There is one big issue bogging down the Brexit negotiations. We’ve already talked about the so-called “divorce bill” and citizens’ rights in previous debates, and it looks like an understanding has been reached about those issues (though, of course, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed when it comes to Brexit). If anything, however, those were the easy ones. The Irish border question is proving to be a massive headache for negotiators.

After the UK, Ireland is the EU Member State standing to lose most from a botched Brexit. Almost 40% of Ireland’s exports went to the UK in 2016. Reimposing physical checks at the border would inevitably hurt trade relations, not to mention the sensitive history involved and the risk of unravelling the peace process.

The EU Parliament has proposed Northern Ireland should have an “Irish sea border” with the rest of the UK. Customs checks would be carried out at ports in the North instead of at the Irish border. This would mean Northern Ireland staying in the EU Single Market and Customs Union (or, at the very least, Northern Ireland’s regulatory regime shadowing the EU’s and possibly diverging significantly from the rest of the UK).

However, this sort of creative solution is unlikely to be politically feasible. The UK government has repeatedly ruled out any solution that might damage the “integrity” of the UK’s constitutional order. To complicate things further, the ruling Conservative party in the UK is being propped up by a deal with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP have made it abundantly clear that a border in the Irish sea would be the reddest of red lines for them.

What do our readers think? We had a comment from Rene who describes Brexit as a “mess” and suggests that problems like the Irish border issue have no obvious solutions. Is that too pessimistic? Surely all sides can come together to find a way through? To get a reaction, we spoke to John Bruton, former Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach). What would he say to Rene?

Well, the obvious solution would be for Britain as a whole to remain in the European Customs Union and the Single Market, both of which are consistent with its leaving the European Union. There are countries that are in the Single Market or in a customs union with the EU who are not in the European Union itself.

Next up, we had a comment from Maia proposing her own solution. She thinks Northern Ireland should basically stay in the EU. If that’s going too far, perhaps it could have special status and stay inside the EU Single Market and Customs Union? Would that be possible?

Well, it may be possible. But I think it’s more important that the UK takes the time to have the debate that they really didn’t have during the referendum about the sort of relationship they want with the rest of the European Union. The referendum debate in Britain was very simplified and talked about taking back control and things like that, but didn’t specify what options for the future relationship with the rest of Europe might be chosen, and I think the debate should be focused now within the UK itself as to what they really want in the long-run and what’s in their long-term interests.

Finally, we had a comment from Maureen arguing that the most important thing for ordinary people in Ireland and Northern Ireland was that there is no “hard border” between the North and the Republic.

The UK government has, since the very beginning of the negotiations, been promoting the idea of a so-called “frictionless” border. Is such a thing possible? Perhaps using new technology (like automatic number plate recognition) to facilitate cross-border interactions?

It is possible to have relatively little friction at the border itself, but the friction will have to take place somewhere. It will be either at the border or ten miles from the border on either side because, under the EU customs code, 2% of all cargoes must be physically examined and documents must be produced to verify compliance with Rules of Origin and EU standards. So, friction will occur and it will be very expensive and costly and time-consuming. Whether it actually occurs at the physical line on the border or somewhere else is possibly open to discussion.

Should Northern Ireland stay in the EU Single Market after Brexit? Should Northern Ireland have an “Irish sea border” with the rest of the UK? Should the UK stay in the customs union? Or could a high-tech solution be found, using drones, cameras, and licence plate recognition to create a “frictionless border”? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916


156 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Andrea Brown

    Yes, in EU. Same with Scotland. England wants to leave the EU, let them do it on their own and not drag anyone with them who doesn’t want to leave.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      The majority of Scots voted to remain in the EU as part of the UK…….there was no option on the ballot paper in Scotland to vote to remain in the EU as an independent country……there have been two referendums in Scotland the results of which cannot be correlated in any way

    • avatar
      Seán Rohan

      There is an internal border…thru Ireland

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      ‘Ireland’ is not part of the UK so its an external border.

    • avatar
      Adrian Martyn

      Unfortunetly, rather than grant Home Rule, British unionists created northern Ireland, the border of which lies in Ireland. Because Northern Ireland is situated in Ireland, and is in the UK, there is a land border with the Republic of Ireland, and thus the EU.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Adrian Martyn Northern Ireland is part of the UK so there is no internal border on the isle of Ireland. The border is between the UK & the Republic of Ireland & the fact the republic of Ireland is in the EU is meaningless.

  2. avatar
    José Bessa da Silva

    Either Northern Ireland declares independence or your question is ridiculous. Northern Ireland has all the right to decide it’s future. If it thinks the UK no longer serves it’s interests, just do and independence referendum.
    I think it would do the worst mistake of it’s life by leaving the UK to stay inside the filthy corrupt EU, but that is it’s problem to bare. I also think the UK, as a true democracy, would know how to deal with another independence referendum, unlike the african dictatorships that are Spain and the EU

    • avatar
      Seán Rohan

      Northern Ireland has no right to Independence as it is not a country. It is not even a region/province. There are 4 provinces in Ireland. 1 of them is Ulster which has 9 counties. 6 of those 9 are called Northern Ireland. United Ireland in the EU only longterm solution #UnitedEuropeNotUnitedKingdon

    • avatar
      Múiris Ó Máille

      An independent NI is a nonsense and shows your total lack of knowlege of the situation. Both culturally, politically and economically their are only ever going to be two options. A NI which is in the UK or an NI which is in a united Ireland. An independent NI is not even on the horizon of an option. it suits no one, no one would want it and the nature of the disput precludes it entirely. As set down in law in both Ireland and the UK, as per the good friday agreement a ligitimate and accepted international treaty lodged and accepted by the UN, the ultimate future status can only be determined by the people of Northern Ireland and this may be done at some unspecified point in the future if the conditions are such that a border poll can be called if their is the support or necessity for one. Until such time any action taken by the Irish state to try and pry it loose from the UK or conversely for Britain to partition the Island are totally illegal and will ultimately lead to UN sanctions.

    • avatar
      José Bessa da Silva

      Sorry, I don’t do “establishment”. Everyone has the right to be independent, region, nation, etc. Everyone has tge right to have a word about it’s future.
      It seem europhiles lack the most basic principles of respect abd democracy. Nothing thst I didn’t knew already. That will be the end of EU sooner rather than later.

    • avatar
      Northerner

      Sean Rohan

      Who are you to decide whether we can move for independence – an imperialist Brit or an imperialist Irishman ?

      I thought both of these countries were allowed to “take back control” – but not those 3rd class citizens of Northern Ireland.

      And how even in your ridiculously condescending classification of areas, have you concluded that we’re not even a region ?

      Wise up

  3. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Northern Ireland should send parliamentarians to College Green and not to Stormont. Will the British honor their commitment in the Good Friday Accords to hold a border poll now that a majority of NI has voted to stay inside the EU while the rest of the UK is leaving, suggesting that there has been a change of circumstances which warrants a referendum ti determine this? Didn’t the unionists lose their majority in the NI assembly first time… ever this last election?

    These are just facts and statements on paper. The British honor that as much as they did during their colonial days which is to say not much at all.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      ..and the people of Northern Ireland have no say in this matter?

    • avatar
      Tom Bell

      But its not and at the present the majority of people in Northern Ireland wish to remain British.

    • avatar
      Ignacio C. Furfaro

      A couple of responses: 1. You do not know that. You are just assuming it is that way, based on who knows what, given that no serious polls have been conducted. 2. Even if we were to accept that the majority of the population is currently unionist, elections and demographics trends over the years have shown a clear shift towards Republicanism and catholicism. 3. Even if we were to accept that the majority of the population is unionist, and even if we were to neglect the shifts in demographic trends, will the people remain so when they find themselves isolated in the six counties, separated (yet again) by a hard border with the ROI and in a suffering economy due to such situation?

    • avatar
      Dee O'brien

      Under the jackboot of the EU..

    • avatar
      José Bessa da Silva

      Time to dissolve the EU . Enough is enough with Brussels corruption and anti-democratic values. The EU is dangerous an leading us to war.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Tchoum Xav
      Agreed!
      Not 2 B confused with NI.

    • avatar
      Joaquim Pinto

      Kevin Foley Northern Ireland is UK.

    • avatar
      Paul Woods

      It won’t be for too much longer

  4. avatar
    Kevin Foley

    single market and customs union or a deep recession – no brainer but their choice

  5. avatar
    Geoffrey Howard

    Yes! …and reunite with Ireland…..and let the law deal with any “troublemakers”. There is no excuse not to live together peacefully and productively.

    • avatar
      Anne Eager

      Geoffrey there is no excuse but Sinn Fein always seems to find one.

    • avatar
      Al Smyth

      Oh aye… “reunite”!?!? What historical precedent is there for independent Dublin control of Ulster? Brian Boru – Emperor of the Scots!?

    • avatar
      Geoffrey Howard

      This is 2017. It’s about cooperation not control. It about the future not the past. There are no reasons or excuses against a united Ireland.

    • avatar
      Anne Eager

      Good question, Arthur. I would certainly like to think so. I live in N. Ireland and wouldn’t complain about a border being reinstated. It needs to happen if we are to do Brexit properly. Surely we’ll be able to afford enough staff but I’m sure we won’t get them.

  6. avatar
    catherine benning

    Should Northern Ireland stay in the EU Single Market after Brexit?

    For the EU to be a true democracy, which the way the leaders are chosen today, it cannot be. It must, therefore, offer a referendum to every State in its Union on a regular five year term. This is a necessity in order to allow the citizens to use their natural sense and obligation of self determination. And to give the opportunity to rethink their ties to an organisation that is as out of control as the EU is today.

    Take a look at Southern Ireland. The first referendum they had on being part of the EU had them voting they wanted out. They were then pushed to vote again. And low and behold the vote suddenly changed??? Since then they had a further vote on Gay marriage, and again, you suddenly find a country that is overwhelmingly Catholic votes yes for something not in their preferred agenda??? It is quite clear the citizens would be hard pressed to vote for it at all. They didn’t go and vote for abortion did they? Yet for Gay marriage??? That ended with a little Christian bakers being sued by gays for refusal to cook a cake stating support for two men to be seen as a couple. Not to mention same sex couples being able to adopt children in Catholic Ireland! This feels very strange indeed.

    A regular five year vote on whether a country should remain as part of the EU would be a good balance against the dictatorship the EU presently presents.

    However, what has to happen and quickly, is for some clever company to come up with a foolproof voting machine. As well as proven identification connected to a database to show who is voting and how many times. Facial recognition so the public can be sure they are not being duped. Which appears to be happening across the Western world. Have you ever met an Australian who believes in Gay marriage and the consequences of it? Yet, they recently voted it in????

    No, there has to be a mechanism in place that allows the citizens of any EU country to be able to reject the union on a regular basis. Just as all democracies have the ‘right’ to be able to rid themselves of politicians that do not perform for the good of the people. Or, those who run a platform with one agenda and once elected carry off on a completely different agenda.

    Think of it this way, do you know anyone who voted for ‘a new world order’? Or, anyone who knew or knows what the ‘new world order’ is or where it is taking us? Do you know anyone who voted to hand their taxes, in the trillions, to Banks who were and are insolvent? Do you know anyone who knew this was in the offing and that by doing this incredibly foolish move it would force many of our people into utter poverty in jobless societies? Do you know anyone who voted for mass immigration to the extent it would change their culture to that of violent intolerance, the way it has right across the EU States?

    Did you know, for example, that European banks are planning to change laws to enable them to freeze your bank accounts and stop you withdrawing your cash, in the event they, once again, go bust? In fact this will give them the power to rob you of your money. If they gave you a vote on it, would you vote yes to such theft?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-banks-deposits/eu-explores-account-freezes-to-prevent-runs-at-failing-banks-idUSKBN1AD1RS

    And these links tells how the votes are fixed. Do they tell the public before they do it???? And explain how this will affect their voting outcome? I don’t think so.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ireland/1410752/They-rigged-the-rules-and-then-the-question.html

    http://lunaticoutpost.com/thread-546138.html

    And you all know how these results are affecting your every day life. Your schools and what they teach, your health service and how its changed, your income and work prospects, your housing and pension possibilities. Did you vote for any of this????

    The democratic answer has to be ‘the right to vote for the overwhelming withdrawal of all EU laws’ and requirements that do not coincide with your social welfare and business prospects. And this right has to be available to the European citizen, every five years, to democratically sanction to continue as part of the EU.

    Northern Ireland is part of the UK. When we Brexit Northern Ireland leaves this union along with us. The EU must concern itself with the people who want it to surround their daily life. Catalonia for example. Should they leave the single market? Give them a referendum and see if they want to remain part of your dictatorship.

  7. avatar
    Jon Bromfield

    Why should we drag Northern Ireland and Scotland down with us. I thought we lived in a democracy so they should be allowed to remain

    • avatar
      Hugh Burns

      We are not dragging anyone down, we are setting ourselves free.

    • avatar
      Jon Bromfield

      Hugh Burns. Try telling that to the homeless and poor of this country buddy. Also I bet you own your own house, big fat pension, money in the bank, All achieved while being in the EU I might add

    • avatar
      Bogdan Iliuță Istrate

      Hugh Burns since NI kind of voted to stay in the EU, technically you’re pushing them to do something they by majority rejected. from their perspective, you’re dragging them into something they didn’t sign up for.

    • avatar
      Anne Eager

      I live in N. Ireland and I don’t want to Remain. I voted to leave along with many others.

    • avatar
      Jon Bromfield

      Anne Eager. But overall N.Ireland decided to remain. So you are being pushed into Brexit by a government in the S.E of England

    • avatar
      Paul X

      We do live in a democracy and the whole of the UK had a democratic vote to leave the EU.
      Despite what the SNP would have you believe, just because 62% of Scots voted for the UK to remain in the EU does not automatically mean that same 62% wish for an independent Scotland to be a member of EU

  8. avatar
    Lefter Isuf Gjura

    Fucking double standards Debating Europe! On Catalunia you very quick to denounce them on separation but on the UK you quick to favour the separation
    Tell us wich moron are you running this site, a French frog or a pole refugee

  9. avatar
    Lefter Isuf Gjura

    Fucking double standards Debating Europe! On Catalunia you very quick to denounce them on separation but on the UK you quick to favour the separation
    Tell us wich moron are you running this site, a French frog or a pole refugee

  10. avatar
    Lefter Isuf Gjura

    Fucking double standards Debating Europe! On Catalunia you very quick to denounce them on separation but on the UK you quick to favour the separation
    Tell us wich moron are you running this site, a French frog or a pole refugee

  11. avatar
    Lefter Isuf Gjura

    Fucking double standards Debating Europe! On Catalunia you very quick to denounce them on separation but on the UK you quick to favour the separation
    Tell us wich moron are you running this site, a French frog or a pole refugee

  12. avatar
    Alex N Bu

    ??? isn`t that a stupid question …

    sure lets brake all the countries in pieces !! isn`t that a great ideea

  13. avatar
    Stuart Fearn

    Its all down to the DUP. Either help Terrible Liar May to screw us all over or accept a United Ireland

    • avatar
      Anne Eager

      It’s all down to Sinn Fein supporters wanting a United Ireland and DUP supporters wanting to remain part of the UK. I want to stay in the UK and leave the EU.

  14. avatar
    Adrian Martyn

    The sheer lack of knowlege by many (not all) poster is interesting. Let it be said that term chosen is “Brexit” – if they wanted UKexit, they should have said so …

    • avatar
      Al Smyth

      You don’t live in the “British” Isles or archipelago then!?

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Actually it couldn’t have been clearer than it was on the ballot paper…should the UK leave or remain in the EU..and to leave is what people wanted and indeed clearly said so..

      As it happens the person who is credited with the term “Brexit” was a staunch remainer, and agreed, there was a sheer lack of knowledge on his part

  15. avatar
    Andrew Alexander Bowden

    Of course the border should be between the islands of Ireland and Britain. The only new customs and security check point would be at Stranraer. There are already customs and security check points at all the commercial airports, the only change would be that passengers from the island of Ireland would have to go through them. There are hundreds of crossing points on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic – unfeasible.

  16. avatar
    Rob Eastham

    Absolutely not, NI is part of the territory of the UK and the UK and RoI have had a special relationship for the last century – the EU must respect this and the integrity of nation states. Is Catalonia not a wake up call?

  17. avatar
    Bogdan Iliuță Istrate

    much as I’d like to see some Brits losing their minds about it, the UK has voted to leave the EU as a country, so there’s no debate on whether or not Northern Ireland should still remain. they voted together, they leave together. whether or not NI would later prefer to ditch the UK and join the EU (which I honestly doubt), that’s another story altogether.

  18. avatar
    Sean Doherty

    There is no reason why Northern Ireland should remain in the EU. Northern Cyprus is deemed to be in the EU, although it is de facto, Turkish controlled.

  19. avatar
    Roger O'Keeffe

    Yes. Make it a tax haven within the UK and the hyper-rich Cons will love-bomb the DUP loyalist terrorist-fellow-travellers to persuade them to accept this.

  20. avatar
    Boyan Taksirov

    A hard border, for sure.
    NI can’t stay in the Single Market as a part of the UK. That would be an extremely complicated issue neither the EU, nor the UK would really want.
    If NI doesn’t like it, they may consider a detachment from the UK and unification with Eire.

  21. avatar
    Paul X

    The EU must have an answer to the issue of the Irish border?… with Mr Juncker’s ambition for every EU country to be a member of Schengen he must have some proposal for what control would be put in place at the border between the Schengen Republic of Ireland and the non Schengen North?………….at the moment everyone is blaming Brexit for the issue but clearly the EU plans would also create a similar problem, it’s just convenient for them to hide behind Brexit

    • avatar
      Karolina

      The IRA is also hiding behind Brexit. They loaded their guns in the week after the referendum and the UK government raised the terror threat level. Everyone thought it was because of jihadis why the threat level was raised. Convenient to hide behind them…

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Karolina
      Please kindly provide evidence of your assertion as it seems very interesting.

      Thank you

    • avatar
      Karolina

      Hi Tarquin,

      yes it is interesting. The raising of the level was straight after the Brexit vote and I will see if I can find where I read it. I am curious to hear your thoughts as well…

    • avatar
      Karolina

      Hi Tarquin,
      So it wasn’t after the referendum but before that that Irish terrorism went up as a threat, in May 2016, right when the first opinion polls in favour of Brexit started coming out.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36267052

      As you may be aware, the issue of Ireland also is no 1 in the negotiation with Brussels, so it looks like the terror cells in the North simply pursue similar results as the government in Ireland, albeit by the use of different tactics. I think there is a direct link between Irish terrorism and Brexit.

      So here is an article by Chatham House which briefly explains the link between Brexit and Irish terrorism.

      https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/brexit-s-threat-northern-ireland

      Basically, Brexit means that the UK is unable to honour some of its commitments on the peace process, meaning, violence could return.

      Here is a list of top terror-afflicted countries in the EU for 2016:

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/746674/number-of-terrorist-attacks-in-the-european-union-eu/

      But I’ve only managed to find a brief analysis of the UK figures for 2015, where it is mentioned that most of the threat in the UK is from NI. The article for 2016 seems to have gone missing.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36845647

      See if you can find them for 2016.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      @ Karolina
      Much as I would hate to question your data source but I would really like to know who put together that rubbish on the “statista” website

      The “incidences of terror in the UK 1960 to 2009 ” is a complete joke

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/539190/incidences-of-terrorism-united-kingdom/

      Zero incidences of terrorism in 1976 at the height of the IRA campaign!!!, only 4 in 1975 and 3 in 1977 ????

      I suggest they review their statistics for what actually went on in the UK in the 1970’s

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Provisional_Irish_Republican_Army_actions_(1970%E2%80%9379)

      …and as for 191 incidences in 2001?, I can only assume I was out the country that year

    • avatar
      Karolina

      Paul, please, feel free to get in touch with them and give them your feedback. However, my comment was not really referring to that date range.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Karolina
      The EU will try to deflect the blame on the return of NI terrorist violence to the UK on the UK, but it will be the EU’s doing, courtesy of their sotto voce ‘BUSINESS BEFORE BEINGS’ mantra!

      Unfortunately, I fear that Loyalists will start to target EU citizens in GB, NI and further afield. The return of ‘the troubles’ will build a lot of animosity up towards law-abiding and peaceful EU foreigners resident in the UK – many will voluntarily leave; others will be coerced to leave. Indeed, EU civil servants could, unfortunately, bear the horrendous brunt of the rabid, fervid and putrid decision-making of the Brussels elite.

      I really don’t want to go back to the times when people had to check underneath their cars prior to using same.

      If such terrible things come to pass – the blame will lay FAIRLY, SQUARELY AND WHOLLY with the corrupt and unaccountable EU!

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Yes I know Karolina, your reference was about terrorist attacks in 2016, and that data is equally absurd 76 attacks in the UK?? three times France??..utter rubbish I think the UK public would be well aware if we were suffering an average of 1.5 terrorist attacks a week

    • avatar
      Karolina

      Tarquin, I am sorry but I am not getting your point. The threat level was raised by the UK government and not the EU. The figures for the statistics would have been provided by them as well…

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Karolina
      NP.
      Try to re-read it a few times to aid comprehension, otherwise, ask a native English language speaker for guidance.

    • avatar
      Karolina

      I knew it you wouldn’t answer. You have lost the debate as you have failed to back up your claims with data and are now resorting to intimidation and insults in the hope that I will go away. This has been your standard debating tactic throughout. Apart from when you try and play the race card… How sad!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Karoliar
      You INITIALLY stated:

      “The IRA is also hiding behind Brexit. They loaded their guns in the week after the referendum and the UK government raised the terror threat level.”

      Then AFTER being corrected you changed your mind:

      “Hi Tarquin,
      So it wasn’t after the referendum but before that that Irish terrorism went up as a threat”

      Your original assertion was a complete and outright LIE!

      When it comes to facts – Karoliar is lax.

    • avatar
      Karolina

      You seem to be completely ignoring the substance of my posts and concentrating on small technicalities of minimal importance. You are clearly uncomfortable with the substance of those and unable to refute it. The fact is there has been a rise in the threat from Irish terrorism as part of the Brexit of the referendum. I can’t see that you are even commenting on this. You are just not happy about it and trying to change the topic…

  22. avatar
    Rob Smith

    not going to happen, I think DD’s words were carefully chosen after the latest round, “no new border within our united kingdom” – this means there will be a new border between ROI and NI (and ROI/UK ie a sea border)

  23. avatar
    Jude De Froissard

    Is there a border between France and Switzerland. ..no……Germany and Switzerland. ..no..So why should there be one there?

  24. avatar
    Karolina

    Yes, by joining Southern Ireland.

  25. avatar
    Carlos Branco

    north ireland is part of uk. north irland shuld be ban from playing in sport events, they shuld play under uk flag.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Carlos Branco
      Are there many teams that play under a UK flag?

  26. avatar
    Carlos Branco

    only united ireland, indeed. north ireland shuld not even play in sport events because is part of UK. north ireland shuld be part of ireland i agree on that, is under occupation just like gibraltar.

  27. avatar
    Karolina

    The whole peace process in Ireland is based on the understanding that both parts are in the EU. If the UK is not going to be in the EU the war to break away will be back on. Pure common sense.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Karolina
      Possibly – EU immigrants will be the first to feel it I’m afraid.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Actually the EU had no influence on the Good Friday agreement, it is between the North & South of Ireland and the UK government. Yes the text of the agreement does refer to certain EU institutions (e.g. ECHR) but then so does a lot of UK legislation, and like the rest of this legislation the EU references can be written out with little impact on the context of the document

      In reality, idiots who never liked the agreement are already looking on Brexit as an opportunity to kick off again

    • avatar
      Karolina

      Can you elaborate on what makes you think that, Tarquin?

  28. avatar
    Man Von

    I would rather say yes as I don’t understand why people who where not silly enough to listen to the incredible, to the huge liesof Nigel Farage schould share the same fate as those who believed in the now revelated bullshit of Brexiters. Why should the most clever ones pay for the idiots?

    • avatar
      Paul X

      That’s your opinion, in reality It’s not been proven yet exactly who were the idiots….

  29. avatar
    catherine benning

    Should Northern Ireland stay in the EU Single Market after Brexit?

    Northern Ireland is part of the UK. As part of the UK they will be out of the EU as we all will be here on Brexit day.

    If Southern Ireland was smart, it would join the rest of the UK in following Brexit and become part of the UK. Financially it would be in their best interests as well as socially. They should move toward a referendum to do so as soon as possible. Otherwise they will be flooded with more foreign migrants who will change their society from one of Catholic society to a howling madhouse, similar to the metropolitan cities of the rest of the UK.

    What the Irish Republicans need to ask themselves is, are they happy and comfortable with the changes taken since being part of the EU? What has it done for them personally and in their community, as well as their daily lives, since joining? Is this what they want for their future?

    If the answer to that is, yes, then best wishes to them for their future. If the answer is, no, they cannot wait longer to take the democratic measures to change it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP9AGCSfOm8

    And here is an eye opener for us all.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-JVVBbiUaA

    And they have Direct Democracy. Which we all should have if we believe in true rule by the people for the people.

  30. avatar
    Stephen Pockley

    No the UK is leaving the SM & CU and so will NI. The DUP the largest party has said it wants no desperate deal from the rest of the UK.

  31. avatar
    Franck Legon

    Northern Ireland should be given back to Ireland to re-unite. The English occupying has already been much too long. Freedom and unity for Ireland.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      We can always relay on some lunatic making that idiotic remark comrade. Well done.

    • avatar
      Kirstie Mamoyo Rogers

      I think you will find that the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly against this.

    • avatar
      Franck Legon

      … better ask them before giving the result, if only they’re one fine day asked their opinion…

    • avatar
      Péter Sebők

      Long live the United Ireland and God bless the disUnited Queendom

  32. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    What a ridiculous question. NI is part of the UK so they will be leaving the single market and having the same arrangement with the EU as the rest of the UK.

    • avatar
      Uli Czeranka

      So what about the peace agreement?

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Uli Czeranka What as that got to do with anything ? The agreement is about trade. not peace.

    • avatar
      Uli Czeranka

      its obviously about open borders. Not being part of a single market would mean closing the irish border which should remain open according to the peace agreement from 1998…

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Uli Czeranka ‘Should’ who said it should ? there are many ways to have a none fixed border without bending to the will of the antidemocratic EU.

    • avatar
      Uli Czeranka

      so either you say the rules stay the same and the border stay open which would be ridiculous regarding seperate markets or you close the borders and accept the economic and political consequences. Its not clear which position you prefer except “having the same arragements” (which its a pretty empty argument, as the question is about the developement of these arrangements)

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Uli Czeranka We are leaving the pointless EU so of course it will be a separate market & it is high time Brussels finally realised the fact.

    • avatar
      Péter Sebők

      Ivan Burrows. The disUnited Kingdom will be scrapped with you. Little England remains at the junk yard of the history. Haha

    • avatar
      Uli Czeranka

      you still didnt answer my question. How you want to accomodate separated markets with the peace agreement and the reality that there is a border between the irish parts that you cannot close just like that. (dependencies, relations)

    • avatar
      Uli Czeranka

      so why GB just agreed on a soft border regime? is it maybe because there is no real plan except “overcome great challenges”.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      The ‘challenge’ of the border as been overcome so what is your point ?

    • avatar
      Uli Czeranka

      by basically granting Northern Ireland access to the EU market until you have a better plan. but sell it as success, sure.

    • avatar
      Uli Czeranka

      “49. 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 all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.”

  33. avatar
    Respect Minority Rights

    Say hello to a porous border with jelly foundations. We are better together.

    It has revitalised the Irish Reunification argument and it is time that we begin to consider how we can respect both communities or this very prospect is possible. Minority rights is not just about a religion now, but it’s a country- Northern Ireland (voted to Stay) . With a fraction of the UKs population what democratic say do we have (other than prop up a Tory Government to little avail and enable suspect backdoor dealing). Technically speaking any vote that England consents to, outweighs Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales by double plus.

    Politics globally today is not about progression, it’s because people are bored and culpable to wide stream media.

    Time to get real.

    Time to enable progressive thinking and not if I want a better future will I betray the Queen or I want capitalise on the uncertainty for a United Ireland.

    Financially we can have a foot in both camps so unless old attitudes are rescinded we are going to suffer either way.

    Northern Ireland can soften the blow of Brexit but both camps are pushing old agendas under new policies and rhetoric.

  34. avatar
    Ian Sargent

    John Bruton was always a “closet Unionist”

  35. avatar
    Patrick

    Yes. The people of Ireland are not going to relive the horrors of the past when physical checks become a genuine target for dissidents. The peace process is protected by our EU membership, any sort of undermining is detrimental whether people believe it or not.

  36. avatar
    Gustav

    They could have a referendum about it.

  37. avatar
    João

    Yes but only after independente, ir integrativo on Ireland república…

  38. avatar
    Ivan

    No, it has nothing to do with the pointless EU.northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland so when the United Kingdom leaves the EU Northern Ireland will leave. If Brussels gets it wrong for self serving idiot reason the economy & therefore the living standards for the people of Southern Ireland will be decimated.

  39. avatar
    Pedro

    Yes. They have already voted to remain.

  40. avatar
    Kevin

    Send all unionist over to the UK and unity Ireland problem solved start with Irene foster

  41. avatar
    Frank

    No and the Irish state should follow the UK out too.

  42. avatar
    Nick

    Of course it shouldn’t. The United Kingdom voted to leave it. They are the United Kingdom.

  43. avatar
    Victor

    In England and Wales Brexiteers can claim they have a mandate but what is the DUP’s mandate? The majority in NI voted to stay in the EU

  44. avatar
    Pedro

    Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU 56% v. 44%. It is being treated as a colony.

  45. avatar
    Paul

    Why not have the pas de calais area leave the CU/IM.

  46. avatar
    Tina

    I believe the EU Playing With Fire and the outcome will be UK get out of The EU and That means No Divorce Pay, Zero…. They do not any good for any side but guess much worst for themselves….

  47. avatar
    Demetris

    The comment section is about English proudly referring to themselves as a democratic state but N. Ireland alongside Scotland have to succumb to the English will to leave the EU (even though they voted to remain) and at the same time calling the EU ‘undemocratic’ with no solid arguments.
    Saved you the trouble of going through it

  48. avatar
    Rob

    This isn’t a valid question. NI is part of the UK, the UK voted to leave. There will be no hard border unless the new EU army wishes to implement one against the will of the Irish and British governments.

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