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Taking Back Control – or Not?

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union-flagirish_tricolour-1Given that a key #Brexit topic of the moment is the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, I am resurrecting another old post.

On BBC Newsnight last night Kirsty Wark challenged Bertie Ahern to say that he and the present Taosiach, Leo Veradker, would welcome a hard border. Obviously he would not do so. No one in Ireland, or anywhere in the EU, wants a hard border. It is only the British government and the hard core of its EU hating citizens who seem incapable of understanding that you either have a hard border or no border.

The rationale of the decision to leave was that Britain wanted to control its borders. Logically that must include the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

But it goes deeper than that. If Britain exits the customs union it is not only the mainland border that will need to have custom controls installed. They will need to be installed at all the ports that serve routes between Britain and the EU. Dover is the busiest of these, but Southampton, Hull, Immingham, Felixstowe and, of course, Hollyhead are also important points of entry and exit. Wikipedia lists 70 major ports around the coast of England and Wales. And that is to ignore the many airports that serve air borne transport between Britain and the rest of Europe.

The BBC regularly points out the magnitude of the problems resulting from the referendum result, including that of policing all of these points of entry if Britain is to gain full control of her borders. The usual response from those who want #Brexit at any price is to call the BBC out for being too negative about the subject.

Others seem to believe that it will all come right in the end because the EU do not want to see the erection of trade barriers between the UK and the other 27 members. To which I ask the simple question: what is the point of spending two years negotiating the UK’s departure from the Single Market and the Customs Union in order to create a new relationship that replicates what has been negotiated away?

If it looks like a customs union and operates like a customs union then it bloody well IS a customs union and all that heartache, all those hours of bureaucrats’ time expended, the uncertainty disrupting British business, are a criminal waste when there are so many far more important problems the government and its employees ought to be tackling.

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5 Comments

  1. Clive says:

    Many British citizens neither hate the EU or want to leave it. It is a pity that an advisory referendum was held on a straight majority basis and is being interpreted by our government as the justification to destroy everything that is good about our links with the EU. I have no faith in the incompetents and clowns who run our country, who lied to us about what leaving the EU would entail, and who are now struggling to comprehend the magnitude of what they have brought upon themselves and us. I’m far from being alone in that view!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. franklparker says:

    Clive, like me you are of the ‘older generation’. It really galls me when I read that it is us ‘oldies’ who are responsible for this mess.

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  3. Some great points there Frank – and why is it the old people that seem to see through the smoke and mirrors.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. franklparker says:

    If it is true that it was the older generation who voted in much larger numbers for the ‘Leave’ option it has to be because they have been fed myths and downright lies by the media ever since the UK joined the EU project. Younger people probably don’t read those news papers and enjoy the many benefits of membership, especially easy travel across the continent and the ability to work anywhere in Europe. Boons that are about to be rudely snatched from them in pursuit of a misguided belief that a group of zealots in Brussels controls our lives.

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  5. […] As I pointed out last week, the only possible way out of this mess is to admit that controlling this particular border is impossible. And, given the existence of the Channel Tunnel and the frequency of Ro-Ro ferry operations between the UK and continental Europe, controlling those borders is equally impractical and undesirable. […]

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