The European Union thinks it can tell Northern Ireland what to do after Brexit – putting the EU camel’s nose into the UK tent. This is more than a hard or soft border. This is over-reaching the border into a sovereign nation-state.
The EU is so used to telling its member-states what to do that it thinks it can tell the UK what to do after Brexit.
The European Commission has just published its 119 page first Draft Withdrawal Agreement concerning Brexit. It wants alignment between Northern Ireland and the EU, in effect an attempted power-grab of Northern Ireland from the UK.
This is an example of ‘divide and rule’ politics. The difficulty of Brexit negotiations is a good example of why a nation-state should be very careful in the future about giving away any of its sovereignty to international collectives. The longer such a co-operative exists and the larger it grows, the more difficult it is for a nation-state to disentangle itself from the locked-in gains of the growing co-operative, the further it is drawn in.
The EU has controlled the timetable, events and debate in Brexit negotiations, and its grandiose opinions and thinking encourage its fantasy that it can continue to control the UK after Brexit.
It wants the European Court of Justice to have jurisdiction over European citizens living in post-Brexit Britain. Now it wants to tell Northern Ireland and the UK what to do within its own borders. Its default or ‘backstop’ position is for the customs union to apply to Northern Ireland and thus remain subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. The issue of the Northern Ireland border is being confused with trade, the free movement of goods, workers and citizens, in the on-going attempt to thwart Brexit.
Within the Customs Union, international trade negotiations were done on behalf of member-states by EU negotiators, thus the UK Brexit negotiators had ‘to get up to speed’ with international trade negotiations from a standing start – and given the circumstances, they are doing very well. UK Government skills are being honed up as a result of dealing with the sleight of hand practised by seasonsed EU negotiators. After Brexit negotiations, the UK can look forward to playing a strong hand on the global stage.
Meanwhile, the border issue has already been solved, but you would never know it if you listened to the scaremongering, Project Fear cheer-leaders. It suits these Nay-sayers to try to scare the UK public with the prospect of the breakdown of the Good Friday Agreement. Breakdown by whom? None else than the men of violence. It is time for a good dose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to teach these wicked murderers of their desperate need of a change of heart if they are ever to enter heaven, far less the Utopia of a united Ireland. Why are former Prime Ministers like Tony Blair and John Major peddling this fear factor? Could it be that they are afraid for their own legacy in securing the Good Friday Agreement and for their wasted years in building up the European project? Is the UK’s future to be determined by their fears and by the violence of murderers? Instead, these former Prime Ministers should be using their influence to preach peace on Earth to these murderers instead of fear to UK citizens, but this may not suit their agenda.
1 Mar 2018: Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, has asked Theresa May for a better border idea. Surely he does not mean that he will listen to and submit to her proposal? Rather he suggests that she cannot do so. It will not be the first nor the last time that the limits of a person’s imagination are exposed.
2 Mar 2018: BBC Radio 4 Political Thinking with Nick Robinson: at 9’40: Robinson asserts that while Tony Blair and John Major were opposed to each other in a General Election and in different parties, “but on Northern Ireland, and on Europe, and on protecting their legacy, they are on the same side.”
7 Mar 2018: solving Northern Ireland’s border issue.
12 Mar 2019: after last minute negotiations yesterday, the Attorney General’s legal advice published today that the legal risk to the UK in the Withdrawal Agreement is reduced but unchanged – the UK could not leave the EU without the consent of the EU. The EU wants to continue to try to control post-Brexit UK.