Le Problème Irlandais


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France this morning

Emmanuel Macron tells Boris Johnson backstop is ‘indispensable’ (The Guardian)

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75 thoughts on “Le Problème Irlandais

    1. millie vanilly strikes again

      And the euromillions winning numbers please, while you’re predicting the future.

    2. ReproBertie

      Weren’t they supposed to crumble/be chucked under a bus/suffer an EU fudge back in March?

      Strap yourself in for the big Bojo climb-down portrayed as a victory.

  1. eoin

    The Indo (no longer audited by ABC!) reports today

    “It will be at least another month before the Government reveals what will happen at the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit. There is an understanding between Dublin and Brussels about what contingencies can be put in place, but all sides are afraid to say it out loud. Ireland isn’t mandated to talk about the next steps, partly because it would undermine the EU’s negotiating position. And in any event there are concerns in Dublin about the political ramifications of airing the real-life impact of not having the backstop.”

    Which of our brave media will first challenge the government about this? Cash-strapped loss-making RTE?HAhahahahaha

    Remember what Coveney said

    “But 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”
    Simon Coveney to Shane Ross, 15 January 2019, inadvertently picked up on reporters microphone

    1. Cian

      Brexit is decided by the UK, not Ireland.
      If a hard-Brexit happens (again this is driven primary by the UK and their original red-line issues), Ireland will have a choice – to put up a border with NI OR to leave the EU customs area.

      FG happen to be in power when this happens – so they will be blamed for it – even though it is outside their control.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        It’s the UK’s border with Europe – let them put it up. Actually, it was theirs to begin with and it is still there. It just became porous post-1998.

        1. scottser

          i imagine any border structure, or whatever symbolises a border structure, will be the most heavily vandalised piece of infrastructure ever seen in the state.

          1. The Old Boy

            If by vandalised you mean bombed to smithereens by resurgent paramilitaries, with whoever is staffing it maimed and murdered, then yes.

          2. some old unicorn

            No he means torn down by the bare hands of ordinary citizens- there ill be no need for paramilitaries- dissident or otherwise.

            Never before have I seen such opposition to a proposal- not just by republicans but right across the board including a substantial number of unionists.

          1. ReproBertie

            Of course. NI is obvious but I don’t know of anywhere called SI. I was born quite a while after the 1920’s.

  2. Shay-boy

    If Sonny O’Neill hadn’t shot Collins dead 97 years ago today, we wouldn’t have a border. Collins would have eventually got the 6 counties back via his 26 county “…stepping stone”

  3. Panty Christ

    In the absence of any hard border infrastructure in place at the moment, we are looking at armed police on either side, the northern side reinforced with army personnel. It’s going to a poo show from 1st November

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        To detain the fleeing migrants and families rushing across the border for a better life…

  4. jockey

    Why don’t the EU allow Ireland to make a special deal with the UK (we have a historical relationship with them anyways), so that the whole of Ireland becomes the backstop. A sub-customs union between UK and Ireland, but we ensure that whatever travels from Ireland to Europe is in line with Europe’s regulations/standards. It leaves Ireland in the best place – we can continue free trading with the UK, and we also have free trade into Europe.

    1. ReproBertie

      Yea, let’s put a border between an EU state and the rest of the EU to satisfy a country that’s leaving the EU.

      1. jockey

        This is nothing to do with Great Britain. this won’t solve the mountain of issues that Great Britain are bound to face. This is to help Ireland, who, if this issue is not sorted, will be highly damaged. The problem is that nationalists are dreaming about a united Ireland instead of a secure economy.

        1. ReproBertie

          You’re talking about creating a border between Ireland the rest of the EU to satisfy the British government.

          1. Jockey

            And also help Ireland get through Brexit. The point you’re missing is that Ireland comes out of this idea as the winners. We have our deals with Europe, and also access to our main trading partners – the UK.

          2. ReproBertie

            How are we winners when we have customs checks on all ports of entry on the island?

            Customs checks that mean we lose the free movement of goods between EU states, one of the 4 pillars of the EU, something the EU will not accept.

          3. jockey

            @ReproBertie – which do you think is worse for Ireland – No deal brexit, or this idea? Or have you a better one? I’m interested to hear alternatives that might actually work.

          4. ReproBertie

            Your idea is worse.

            Your idea leaves us with customs checks on everything going to the EU. A no deal Sasaamch does not.

        2. jockey

          There will be customs checks going into the north of ireland anyway right? In a no deal brexit situation? International Trade rules say you must have a border.

          I think a no deal brexit is worse than customs checks going into Europe. I don’t have links or proof, but I feel a border into the north and the other complications with a no deal brexit would be more damaging than a customs check, a version of which probably exists when exporting/importing to other countries anyways.

          1. ReproBertie

            A No Deal Sasamach will mean customs checks on all goods going to and from Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

            Your idea means customs checks on all goods going to and from Ireland which is a much bigger project.

            Your idea also removes us from the EU Customs Union and you seem to be missing how big a deal that is. The EU has four pillars – freedom of movement of people, goods, capital and services. You are asking the EU to break at least one of them to satisfy a non-EU country. That simply won’t happen.

          2. Listrade

            @jocky, Alternatives are easy. Assuming brexit short-medium term:

            1. Border is in Irish Sea. NI ports and Airports are geared up for that and also means a more manageable “bottle neck”. No need for border checks on roads.

            2. Streamlined regulatory alignment for a defined period for NI. Limited to aspects of trade (goods, product standards, etc). Will need to also include Human Rights to ensure GFA isn’t impacted, will need expansion of role of NI Assembly to be Competent Authority to legislate in areas it can’t at the moment.

            Limited to trade to give some leeway to DUP and their conniption about being abandoned. The can still align to UK with other legislation.

            Done. Everything is avoided. I get Nobel Peace Prize.

          3. some old unicorn

            @ Liistrade

            Define short-medium term and also, how you do you propose getting The Ulster Taliban on board while they hold a gun to BJ’s head?

          4. Listrade

            Short term 2 years, med 5.

            You may not need DUP. But that would depend on the rest of Parliament. If you could deliver a soft Brexit, there’s a small hope of it passing parliament (very small hope because others smell blood and would probably reject the holy grail at the moment).

            However, DUP were vexed because May sold them out indefinitely. 100% regulatory alignment with no end date. That isn’t even the Norwegian model, Norway only adopts 75% of EU directives and a good few of them they don’t have to transpose (they’re just nice). Also Norway has a few representatives in Europe (don’t have any power, but they can at least feel important). There was no deal like that for NI. They had to implement every EU directive indefinitely without any representation. There is no doubt GB would have just abandoned them and thrown them the odd cheque.

            But, give everyone the chance to spin a victory. Give them alignment to GB for all non-essential trade legislation? Maybe that’s enough of a bone for DUP. It means they maintain their two big trade areas.

            Another sell would be that the Assembly (when there is one) can get more power to legislate as some of the areas they’d need to transpose EU directives they currently do not have the power to actually legislate (apart from sticking Northern Ireland in the title). DUP would like more power, even if it is just sticking NI and EU stuff.

            But the key is, as Leo says it’s defining the scope of the backstop rather than removing it, but DUP and Boris get to a say EU blinked and they won.

            We get no border. Their ports get a boom in employment. They maintain their trade. They get to decide on long titles for EU directives.

    2. spider

      You mean allow Ireland to be removed from the open EU economy in order to satisfy british nationalism? At our own cost I presume?

      1. jockey

        How will it be to our cost? It’s to our benefit. Free trade into Europe. Free Trade into Great Britain. You need to stop thinking about an ideal situation, and start thinking about what is the best outcome possible based on what’s happened. For example, a no deal brexit would be a lot more damaging to Ireland than this idea.. right?

        1. ReproBertie

          There’s no free trade from the UK to the EU until they sort out a free trade deal. Why would any industry set up in France, Spain or Italy if setting up in Ireland meant free access to both the EU and UK? Knowing this why would France, Spain or Italy decide such an arrangement was grand? They wouldn’t. The other 26 EU countries are not going to decide that it’s fine for Ireland to have free trade with both the UK and the EU.

          1. Jockey

            That’s like asking why a company would set up in France when the corporation tax in Ireland is 12%. There’s plenty of reasons why they wouldn’t come to Ireland. Our housing crisis, health crisis, lack of commercial property.

            The question they will consider is, which is more damaging to Ireland and Europe –

            This idea?
            No deal Brexit?

          2. ReproBertie

            No, you’re completely missing the point. That idea is much worse than a No Deal Sasamach. Wexford strawberries can go straight to France under a No Deal Sasamach. Under your idea they need to be stopped at customs and checked first, in a queue with everything else going to France and the remainder of the EU. That completely removes us from the EU Customs Union which will be incredibly damaging to Irish industry and to the EU as a whole.

          3. martco


            any idea on the specifics of the French customs arrangements yet? I mean physical not notional. when the truck lands in Cherbourg is there a priority drivethru lane for the fella carrying Wexford Strawberries i.e. for Irish trucks??

            I haven’t managed to find anything on that, not a single published word.

          4. ReproBertie

            Not a thing. All I can find is documents aimed at UK businesses exporting to the EU via France post Sasamach.

      2. some old unicorn

        The problem is Spider- we have a very unique situation on the Island of Ireland- so a unique solution must be found. Two jurisdictions but with just under half in one identifying as the other- who’s rights have been cemented in place by an international treaty signed by all.

        Three years ago ago I used the term ‘square the circle’ and they are no closer to doing it now then they were then. What we know of as a hard border is impossible on the island of Ireland – so BJ needs to get his head out of the clouds and come up with some realistic suggestions.

  5. Hector Ramirez

    Put up a border already, get Brexit done and move on to the recovery of the crash that everyone says will come. BJ wants a no deal, give it to him.

  6. GiggidyGoo

    Yesterday Merkel said “We can find a solution to the proposed backstop by October 31……we can work on finding a regime that keeps the good Friday agreement….”
    Today Macon has said “it is just what Michel Barnier has negotiated can be amended while complying with the integrity of the single market….
    The proposed WA is now open for renegotiation.
    This week Coveney is touring a few smaller member states to drum up support.
    Wait for the spin. Is the podium ordered? Another ‘bulletproof’ agreement.

      1. Listrade

        It’s not up for renegotiation. The backstop won’t be removed. It will however, as Leo says, be open to clarification and political redefining.

        But that will be done without renegotiating. Or something.

        1. ReproBertie

          “The Irish backstop, as we call it, is a point that has been negotiated in the context of the geography of Ireland and the past political situation. So it is an important element that allows us first of all to guarantee the stability in Ireland and also the integrity of the single market. These are our two goals. When you talk about flexibility, well let me be very clear with you, these two goals have to be met.” said Macron putting an end to any nonsense about removing the backstop.

          The backstop was always an insurance policy. If and until the UK can come up with a better solution the backstop will be in place, unless they go no deal in which case the border goes back up.

          1. Listrade

            That’s the thing Repro, the backstop doesn’t exist. It only exists with a Withdrawal Agreement ratified by parliament. No WA, no backstop, hard Brexit, customs border.

            But the subtle language from Leo and Merkel specifically is that we can keep the backstop, but define it in more specific terms so that it isn’t an issue that the DUP will always hold the power on. As Leo said, it’s not renegotiation, the back stop is the back stop, but they’re open to the UK coming forward with a clearer definition that could be included.

      2. GiggidyGoo

        I selected direct quotes. From Merkel and Macron. The two real players on the EU side. Both quotes designed to prepare us for a renegotiation of the proposed WA.
        Both designed to eliminate Ireland from the actual discussions.
        Coventry’s tour is to try garner support from smaller EU states to try put Merkel and Macron on the back foot. Good luck with that.
        FG established the first customs posts at the border and they will re-establish them if a hard Brexit occurs. Better tell Shame Ross in case he blurts out something else.

        1. ReproBertie

          There is no renegotiation. Macron and Merkel were both very clear on that. They gave Bojo enough rope to bang himself, nothing more.

  7. Ron

    Do people genuinely believe that there is not going to be a hard border? Delusional impotent Irish electorate again lol.

    A hard border will happen. There will be a return to violence in the North. Leo will be remembered as the worst Taoiseach in the history of the state and that’s some crown considering Biffo was in the job before him. By the time it all crumbles Leo will be gone to bathe his filthy snout in some European quango. He has no sense of nationalism or Ireland about him so I doubt he really cares.

    Now the real faeces show will begin when the inepts in Sugar Candy Mountain realise they are going to need the defence forces more than ever before… Kehoe, one of the more out of his depth wasters has been doing a very consistent job in depleting defense forces personnel. The speed with which he has been able to wreck an organisation is breathtaking and must be a record of some sort. It’s no wonder no one in private industry would touch him. But the impotent Irish electorate like him and want him kept in the job.

    No deal is happening, it always was and our waste of space political freaks have squandered the time we had to actually formulate plans around whats going to happen in this country because they are so busy reading the prepared scripts from Merkel and the rest of her EU minions.


    1. james

      Maybe just maybe Boris’s game is this
      Maybe he will put it to the EU

      If he can secure what Cameron wanted before returning home with nothing then calling the referendum which involves reform in exchange for another referendum to the British people then what?

      Lets face it the EU needs reform

      But first he has to show the EU bags are packed and tickets booked and see you
      Remember the city are not happy leaving never were

      Maybe this is what Boris is playing at

      Imagine if that was put to the EU

  8. martco

    if you have some time for a bit of know your enemy light reading, have a look at how that Cambridge Analytica knobhead at the control panel is ticking inside – here’s a document spilling his thoughts which he wrote for a thinktank shower called “Business For Britain” who were the campaign group of business knobheads agitating & driving the brexit referendum itself.


    (it’s waybacked because he’s deleted the links)

    Cummings is some clever dangerous nutjob. he published this document in 2014…that’s 2 years before the referendum in 2016.

    if they are allowed to stay at the controls there is no agreement.

  9. ReproBertie

    When did Cameron return home with nothing? Again and again you throw up the same lies. Cameron got concession after concession after concession. He thought doing so would silence the Euro-sceptics but instead they took every concession as proof they could get more. If he had the gumption to shut them down just once they might not be in this mess.

    Bojo will get nothing from the EU. He’s had his demands rejected twice and his threat of destroying the UK economy and bringing about the break up of the UK is meaningless to the EU.

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