Conversation Society, News and Sport
Helper icon Helpers: Chris2mates , LLstill , PrincessFruitBat


About us


Midsummer's Eve is a free online dating community - based around friendship, real meetups, real people, and real relationships. We've been online since 1999 and have twice won Radio 2's Web Site of the Day award. So why not join us for free and join in the discussion?

Northern Ireland and EU

The solution?

Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 30-Jan-2019 09:51 Message #4734259
Suppose the EU granted us whatever we ask for with regard to Northern Ireland trade.

Assuming that Brexit occurs, what should we ask for about Northern Ireland?
Male
Buzzard  Male  Staffordshire 30-Jan-2019 12:30 Message #4734264
I think they should ask to start down the road for re-unification and that Ireland should sue the UK for the economic damage that brexit will cause them.
Male
Good2BWith  Male  West Yorkshire 30-Jan-2019 15:36 Message #4734270
@ Jeff 30-Jan-2019 09:51
Sorry Jeff but I think that there are a # of fundamental misconceptions in your premise, of which:
1) The EU negotiators will not compromise on ANY 'Hard border' between the EU and a country which has not reached a full and confirmed trade and 'rights' agreement with EU. UK can ask for anything it wants to but the answer will be a repeat of de Gaulle's "Non".
2) The sticking point is not about "Northern" Ireland, it's about a (land) border between the EU and a Non-EU country. Just the same as the bottleneck won't be "about" Dover and Callais but between the EU and a Non-EU country.

Had it not been for Mr Cameron's Parliament Act and Mrs May's fanatical grasp on her position, UK would be readying itself for a GE.
Male
Good2BWith  Male  West Yorkshire 30-Jan-2019 15:37 Message #4734271
@ Jeff 30-Jan-2019 09:51
Sorry Jeff but I think that there are a # of fundamental misconceptions in your premise, of which:
1) The EU negotiators will not compromise on ANY 'Hard border' between the EU and a country which has not reached a full and confirmed trade and 'rights' agreement with EU. UK can ask for anything it wants to but the answer will be a repeat of de Gaulle's "Non".
2) The sticking point is not about "Northern" Ireland, it's about a (land) border between the EU and a Non-EU country. Just the same as the bottleneck won't be "about" Dover and Callais but between the EU and a Non-EU country.

Had it not been for Mr Cameron's Parliament Act and Mrs May's fanatical grasp on her position, UK would be readying itself for a GE.
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 30-Jan-2019 20:25 Message #4734293
Like a lot of people Good2B, you do not understand what is actually happening.
It is delay at all costs, both sides.
In 2017 the trade deficit with the EU was over 60 Billion Pounds.
If these negotiations were genuine, do you think the EU would argue about a border arrangement?
We have a government that wants to stay in the EU, but wants to make it look otherwise.
We could name any deal we wanted (within reason)
Female
bella111  Female  Devon 30-Jan-2019 22:40 Message #4734297
If Ireland want to go down the route of reunitification , have a Referendum, ha ha and if Ireland is so badly damaged by Brexit then maybe they should become part of the UK if not then sort yourselves out, not our problem.

Europe seems to think we owe them a lot, it is they that are here because of the British, and sometimes when I listen or read how little faith some of you have in our people I feel ashamed on your behalf, but I will not anymore, because I realise that so many of you are just incapable of succeeding without hanging on to something.And that something is Belief in Rubbish, Rubbish and more Rubbish.
Male
Good2BWith  Male  West Yorkshire 31-Jan-2019 02:57 Message #4734301
@ NotHermit 30-Jan-2019 20:25
!.0 Like a lot of people Good2B, you do not understand what is actually happening.
1.1 Does anyone? Mrs May doesn't want to, and even you post confused comments.

2.0 It is delay at all costs, both sides.
2.1 To which set of "both sides" do you refer?

3.0 In 2017 the trade deficit with the EU was over 60 Billion Pounds.
3.1The UK had an overall trade deficit of -£67 billion with the EU in 2017. A surplus of £28 billion on trade in services was outweighed by a deficit of -£95 billion on trade in goods. (https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7851)

4.0 If these negotiations were genuine, do you think the EU would argue about a border arrangement?
4.1 The whole essence of a Trading bloc is that there ARE such hard borders to those not part of the 'Club'.
4.2 The EU isn't arguing about a border arrangement - their policy is quite clearly agreed by all members of EU - including UK. It's Mrs May, driven by some of her swivelled eyed BrExiteers who wants those policies waived in UK's case

5.0 We have a government that wants to stay in the EU, but wants to make it look otherwise.
5.1 And the Moon is made of green cheese

6.0 We could name any deal we wanted (within reason)
6.1 And the answer will still be NO. Don't you listen to the news broadcasts on radio and TV?

Mrs May has made us the laughing stock of not only the EU, but many of the huge WTO countries and our centuries old reputation for being a canny producer, exporter and importer has been thrown out of the 22 floor window.

To cap it all "Poverty causing 'misery' in UK, and ministers are in denial, says UN official" (BBC, 16/12/18)
Male
Good2BWith  Male  West Yorkshire 31-Jan-2019 03:06 Message #4734302
@Jeff 30-Jan-2019 09:51

NB "Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to "Remain"
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 31-Jan-2019 17:46 Message #4734319
Answered in yet another thread about Brexit started by you.
Will just answer question 5 in this thread.

Delay to date 2 years 7 months, further delays already being suggested.
According to you the moon is actually made of cheese?
Male
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 1-Feb-2019 09:11 Message #4734351
Buzzard..."I think they should ask to start down the road for re-unification and that Ireland should sue the UK for the economic damage that brexit will cause them."

Yes, reunification could be one option provided that's what both countries want. However, I don't think NI have a majority in favour of reunification so that isn't really an option.

On what basis could Ireland sue the UK? The withdrawal is an agreement between the EU and the UK and the UK is following the procedures set down by the EU to leave. Sounds rather a bizarre idea to me.
Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 1-Feb-2019 12:14 Message #4734361
Good2BWith: "UK can ask for anything it wants to but the answer will be a repeat of de Gaulle's "Non""

All of us are well aware that EU leaders involved with Brexit (e.g. Michel Barnier & Donald Tusk & Jean-Claude Juncker) and some EU countries have repeatedly said that there will possibly be clarifications but definitely no renegotiations. Nevertheless Theresa May has been sent by parliament to renegotiate.
The reason I wrote "Suppose the EU granted us whatever we ask for with regard to Northern Ireland trade" was to try to get some practical ideas, and afterwards consider whether the EU might accept them. The EU have persistently asked us what we want, and we shouldn't criticise the EU if we can't think of what we want.


Good2BWith: "The sticking point is not about "Northern" Ireland,it's about a (land) border between the EU and a Non-EU country."

Due to the history before the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the border between Nortern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is much more sensitive that other borders.
Northern Ireland was put on the Brexit negotiating agenda at a very early stage, and no practical solution has yet been proposed. I don't criticise the negotiators, because I can't think of a practical solution, and perhaps there isn't one.
In hindsight, the problem could have been foreseen even before the referendum. But if it was raised, I suspect it was a small factor for most people, and it would have been dismissed as part of "Project Fear".
Is the prospect of a hard border in Ireland enough to cancel Brexit (with or without a deal)? Even without the possibility of "The Troubles" starting again, (and we shouldn't give in to terrorists), having a hard border might be as impractical as well as unpleasant.


Good2BWithL "Mrs May's fanatical grasp on her position"

What should she have done?


NotHermit: "If these negotiations were genuine, do you think the EU would argue about a border arrangement?"

I think that the negotiations were genuine, and border arrangements need to be sorted out.
If 2 organisations supply the same goods at different prices, surely most people would select the goods at the lower price. But that isn't fair if conditions for the lower price are violated.


NotHermit: "We have a government that wants to stay in the EU, but wants to make it look otherwise."

Although most MPs (including Theresa May) voted against Brexit in the referendum, I think that since the result the UK government has sincerely tried extremely hard to make Brexit happen.


Good2BWith: "Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to "Remain"

But, at least at present, they are part of the United Kingdom, which is being treated as a whole.
Scotland doesn't have the recent history of violence. But during the referendum campaign, Theresa May said that leaving the EU would be "fatal for the Union with Scotland" if Scotland voted to remain, as it would add power to the SNP seeking independence for Scotland. I expect that was also dismissed as "Project Fear" - but I think that it could well happen.
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 1-Feb-2019 18:17 Message #4734367
No harm in trying Jeff, but you do not understand what is happening.
Learn about skin tags and start from there.
Farage is becoming more active again, so maybe just watch/listen.
Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 2-Feb-2019 19:54 Message #4734396
NotHermit,

I expect that lots of things are happening, and I don't claim to know them all.
What are significant recent changes with regard to Northern Ireland and the EU?

What don't I understand? Please explain it clearly.


"We could name any deal we wanted (within reason)"

What practical arrangement would you want for Northern Ireland?
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 2-Feb-2019 20:13 Message #4734403
Hi Jeff,
The border would be a simple issue, easily resolved.
Not long ago Merkel opened the German border to immigrants.
The plan was to do this permanently, she said Germany could welcome all of the immigrants.

Do you remember any discussions between Merkel and the EU?
I think she did this without even asking any other country..

So why do the EU claim to have a problem in this instance, and reject an arrangement, before they even know what the arrangement is?

Its simples, the EU do not want to lose trade with us, and all we want is a border arrangement.

It becomes more interesting from end of March 2019 onwards. How will the government try to get out of Brexit?
Will they really try to ignore democracy?

nb. Hope this gets to you before the proposed takeover of mse (by Beach).
He will ban me for short posts, I think you will be ok.

Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 5-Feb-2019 23:15 Message #4734600
"Do you remember any discussions between Merkel and the EU?"

I can't think of any discussions in particular, but I expect that the major issue of immigration was discussed in numerous EU meetings.
I think that most of the immigration, especially from war-torn countries through Africa, couldn't be foreseen many years ago when agreements were signed.
Presumably you're not suggesting that the UK should make a binding agreement with the EU about Northern Ireland, and then deliberately violate it.


"If these negotiations were genuine, do you think the EU would argue about a border arrangement?"

I find it difficult to imagine the huge amount of trade between Calais and Dover being changed to routes between France and the Republic of Ireland, then lorries going through to the UK. But there are border problems.
As a major factor in the referendum was immigration, how do you prevent unlimited immigrants from the EU going to the Republic of Ireland, then crossing into Northern Ireland?
Ignoring for a moment my first sentence in this thread, is it fair if an organisation buys and sells at preferential terms with its partners, then people (such as smugglers) overcome the boundaries of the organisation? What would you do if you were running the organisation?


"So why do the EU claim to have a problem in this instance, and reject an arrangement, before they even know what the arrangement is?"

Their reason is probably that they have spent 2 years negotiating with Ireland on the agenda, and if there was a practical arrangement then it should have been raised before now. However, I think that they should consider new practical proposals - if there are any.

You haven't answered "what should we ask for about Northern Ireland?" or "What practical arrangement would you want for Northern Ireland?" Nor has anyone else.


"How will the government try to get out of Brexit? Will they really try to ignore democracy?"

Until recently I was telling people that we must follow the result of the referendum.
However, now with more knowledge of warnings by industry leaders, Theresa May's proposed deal and the prospect of No Deal, and the crisis in public confidence in government and parliament, I think a way out is to delay Article 50, (or if not allowed then cancel then restart Article 50), during the breathing space have a second referendum, with several options and a transferable vote system. Then accept the results of that second referendum. This also gives us more time to prepare for Brexit if the referendum decides that.
That is more democratic as people will have a much better idea of probable consequences, such as probably being worse off and having major problems with supplies to balance against having control over our immigration & laws & courts & fishing etc, and they could have more than 2 options, such as May's deal or No deal (WTO terms) or Cancel Brexit. (However, there are problems with multiple choice elections, such as Arrow's theorem.)


Some of my posts being long and could indicate that I give some thought to what others write.
I've had some clashes with OTB/Beach/Son-of-a-Beach!
Male
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 6-Feb-2019 12:55 Message #4734608
'Hard border' ? - Do they mean like Hadrian's Wall ?

Come on ! Where is the difficulty ?

Switzerland shares borders with five EU countries and seems to be managing just fine.

OK, the Alps can be tough going, but politics is the major impediment regarding borders within the island of Ireland.
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 6-Feb-2019 18:08 Message #4734641
Jeff you are becoming hard work mate, it really is simples.
Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 11-Feb-2019 22:28 Message #4735070
Warmundeft,

1. "'Hard border' ? - Do they mean like Hadrian's Wall ?"

The EU and the UK mean that Ireland could have much worse than Hadrian's Wall, and everybody is trying to avoid it.

(Incidentally, after Brexit if Scotland votes for Independence and then re-applies to join the EU, then the EU might insist on some kind of a hard border somewhere between Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall. Otherwise the EU's trade with Scotland would very easily leak through to the rest of the UK.)


2. "Where is the difficulty ?"

Other countries have borders with the EU. For example:-
2(a) Norway (outside EU, in European Economic Area, not in customs union) and Sweden (in EU):
Norway allows free movement of goods, services, capital and people. But it has customs checks, taking total (including waiting) about 20 minutes per lorry.
2(b) Turkey (outside EU) and Bulgaria (in EU):
Turkey is in a customs union with the EU. But documentation etc takes between 3 and 24 hours per lorry.
2(c) Switzerland (outside EU, not in customs union) and France (in EU):
EU is part of the single market due to bilateral agreements. Time to cross border is between 20 minutes and 2 hours.


3. "Switzerland shares borders with five EU countries and seems to be managing just fine."

Referring to Wikipedia on Switzerland–European Union relations, the history looks complicated. From 1972 to 2014 there were 12 votations (referendums) about the EU, so it seems that from time to time the Swiss became dissatisfied with the agreements, and some referendums went nearly 50-50. If it was "just fine", I suspect that results would be far from 50-50.
3 of the 12 votations were against more integration with the EU, and 9 were for the same or greater integration with the EU. In September 2018 the EU wanted to tighten some of the trading rules with Switzerland, and in December 2018 the Swiss Federation Council decided that another votation will be needed on some major aspects.

Referring to some other websites:-
3(a) Currently there are about 120 bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU, in many of which Swiss regulations & standards have to comply with EU ones, (which Switzerland couldn't vote on). A "guillotine clause" means that if any agreement is broken, then all the agreements can be cancelled.
3(b) A major factor in the UK referendum was the UK having control over immigration. In February 2014 when Switzerland narrowly (50.3% vs 49.7%, in a high turnout) voted to stop free movement of people from the EU (including benefits for workers and their families), the EU froze important trade agreements. From December 2016 Switzerland had to accept EU workers.
3(c) Swiss investment banks currently run investments through London which can easily deal with the EU. The UK leaving the EU loses those advantages.
3(d) See 2(c) above.

4. Today's trade continuity agreement between Britain and Switzerland follows a trend of continuing trade with other non-EU countries (Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Faroe Islands, East & South Africa), but they are much further than Europe. Japan (an important trader with the UK) wants a tougher deal with the UK after Brexit than Japan has with the EU.


NotHermit,

Trying to deal with the trading situation for Ireland has been long hard work, and it still isn't resolved.

I try to answer your questions, but you ignore my questions (e.g. see 05-Feb-19 at 23:15 my response to the 2nd question).
What is your proposed practical solution to trade across the border between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, especially Northern Ireland?
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 11-Feb-2019 22:49 Message #4735072
Had a quick read through Jeff, why not just wait and see.
Scotland would not get into the EU.
You are just over complicating, it for the sake of it.
Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 11-Feb-2019 23:19 Message #4735077
Correction: Switzerland is part of the single market due to bilateral agreements.

I'm not over complicating it. It is complicated. How about you answering my questions? Especially as you think that the solution is so simple.

I agree that an independent Scotland probably wouldn't get into the EU. I think that would be due to the border problem. This could cause resentment between Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Northern Ireland's border has more difficult issues than Scotland's border would have.
Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 15-Feb-2019 10:42 Message #4735316
"why not just wait and see"

Because, even though forecasts and plans sometimes go wrong, generally it is better to try to see what can go wrong with bad consequences with big projects, and try to avoid them. Leaving the EU can make us much worse off in various ways (For example, see thread "A Special Place in Hell" on 12-Feb-19 at 21:45).

In parts of the UK Brexit industry leaders have repeatedly warned us of major difficulties that Brexit will bring, and they might reduce investment in the UK or even move to other countries. So it could increase unemployment. If Brexit doesn't proceed then Brexiteers might cause riots. If Brexit does proceed then I suspect that increased unemployment and personal poverty and decreased services due to nationally being worse off might cause riots. The UK could become a place like hell! In June 2016 during the 1st referendum, people didn't know about Theresa May's agreement, and the warnings were less clear or dismissed as "Project Fear". Delaying or cancelling Article 50 and having a 2nd referendum (perhaps multiple choice with transferable vote) in a few months time, when people are more aware of consequences, would finalise whether the people are willing to take such risks.

In the referendum Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU by 55.8% to 44.2%. If border issues are not resolved satisfactorily, I think that bad consequences of Brexit will boost Irish Nationalism and weaken Unionism, leading to fighting. I haven't read or heard that anywhere, and I hope I'm wrong. (I don't like either "ism".)


Many people are tired of all the arguing and say "get on with it" and leave the EU.

But being tired of something is not a good reason. I think that if Brexit happens, then we need satisfactory conditions and plans to leave - and we don't have them.


Back to top  Back to top

Help with conversations Help with conversations »