. We are not in a situation…”

Carville: “Not in a no-deal. Minister, please, with respect, all of us are invested in this, as is the most of the country is, understands that that is not the case. The Withdrawal Agreement does not deal with a no-deal Brexit – so I’m asking you in the event of a no-deal Brexit, who will do the checking on the animals and food products? And where will they be checked?”

Creed: “Well we have arrangements in the context of the central case scenario or a hard Brexit for border inspection posts on an east-west basis. In fact earlier this morning I was down in Dublin Port looking at our preparations in that context.”


Earlier: Splendid Isolation

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34 thoughts on “‘You Are Treating Us All As If We Are Stupid’

  1. Dub Spot

    In background: producer slurps coffee on day off from Marian “let me know when theyr’e finished”. RTE commitment personified.

  2. Eoin

    Coveney says (when he doesn’t think anyone is listening)

    “once you start talking about checks anywhere near the Border, people will start delving into that and all of a sudden we’ll be the Government that reintroduced a physical border on the island of Ireland”

    The EU, Barnier says today

    “There will be checks in case of a no-deal-Brexit. We will do everything possible to enforce them unobtrusively. However, that will not be possible with everything. How should we control animals crossing the border? There will have to be checks.”

    In fairness to RTE, Audrey Carville was trying to tease out the impact of what is a possible (and some say the odds-on favorite) outcome in 66 days. But no, the FG agriculture minister doesn’t like the delving and certainly doesn’t want to be “the Government that reintroduced a physical border on the island of Ireland” Of course any journalist worthy of the name will now relentlessly delve every time a government minister seeks their platform.

    1. Cian

      it is a pity that the UK journalists aren’t probing the UK government to the appropriate level and hold them accountable.

      The problem is with the UK government’s complete lack of understanding of what Brexit means and what the outcome of their decisions will be (or perhaps they do know, but are in denial). The UK media haven’t followed up and asked the right questions.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        And that’s supposed to take the spotlight away from FG is it?
        When in doubt, deflect.
        FGs record of lies, attempts to avoid straight questions are on a par with FFs similar lies on the arrival of the IMF, and the demeanor is the same.
        The tribe of FG boys that try to portray themselves as professional and knowledgeable are disappointing to say the least.

        1. Martco

          and that may well all be true @Giggidy, I’ve hated watching all the diplomatic baloney & swanning about over the past few months out of them but that’s the game…keep the population calm like it’s Vietnam.
          But ask yourself the question, were we ever in a position of control here? No. We’re a small peaceful insignificant country with about as much leverage as Greater Manchester. We’ll be told what we have to choose from the menu and suffer the resultant collateral damage accordingly.

        2. scottser

          i must say gigs, i admire your restraint in not screeching ‘i fukn told ye so’ about the backstab.

          1. ReproBertie

            What did he tell us? That if there is a deal there’s a backstop but no deal means no backstop? Oh no, that was me for the past year and more.

            Until the UK leaves the EU on March 29th with no deal, the backstop is still in play.

          2. scottser

            i don’t think there will be a deal, and if there is one then it’s the backstop that will be sacrificed; FG do not have the balls or smarts to protect it.

          3. ReproBertie

            Nothing to do with FG’s boo boos or lack thereof. The backstop as part of any deal is signed and agreed. It’s up to the UK to make moves. The EU has already said they have no room to move on their side.

          4. Giggidygoo

            Repro. Ms. May hasn’t the authority to make a WA. Have you seen the signed document? Coveney refers to the proposed WA always as a ‘legal text’ not a ‘legal agreement’.
            She therefore hasn’t the authority to authorise any component of any deal. Again, the high jinks of the last two weeks should be making that clear to you?
            There is no WA. There is no backstop. They are proposals only.

          5. ReproBertie

            You’re playing semantics because it’s easier than admitting the facts.

            If the UK want a deal the deal must contain the backstop. That’s what they agreed to back in 2017 and for all their twisting and wriggling and grandstanding they can’t get out of the agreement they signed up to unless they take a No Deal Sasamach.

        3. GiggidyGoo

          Repro. Ms May is not entitled to make a WA. Surely that is clear given the high jinks of the last fortnight?
          That being so, what is being talked and written about is a proposed agreement and a proposed backstop.
          Neither the WA or the Backstop exist as it stood and.stands I’ve consistently said that and you’ve consistently said the backstop exists. Straight down the line. You are now entering the Fr. Dougal zone from the Chris The Sheep episode.

    2. Nigel

      A rare case where I respected the delving but understood the stonewalling. Even the slightest hint of theoretical acceptance of possible border controls would be a disaster, negotiating-wise, that would be seized on by Brexiteers. All they can do is stick to their guns while the UK thrashes about.

      1. edalicious


        I’m hoping the government is doing a swan impression here; all calm denial in public but hidden from view scurrying around like mad trying to get plans in place for a no deal, worst case scenario.

  3. ollie

    We need to be masters of our own destiny. Hard Brexit equals hard border. Eu will not allow goods to enter unchecked.
    Creed is running scared and Vradkar has vanished.

    1. ReproBertie

      We cannot be masters of our own destiny when the ball is firmly in the UK’s court. They have a deal on the table and it’s up to them to accept it, offer amendments or reject it. Until they do that we can only prepare for the worst.

  4. Martco

    Creed was clearly struggling this morning, wouldn’t give straight answers

    worse though was later on

    Sean O’Rourke had a panel of talking heads on one of whom was Sammy Wilson…he sounded different than usual, came across relaxed & at times like a peacock, the sly one in class that knows the answers already.

  5. diddy

    is building a border actually feasible when all is said and done? over 200 crossings and all that… that’s alot of bouncers standing on country Lanes in fermanagh

    1. GiggidyGoo

      It’s not the building of a border as such. It’s putting in areas to monitor / examine and customs clear commercial movements that are documented. That would be the main routes. Smaller roads would be monitored as in the past for smugglers. Moveable checkpoints. But what we are talking about as regards hard border is the bone fide commercial movement of goods.

      1. Eoin

        The recent focus has been on goods, but the same logic applies to people. There will need to be checks on people coming into the EU. The EU will not want Ireland to become an open door for British Commonwealth citizens to enter the EU.

        Needs more delving….

        1. SOQ

          The problem there is that it would be impossible to check every single crossing between the two sides. All people going either way will have to do is just walk across a field.

          I expect the checks on people would be at airports and docks rather than on the actual border, which in some ways also places ROI outside the EU.

        2. Cian

          Will anything change? We (us and UK) are currently outside the Schengen Area so need to show passports when entering the EU mainland.

          If there is a Brexit and we decided we do want to be inside the Schengen Area we would need to implement a hard border to “take responsibility for controlling the external borders on behalf of the other Schengen States and for issuing uniform Schengen visas”

  6. Spaghetti Hoop

    Heard this cringefest. Creed lapsed into old style political fudging on a political reality due to hit us in 9 weeks that neither he or his colleagues have properly addressed. And don’t call that lame, nursery rhyme contingency plan they published ‘addressing’.

  7. Cian

    Will anything change? We (us and UK) are currently outside the Schengen Area so need to show passports when entering the EU mainland.

    If there is a Brexit and we decided we do want to be inside the Schengen Area we would need to implement a hard border to “take responsibility for controlling the external borders on behalf of the other Schengen States and for issuing uniform Schengen visas”

    1. ivan


      I’d still suggest building a few direct provision centres near the border to annoy the heck out of the ERG lads though…

      1. SOQ

        Crossmaglen badly needs immigrants with architectural qualifications but they are pretty much assured as not to be accepted.

  8. Mickey Twopints

    Adopting Schengen would mean tearing up the Common Travel Area. The CTA sets Irish citizens in the UK apart from other EU citizens (favourably) and allows the British who live and work in Ireland the comfort of knowing that they won’t be treated as third country citizens.

    So, yes, we could in theory seek to adopt Schengen – at enormous cost.

    1. ReproBertie

      The CTA has no legal standing as there’s nothing more than a verbal agreement covering the CTA. There’d be nothing to tear up.

  9. bisted

    …I had hoped for Brexit…for many reasons but primarily that the minute it took place the reality of a united Ireland in my lifetime would emerge…Teresa is not as good at kicking the can as Minister Creed and his buddies but she’ll learn soon…I can taste the fudge already…

  10. Pat O'Kelly

    There is currently a unilateral border between ROI & UK
    In the event Brexit then there will be a border between the UK & EU – located on sea in the English Channel & on land in Ireland
    The Irish & UK governments can’t just wish this away unfortunately
    How “hard” the border will be will depend on whether the UK leaves with a deal or otherwise
    It the event of a no deal Brexit border checks will be necessary for movement of goods for tax reasons & to check safety standards etc so a lorry load of whatever entering the EU at for example either Calais or Dundalk will have to be subject to the same level of checking at either location
    The common travel agreement will continue so no passport will be needed for travel between ROI (EU) to UK
    Passports will continue to be needed for travel within the EU from ROI to other EU contries
    That’s it as I see it anyway

    NB – re motor insurance
    Motor insurance policies issued in ROI automatically give full cover within the UK ( & vice versa)
    I do not believe either the insurers or the UK intend to change this so no reason why the PSNI & Gardai can’t continue to accept current motor insurance certificates

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