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Thread: Brexit - The End of the United Kingdom?

  1. #221
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    It's all speculation here, but if Foster having a word with her his true - I don't get how May would not have been aware of the likely DUP response to such a deal though. In fact, I'd expect the DUP to have made her aware of their 'dealbreakers' in advance.
    I'd have thought the same, so I wonder what the snag was.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Perhaps she meant to present the deal as a sort of fait accompli to the DUP, but the leaked provisional terms scuppered that idea?
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Was the leak of the provisional terms an effort to destabilise May and the Tories? Whoever did it must have known the DUP would be outraged and that the British government would be made even weaker.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    I don't see how Leo can accept anything short of the text agreed today. His government would last long enough to for him to be publicly hung out to dry in the Dail before an election
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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    It's a far cry from the "no deal is better than a bad deal" rhetoric.

    There's a lot of weak economic indicators coming out of the UK the last while, so much so to make a soft exit a necessity rather than desirable. Yesterday's events were quite telling in this respect; it showed the weak hand of the UK and reveals the extent of the UK's willingness to be acceptant of the EU to achieve a soft exit. If Ireland (ie the EU) does not want a border, the UK needs to comply to achieve its soft exit goal.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    I genuinely don't know where May can go from here.

    Either negotiations stall completely, or the DUP withdraw support. I don't see any middle ground.

    All I can imagine is Labour abstaining on a vote, thus allowing a deal to pass through parliament despite the DUP's withdrawal. But a general election will surely follow soon after that.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    I don't see how Leo can accept anything short of the text agreed today. His government would last long enough to for him to be publicly hung out to dry in the Dail before an election
    I don't really see how Leo can lose here, politically speaking. If the terms revealed yesterday are agreed to later this week, it's a win. If they aren't and the negotiations don't move ahead, holding firm to the stated requirements still makes him look good. Not backing down to the UK's obstinate stupidity, etc. Even SF's response to yesterday seemed fairly restrained by their standards.

    I imagine there will be some alteration of the text though, and that will open a can of worms.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  10. #229
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Foster claimed to Tommy Gorman in an interview that the British negotiators indicated to her that it was the Irish government who had prevented the DUP from seeing the draft text on Monday. That doesn't even make sense and yet she apparently accepted the claim at face value. How would the Irish government have controlled what the British government did with their draft? The British government held it from the DUP for five weeks, as far as I know. If the Irish government had expressed a preference that the British negotiating team keep the DUP in the dark and the British went along with this desire, then the British were complicit and it was their agreed wish too, so it's a bit silly blaming the Irish government. Blame the Tories, her supposed parliamentary partners, for conducting business behind her back and keeping her out of the loop (if that is indeed what really happened).

    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    I genuinely don't know where May can go from here.

    Either negotiations stall completely, or the DUP withdraw support. I don't see any middle ground.

    All I can imagine is Labour abstaining on a vote, thus allowing a deal to pass through parliament despite the DUP's withdrawal. But a general election will surely follow soon after that.
    The Irish government have made clear they're standing firm (and I hope they will), so the only options I can see are either Britain remains aligned to Ireland and the EU in the single market and customs union, May ditches the DUP and accepts an effective economic border in the Irish Sea or she refuses to satisfy the Irish government's conditions and there's no trade deal, meaning the UK trading under WTO rules post-Brexit and a definite hard border (an absolute nightmare scenario for everyone concerned).

    She's likely f*cked whichever option she chooses. If she dismisses the DUP, they might well withdraw their parliamentary support. Deep down, I suspect they're bluffing though as they'd surely never risk letting Corbyn into Downing Street, although you know how thick they can be all the same and it's not as if unionists haven't been known to cut off their noses to spite their faces... Meanwhile, if May keeps Britain in the single market and customs unions, she could provoke a politically fatal revolt from the hard Brexiteers within her own party.

    I thought this was amusing:



    On Tuesday, David Davis (who looks so sick and tired of it all any time I see him that I'd nearly suspect he's trying to get sacked) seemed to be coming round to the idea of keeping Britain in the single market and customs union and I was beginning to think that Monday's theatre (which just didn't add up for me as I'm not sure what could have been said in the Foster-May phone-call that would have been any different from the DUP position as already outlined in the form of a threat by Sammy Wilson last Friday) was going to be used as a means of dragging or urging hard Brexiteers over to that position by moral appeal to "the greater good of saving the Union and the Irish peace process".

    During PMQs yesterday, however, May was back to repeating the same old mantra. Her performance was awful. Corbyn asked how she was going to solve the trilemma, so she reiterated that she was going to deliver on the three incompatible conditions (maintaining an open and invisible border in Ireland, ensuring no Irish Sea border and taking the whole of the UK out of the single market and customs union) and said she "has a plan" but that "the EU didn't", and that was that apparently. She promptly sat down in a self-satisfied fashion without elaborating on "the plan", as if she'd just pulled off a "gotcha" moment at Corbyn's expense.

    So that seemed to conflict with Davis' musings the day before. I have no idea which option(s) May will go with, but she can't have all three. It is admittedly all rather amusing to see the Tory's in such a mess, although it's a pity I can't just sit back and enjoy it fully given the seriousness of what's on the line for ordinary people in Ireland and indeed throughout Britain. May is already a dead woman walking, so to speak, so I suspect she might go with staying in the single market and customs union and take the fall for the good of the Conservative Party. Concessions were made to the EU and Ireland on Monday and it would be difficult to go back on those now, so I think she'll try to drag the DUP, her party and Britain into line, in accordance with what was all but agreed on Monday.

    That option might well cost her her position as Tory leader and PM of the UK, but the option of putting a border down the Irish Sea could cost her her position as well as her party their position in power. The party machine won't allow that. I think the former is the least damaging (and thus the most rational) option for all concerned and one that allows another internal Tory faction (led by Jacob Rees-Mogg or someone like that) to come in and replace her team under the guise of "taking charge" and then pushing for as hard a Brexit as possible within the parameters of what was agreed by May with the EU during phase one of the negotiations. I don't think "no deal" is an option as that wouldn't just damage May or the Tories; it would be the most disastrous of all the possible scenarios for the entire British economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    I imagine there will be some alteration of the text though, and that will open a can of worms.
    This whole constructive ambiguity thing - meaning both sides can claim their position is protected in the wording of the text of the deal - is such a load of nonsense really. I mean, I can see the function of it, but it's such a cop-out. The two positions are practically incompatible (unless Britain stays in the single market and customs union) and you can use ambiguous language now, but it'll eventually come to the point in a year or two when it really has to be one way or the other. And what then? Wishy-washy language is just postponing the problem.

  11. #230
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Speaking of Sammy Wilson, this ad just popped up in this thread:



    It looks like a refined version of Sammy.

  12. #231
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    Looks like A deal is done:

    Quote Originally Posted by Reuters
    EU's Tusk to make Brexit statement on Friday at 0650 GMT
    “President Tusk will make a press statement on Brexit tomorrow at 7:50 (0650 GMT),” it said, giving no details.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-br...-idUKKBN1E12J6
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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Why so early? To get it wrapped up before Arlene wakes up?

  14. #233
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    https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/12/07...dup-sinn-fein/



    Broken down into those who identify as Unionist or Nationalists;


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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Here's the agreed EU-UK text on Ireland:



    So, if a soft border can't be maintained on the island of Ireland with the UK outside the single market and customs union, then special status will be considered for the north of Ireland. If special status cannot be agreed or established, then the whole of the UK will remain in the single market and customs union if necessary to safeguard the status quo in Ireland.

    Hard Brexiteers will be seething. I'm not sure how the DUP can be entirely happy with that either. It leaves open the very serious possibility of an economic border in the Irish Sea. They better hope they still enjoy their present level of influence over the British government whenever concrete negotiations come round.

  16. #235
    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    So effectively no Brexit then :-)

    Today was just a prelude to the nitty-gritty but my reading is the UK cannot make a clean break from the EU because of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland means the UK needs to ensure alignment with the custom union and single market.

    The Leave campaign was about taking control and regaining sovereignty. The end result of the break-up will be the opposite.
    Last edited by ifk101; 08/12/2017 at 8:36 AM.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Say there is no final UK-EU trade deal, does this agreement still commit the UK government to proposing the special solution for Ireland or, rather paradoxically, aligning to single market and customs union rules?

    Or does the no deal and WTO rules possibility with a hard border still exist?

  18. #237
    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    It would appear, in the scenario of no deal, the commitment to no border on the island of Ireland means the preservation of the current status quo. As the UK has (now) committed to no hindrance to trade within the UK, ie an effective border in the Irish Sea, a no deal scenario means total UK alignment to the customs union and single market to satisfy both of these commitments.

    From this the phase two discussions are likely to result in the EU dictating to the UK what it can and cannot have control over in its dealings with the EU. The UK has no choice but to bend to EU stipulations as a no deal scenario still means alignment to the custom union and single market. How far this dictating will extend will become clearer during the phase two negotiations.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    So effectively no Brexit then :-)

    Today was just a prelude to the nitty-gritty but my reading is the UK cannot make a clean break from the EU because of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland means the UK needs to ensure alignment with the custom union and single market.
    UK cannot make a clean break unless it excludes NI from that clean break. It can't do that right now because of the temporary power of the DUP, but they won't always be in power, and May's willingness to exclude them must be frightening for them.

    That line about "unless distinct arrangements are appropriate for Northern Ireland" will probably be crucial.

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  21. #239
    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Ireland and Northern Ireland

    Both Parties affirm that the achievements, benefits and commitments of the peace process will remain of paramount importance to peace, stability and reconciliation. They agree that the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement reached on 10 April 1998 by the United Kingdom Government, the Irish Government and the other participants in the multi-party negotiations (the '1998 Agreement') must be protected in all its parts, and that this extends to the practical application of the 1998 Agreement on the island of Ireland and to the totality of the relationships set out in the Agreement.

    The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union presents a significant and unique challenge in relation to the island of Ireland. The United Kingdom recalls its commitment to protecting the operation of the 1998 Agreement, including its subsequent implementation agreements and arrangements, and to the effective operation of each of the institutions and bodies established under them. The United Kingdom also recalls its commitment to the avoidance of a hard border, including any physical infrastructure or related checks and controls.

    Both Parties recognise the need to respect the provisions of the 1998 Agreement regarding the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the principle of consent. The commitments set out in this joint report are and must remain fully consistent with these provisions. The United Kingdom continues to respect and support fully Northern Ireland's position as an integral part of the United Kingdom, consistent with the principle of consent.

    The United Kingdom respects Ireland's ongoing membership of the European Union and all of the corresponding rights and obligations that entails, in particular Ireland's place in the Internal Market and the Customs Union. The United Kingdom also recalls its commitment to preserving the integrity of its internal market and Northern Ireland's place within it, as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union's Internal Market and Customs Union.

    The commitments and principles outlined in this joint report will not pre-determine the outcome of wider discussions on the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom and are, as necessary, specific to the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland. They are made and must be upheld in all circumstances, irrespective of the nature of any future agreement between the European Union and United Kingdom.

    Cooperation between Ireland and Northern Ireland is a central part of the 1998 Agreement and is essential for achieving reconciliation and the normalisation of relationships on the island of Ireland. In this regard, both Parties recall the roles, functions and safeguards of the Northern Ireland Executive, the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the North-South Ministerial Council (including its cross-community provisions) as set out in the 1998 Agreement. The two Parties have carried out a mapping exercise, which shows that North-South cooperation relies to a significant extent on a common European Union legal and policy framework. Therefore, the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union gives rise to substantial challenges to the maintenance and development of North-South cooperation.

    The United Kingdom remains committed to protecting and supporting continued North-South and East-West cooperation across the full range of political, economic, security, societal and agricultural contexts and frameworks of cooperation, including the continued operation of the North-South implementation bodies.

    The United Kingdom remains committed to protecting North-South cooperation and to its guarantee of avoiding a hard border. Any future arrangements must be compatible with these overarching requirements. The United Kingdom's intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU-UK relationship. Should this not be possible, the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland. In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will 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 allisland economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.

    In the absence of agreed solutions, as set out in the previous paragraph, the United Kingdom will ensure that no new regulatory barriers develop between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, unless, consistent with the 1998 Agreement, the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly agree that distinct arrangements are appropriate for Northern Ireland. In all circumstances, the United Kingdom will continue to ensure the same unfettered access for Northern Ireland's businesses to the whole of the United Kingdom internal market.

    Both Parties will establish mechanisms to ensure the implementation and oversight of any specific arrangement to safeguard the integrity of the EU Internal Market and the Customs Union.

    Both Parties acknowledge that the 1998 Agreement recognises the birth right of all the people of Northern Ireland to choose to be Irish or British or both and be accepted as such. The people of Northern Ireland who are Irish citizens will continue to enjoy rights as EU citizens, including where they reside in Northern Ireland. Both Parties therefore agree that the Withdrawal Agreement should respect and be without prejudice to the rights, opportunities and identity that come with European Union citizenship for such people and, in the next phase of negotiations, will examine arrangements required to give effect to the ongoing exercise of, and access to, their EU rights, opportunities and benefits.

    The 1998 Agreement also includes important provisions on Rights, Safeguards and Equality of Opportunity for which EU law and practice has provided a supporting framework in Northern Ireland and across the island of Ireland. The United Kingdom commits to ensuring that no diminution of rights is caused by its departure from the European Union, including in the area of protection against forms of discrimination enshrined in EU law. The United Kingdom commits to facilitating the related work of the institutions and bodies, established by the 1998 Agreement, in upholding human rights and equality standards.

    Both Parties recognise that the United Kingdom and Ireland may continue to make arrangements between themselves relating to the movement of persons between their territories (Common Travel Area), while fully respecting the rights of natural persons conferred by Union law. The United Kingdom confirms and accepts that the Common Travel Area and associated rights and privileges can continue to operate without affecting Ireland’s obligations under Union law, in particular with respect to free movement for EU citizens.

    Both Parties will honour their commitments to the PEACE and INTERREG funding programmes under the current multi-annual financial framework. Possibilities for future support will be examined favourably.

    Given the specific nature of issues related to Ireland and Northern Ireland, and on the basis of the principles and commitments set out above, both Parties agree that in the next phase work will continue in a distinct strand of the negotiations on the detailed arrangements required to give them effect. Such work will also address issues arising from Ireland’s unique geographic situation, including the transit of goods (to and from Ireland via the United Kingdom), in line with the approach established by the European Council Guidelines of 29 April 2017.
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  22. #240
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who thinks this is a worse deal for the UK from the Monday one? Very surprised the DUP isn't pitching a fit.

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