Monday, 20 November 2017

I read this the other way about

Here  h/t guido

Intriguing.

All this horrible bureaucratic complexity is a function of the failure of the Single Market - in fact a Customs Union, aka a protectionist bloc.  In other words this is not a problem caused by the UK's decision to brexit but of the ludicrous nature of the EU's bureaucracy.  (Confession. In my case getting out from under all this is one of my prime reasons for voting out.)

Of course there are all the politics here.  Eire wanting NI 'back'. The EU necessarily determined to demonstrate how difficult and expensive it is to leave its empire so that other nations do not follow our example.

So why not just declare unilateral free trade?  That immediately puts the emphasis back on the EU / Eire to resolve all the small print, with our agreement, not the other way about.

18 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed. Let's wait until PaulC calls us all neo liberal idiots :-)

DBC Reed said...

How would us declaring unilateral Free Trade and the Republic staying in the EU obviate the need for a hard border?Face it: the Irish border problem makes hard Brexit impossible.One of the many problems the Beleavers hadn't thought through probably because they didn't think they would win the Referendum and have to face reality.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, unilateral free trade is compatible with everything.

Opposing it on some sort of logical level is like saying "Unilateral nuclear disarmanent will never work unless all other countries disarm".

If the Irish want to sell stuff to Northern Ireland or the UK, no problem. If that stuff complies with EU reg's, probably safe, if not, then the importer is fined/sued/whatever.

You're old enough to know that Irish citizens have always had more or less equal rights with UK citizens, they can automatically vote here FFS (because in the 1930s, the UK government pretended Irish independence never happened and that Irish citizens were still British citizens - but that has been to their advantage more than ours). Why would that change??

Similarly, the UK can have its own immigration policy. Irish people cross the border and come into the UK, that's fine same as ever.

Other people want to cross the Irish border, we are perfectly entitled to stop them and send them back, that's the same as ever as well.

Lola said...

DBCR. What MW ses.

We control for 'immigration', but not for 'emigration'. (To do the latter is lefty fascism). We do not 'control' for trade. So, yes, a citizen of Eire would have to ask for permission to live in the UK, as a UK citizen would have to ask the Eire authorities to live in Eire. The complication is the EU's desperation to have power over all of Europe. But if we declare unilateral free trade that complication only applies to citizens. Not trade.

Graeme said...

DBCR the problem is with the customs union. Free trade NI wants to sell stuff to Eire but Eire has to erect a customs barrier if it wants to continue being part of the customs union. Whose problem is it?

Lola said...

Oh, and I see that the EU is trying to make 'regulation' and 'low taxes' and 'free trade' part of their bargaining. That is they don't want us to do it.

I bet they bloody well don't. To have the worlds best offshore financial centre with low taxes and low regulation just off your own shore would reveal just how sclerotic EU bureaucratism had become.

DBC Reed said...

On a realistic level, people will cross the border into Northern Ireland to buy up by the lorry load cheap "duty free" goods there.The Republic is not going to be able to stop them without blocking off lanes and back roads.Republican towns just over the border will go out of business:a recipe for violence.

Lola said...

DBCR - Yes. And no. If anything the 'violence' will be against the EU. Oh dear. How sad. What a pity.

Steven_L said...

NI should have a referendum, in the UK and out of the EU or in Eire and in the EU. Now we've establish what the majorities of English, Welsh and Scotsfolk want they should have their turn.

Lola said...

Steven_L From memory NI voted Out I would be intrigued to see if they did that again on whether they wanted to reunite Ireland.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, NI as a whole voted to stay IN. Vote split largely along Republican or Loyalist lines.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Mark Wadsworth said...
SL, good plan re NI ref.thats unlikely to lead to an escalation of tensions or any outbreak of violence. Whatever the result, I am sure the losing side will accept it with eqanimity, leading to an end to The Troubles once and for all.

Lola said...

Damn i meant IN. Mistyped

Bayard said...

Ok, how about the UK devolves NI to the point where it can stay in the EU, but is still technically enough "part of the UK" to keep the Unionists happy? Then the border shifts to the Irish Sea and everyone is happy.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, was one hell of a typo :-)

B, I was thinking the same. There are loads of funny 'offshore' territories that for some purposes are part of the EU and some purposes aren't (for VAT or for freedom of movement purposes); or for some purposes are part of an EU member state/parent country and some purposes aren't (i.e. can or can't vote in national elections). It's all a colossal fudge.

List here.

The problem is that the In/Out vote in NI ran largely along the usual sectarian lines as you would expect.

Either way, settled YPP policy is:

1. Unilateral free trade for imports from Ireland (or anywhere else). The importer is liable for defects. NI people welcome to go shopping in Ireland; Irish people welcome to go shopping in NI.

2. Stick with the rather anachronistic rule that Irish citizens are pretty much treated on a par with British citizens. Can come and go as they please.

3. Immigrants from other countries - we can make up our own rules. The problem might be distinguishing between actual Irish people and non-Irish people who happen to have an Irish passport, but hey, it's all largely artificial.

4. That's it. If the Irish want to have a hard border on their side to keep the EU happy, that's their loss and their problem. The East/West German border was one such extreme example that was hard on one side and porous on the other (for East Germans) and pretty porous in both directions (for West Germans).

DBC Reed said...

From memory Sinn Fein was extremely anti EU on the old Socialist lines set out by Tony Benn etc (which the slo lerners of the Conservative Party now seem to have belatedly come to support).With most shopping being done of a weekend across the border in unilateral NI, I cannot imagine Sinn Fein reacting to the dereliction of Irish shopping centres with level-headed policies consistent with their old anti-EU stance.

Bayard said...

MW, what is the status, EU wise, of all those bits of France that are in the Caribbean?

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, no idea. Like I said, it is a colossal fudge, in for some purposes, out for others.