Bad news from two horses’ mouths

People who state the bleeding obvious are normally a pain in the ear, but sometimes it needs to be spelled out in clear and painful detail. So for those who believe that Ireland would be better off without a backstop, it might help if they thumbed through two recent report, however repetitive they may seem.

The first is a report by the European Commission which presents in brain-clubbing detail the absolute necessity of a backstop if the north and the south of Ireland are to continue their economic co-operation. The second report was commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of the Economy and does essentially the same job.

The report from the European Commission makes clear that for British politicians to be arguing against the back-stop is not just to contradict the EU but it contradicts themselves. That’s because the EU and British officials discussed the matter of a hard border and agreed that all the present areas of co-operation between the north and south require an invisible border. In 2017, UK officials and civil servants from the north of Ireland identified no less than 145 areas of co-operation under the Good Friday Agreement.

The second report was put together, not by the NI Department of the Economy itself , but by two international experts they’d commissioned to do the job. Their report makes clear the damage EU tariffs would inflict on food coming into the south, and the fact that small and medium businesses just wouldn’t be able to cope with the new customs procedures. Put another way: an awful lot of small businesses would go bust.

But because Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds don’t like any distinction between Britain and the north – or rather, don’t like any NEW distinction between Britain and the north, since there are a considerable number of differences in place long before Brexit revealed its poxy features – because Arlene and Nigel don’t trust the principle of consent ( aka democracy),  an economic shitstorm will hit Ireland north and south, and keep on hitting our island until hundreds of businesses have been left for dead and thousands more damaged beyond recognition.

Blustering bonzos like Boris Johnson complain about the Irish tail wagging the British dog, Many people whose means of making a living will be not just wagged but kicked to death have grounds for complaint. Why in God’s name should a minority in the north be allowed to unleash economic mayhem on our island, just so they can identify as more British than the British themselves?

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