goodfridayagreement   26

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 
8 weeks ago 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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