petej + goodfridayagreement   58

How Brexit Will End | The New Yorker
Brexit is an uncanny political process because it is an inversion of the way that things were supposed to go. The world was becoming only more connected; money and people flowed. Europe was leading the experiment. And then a population said no. In 2016, Remainers tended to make economic arguments for staying in the E.U., while Leavers spoke about sovereignty and the health of the nation. In truth, it was a matter of instinct for both sides: were you prepared to go on sharing your agency with international forces of unimaginable scale, or did you believe that an old country could somehow reassert itself and claw out its own domain? The question was more philosophical than real. Being a member of the E.U. cost less than two per cent of Britain’s national budget. Most of us did not care. But, once the question was asked, it became fundamental, and the prelude to every future question. Choosing Brexit meant that we would diverge. We would diverge from Europe, and we would diverge from one another.
UK  EU  Brexit  referendum  politics  JohnsonBoris  withdrawalAgreement  dishonesty  evasion  CummingsDominic  VoteLeave  propaganda  language  discourse  WorldWarII  noDeal  OperationYellowhammer  PeoplesVote  deregulation  standards  economy  impact  publicSpending  ERG  BakerSteve  Rees-MoggJacob  England  nationalism  GaukeDavid  GrieveDominic  BurtAlistair  NorthernIreland  Ireland  GoodFridayAgreement  borders  backstop  MayTheresa  negotiations  DUP  VaradkarLeo  Liverpool  customs  regulatoryAlignment  WAB  HouseOfCommons  dctagged  dc:creator=KnightSam 
6 weeks ago by petej
The Irish border is a matter of life and death, not technology | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
Two particular ironies attach to Johnson’s privileging of a technocratic discourse over real human experience. One is that the Brexit project is in every other respect famously contemptuous of “geeks”. The British people, in Michael Gove’s analysis, “have had enough of experts”. But the Irish, apparently, are expected to place all their trust in the experts, nerds and boffins who will come up with magical technologies to create what does not yet exist anywhere on Earth: a frontier between two different customs regimes across which goods move with no controls and no physical infrastructure.

The other irony is that Brexit itself is predicated on the idea that a technocratic discourse is entirely inadequate to the task of understanding how people feel about who they are and where they belong. Its bogeymen are faceless bureaucrats in Brussels who can never appreciate the importance of identity and history to the English. Yet the Irish are invited by the very same people to forget history and identity, to just lie back and think of “maximum facilitation”.
UK  EU  Brexit  Ireland  NorthernIreland  borders  customsUnion  GoodFridayAgreement  technology  MayTheresa  JohnsonBoris  backstop  experts  technoUtopianism  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan 
9 weeks ago by petej
Will EU compromise after receiving UK Brexit proposals? - BBC News
No-one I speak to on the EU side thinks a new Brexit deal can be done in time for the leaders' summit in mid-October. Few think it possible even by the end of the month.

Ultimately the EU doesn't buy the prime minister's line that it's either this deal or no deal.

Brussels believes another extension is the most likely new chapter in the ongoing Brexit process.
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  backstop  borders  customs  Ireland  NorthernIreland  regulatoryAlignment  compromise  GoodFridayAgreement  DUP  withdrawalAgreement  Article50  extension  politics  alternativeArrangements 
10 weeks ago by petej
While Johnson plays games, the EU is preparing for life without us | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
There is no reason why Merkel or Macron should fashion a deal to the specifications of a Tory campaign. While Downing Street is thinking about clap lines for a speech, the EU wants legal guarantees that can withstand future changes in the political weather. The two sides are not operating to the same time horizon. Both say they want a deal, but Johnson means a headline to get through the week; Brussels means a treaty to secure the integrity of the European project for a generation.

That misalignment of perspectives has plagued the Brexit process. Eurosceptics constantly underestimate EU states’ readiness to prize collective solidarity over relations with a splitter nation on its way out of the club. It never occurred to them, for example, that an Irish voice could carry further across the continent than an English one. They did not anticipate the difference between a European negotiation among member states (the kind where Britain often got its way) and a negotiation between the EU and an exiting country issuing unrealistic demands backed by improbable threats.

Johnson still has not grasped that shift in the balance of power. He is committed to the fiction that Britain stands equal in global stature to the EU, and wedded to an electoral strategy that treats cooperation as cowardice. The Tories might gain some domestic advantage by ramping up the bellicose rhetoric. The prime minister can scoop the same old cards back up from the table and repeat the same bluffs, hoping to win a new stack of votes. But that weird poker system doesn’t work in Brussels. Johnson never took Brexit seriously enough to begin with. He still doesn’t understand that for the EU, this isn’t a game.
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  politics  JohnsonBoris  noDeal  MichelCharles  MerkelAngela  MacronEmmanuel  FarageNigel  customs  borders  GoodFridayAgreement  singleMarket  delusion  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
10 weeks ago by petej
Boris Johnson's letter to the EU is a wind-up. It unilaterally reneges on a joint report signed by UK negotiators in December 2017 saying the UK would align with the single market "in the absence of agreed solutions". He has no mandate for this...
Boris Johnson's letter to the EU is a wind-up. It unilaterally reneges on a joint report signed by UK negotiators in December 2017 saying the UK would align with the single market "in the absence of agreed solutions". He has no mandate for this...
UK  EU  Brexit  JohnsonBoris  backstop  Ireland  NorthernIreland  borders  GoodFridayAgreement  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul  nationalism  England 
august 2019 by petej
It was never about Europe. Brexit is Britain’s reckoning with itself | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
Paradoxically, this drama of departure has really served only to displace a crisis of belonging. Brexit plays out a conflict between Them and Us, but it is surely obvious after this week that the problem is not with Them on the continent. It’s with the British Us, the unravelling of an imagined community. The visible collapse of the Westminster polity this week may be a result of Brexit, but Brexit itself is the result of the invisible subsidence of the political order over recent decades.
UK  EU  Brexit  identity  nationalism  nationalIdentity  England  GoodFridayAgreement  indyref  Scotland  welfareState  democracy  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan 
january 2019 by petej
Brexit: A brief history of the backstop
London wanted multiple technical fixes and the future relationship to fix the border, Ireland and the EU wanted "principles" and "commitments" this side of the divorce.
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  backstop  borders  Ireland  NorthernIreland  customsUnion  singleMarket  GoodFridayAgreement  regulatoryAlignment  MayTheresa  VaradkarLeo  veto  politics 
october 2018 by petej
The Guardian view on Theresa May’s Brexit strategy: failing on two fronts | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
The banal truth is that the EU asserted its combined interests as a multi-member union (with Ireland benefiting from collective solidarity), while the UK wasted months failing to even understand its own interests. The backstop impasse has arisen at the collision point of two contradictory British objectives. One is Mrs May’s capitulation to Brexiter demands for severe rupture from EU markets. The other is her commitment to honour the Good Friday agreement.

It should be obvious what has to give. The refusal to countenance long-term participation in the single market and customs union was made rashly, without consideration for the economic implications, back in 2016. The unwisdom of that choice has been highlighted by every subsequent turn of events. It is not a stance that can comfortably command a majority in parliament. Instead of adapting to political realities at home and abroad, broadening the scope of what Brexit might entail, Mrs May has narrowed her options on both fronts. She is struggling to get a deal and struggling to persuade a domestic audience that the deal she might get is worth having.

Fear of defeat in parliament lies behind government moves this week to limit the opportunities for MPs to amend the motion approving or rejecting Brexit terms. Ministers are hoping to arrange what has been advertised as the “meaningful vote” as a binary choice between the prime minister’s deal and no deal at all. Such a stark menu would, it is imagined, intimidate MPs into accepting any kind of orderly withdrawal over the prospect of a chaotic one. This desperate manoeuvre reveals an administration that has run out of ways to win arguments around Brexit and is resorting instead to procedural subterfuge.

In Brussels this week, Mrs May played for time and was indulged by EU leaders. Their post-summit statements exuded weary patience and cautious optimism. They recognise that the main obstacles to progress are in Westminster and that the onus is on the British prime minister to find some room for manoeuvre at home. Since that is the requirement for success in the negotiations, Mrs May should be thinking of ways to keep options open – and so allowing parliament to put options on the table, too. Instead, the prime minister seems determined to keep closing down channels for potential compromise. It is neither an honourable nor an effective strategy.
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  MayTheresa  singleMarket  customsUnion  backstop  borders  Ireland  NorthernIreland  GoodFridayAgreement  Parliament  ToryParty  politics  Guardian  editorial 
october 2018 by petej

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