Who fears to speak, and who do you believe on Brexit?
No matter which paper you read, no matter which tv programme you watch, a different Brexit story unfolds. If you listen really carefully, you will note that the latest digest of news speedily contradicts from the previous and so on. Even as I write this blog, Brexit and its impact on Ireland continues to unravel. One could say ‘’who do you believe?’’
Focusing on the past three weeks, there has been a flurry of contradictory news stories. Former US President Bill Clinton thinks it’s the craziest thing he’s ever heard. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, you could describe him as a serial campaigner, continues to point out the insane deficiencies in going a step too far. In the past 24 hours, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has entered the conversation. He too adds his voice in saying that Brexit makes no sense and that the UK should vote again.
Yesterday saw a surprise visit by the British Brexit minister David Davis, who wanted to come to Ireland to see part of the Irish border and giggle. His visit prompted The Irish Border to tweet:
Since the UK vote for Brexit in June 2016, and as the UK is now approaching the point at which decisions need to be made, the Irish Government needs to step up and play a pivotal role. The decision of whether Britain should join a customs union with the EU, and therefore maintaining a common external tariff against the rest of the world, will have profound effects on business interests in Ireland and, more importantly, people living in border regions.
Last Friday, at Dublin Port, launched a monster vessel that will hopefully assist Irish businesses reach the mainland of Europe and new markets with the least pain and effort. According to British media, if Britain leaves the EU customs union, the UK will no longer be able to rely on the vast port facilities in Rotterdam. This is something that Ireland should seize on and exploit thanks to her new sea-going vessel the MV Celine.
The voyage for Brexit is entering uncharted waters as matters are now being debated in the Commons. One commentator has already written ‘’May is chasing a fantasist Brexit and she must change course now’’.
However, as I write this blog, we are becoming increasingly aware of remainers such as actor Patrick Stewart and others who are seeking to campaign for another vote. This time the vote is based on this week’s Commons vote on the EU withdrawal bill in May. If the British tabloid The Sun, a pro-leave newspaper, is anything to go by, ‘’voting for such an outcome would be Britain’s national humiliation in generations.’’
However, our focus should remain on the impact for trade in Ireland. If I may repeat, it is going to be impossible to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. If you listen to the hard leavers in the UK, Brexit without leaving the customs union is pointless.
In today’s ever changing media landscape on Brexit, one could not help chuckle at the UK’s understanding of the impact Brexit will have on Ireland. The other evening, while listening to LBC and the truly brilliant broadcaster James O’Brien who managed to draw out a caller to his programme. The caller embarked on an array of dizzying and daring recommendations to sort out the border problem. Certainly worth a watch and a listen. It really is very funny and having listened to it a number of times, it prompted me to write this blog.
Hope you enjoy Peter from Bury and his rather bizarre take and proposals to solve the problem of the Irish, Brexit and Hard or Soft Border.