Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Nobody move or the border gets it!

From The Guardian, after some vacuous drivel from Gordon Brown which is not even worth taking the piss out of:

Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, has said that a vote to leave the EU would lead to the return of some form of border controls at the border with the Republic. Speaking at the University of Ulster, he said:

"The re-establishment of customs checks on the border, or indeed of any customs arrangements, would be a regrettable and backward step for North-South trade and cooperation...

"We are standing here today less than 50 miles from the United Kingdom’s only land border. Can anyone credibly suggest that nothing would change if that became the western border of the European Union? We remember when it was a hard border. We remember the delays, the cost and the division. One of the most beneficial effects of the peace process and our common membership of the EU has been the virtual elimination of that border."

There was a very open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland/UK until The Troubles, 1970 or thereabouts, when neither country was in the EEC. Ireland and the Irish retained preferential treatment after it/they demerged from the UK in (the 1920s or 1930s? Never really clear to me), for most purposes, they are still treated on a par with full UK citizens (Irish passport holders have the right to vote in UK elections, certain tax advantages etc).

Both countries joined the EEC as was at the same time in 1973.

The armed police, border controls persisted until the 1990s when the worst of The Troubles had died down again (thanks to The Peace Process i.e. massive bribes and diplomatic spadework by John Major, with Tony Blair riding in to get the glory).

To thank the EU for this is laughable. I'm sure it did no harm, but it deserves little or none of the credit. For once, the Yanks were a moderating force in all this.


John Miller said...

The trouble is, I always read his name as Edna and get a bit of a shock at the following "he".

Puts me right off my stroke.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JM, I find the "Edna" or "Enda" thing also a bit confusing. Maybe he could pack in politics and become an actor on "East Enders"?