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Sat Jul 31, 2021, 06:14 AM

Dominic Cummings's solution to the Irish border problem would have been disastrous

Cummings’s view is that had Vote Leave been running things from June 2016, the Irish border would have been “a minor issue in the negotiations” because the UK would have had more leverage: it wouldn't have weakened its hand by triggering Article 50 and it would have been clear that it would act unilaterally if anyone “dicked around babbling about [the Good Friday Agreement] etc”. “We’d have refused ANY checks anywhere & Ireland [would] not have dared build anything either,” he tweeted. This would have left the EU with the problem of how it protected the single market, he argues, suggesting that Macron would have insisted on checks between the Republic of Ireland and the single market or that Macron was bluffing and the EU might have lived with no checks at all.

Had the Benn Act not passed in autumn 2019, the approach to border checks would have been essentially much the same. “We'd have refused all checks/building anything either in Irish Sea or on land border, & seen how the cards fell,” he said. As for the chances of reaching a deal in those circumstances, his answer was “God knows”, which suggests that a deal was not his priority.

Now that we have the Cummings “solution” to the Irish trilemma, what should we make of it? First, the implication that the Republic of Ireland – whose people did not have a vote in the 2016 EU referendum – might be forced to leave the single market because of a decision made by the UK would go down extraordinarily badly with both the Republic and moderate nationalist opinion in Northern Ireland. It is easy to see how this could lead to a border poll in Northern Ireland in short order.

Second, it would severely damage UK/US relations, especially with President “I’m Irish” Biden. Even with Donald Trump in power, a trade deal would not get through Congress (not a concern for Cummings but a priority for many Brexiteers).

Third, if we are not checking our borders, we would be in breach of World Trade Organisation rules and an impediment to any future trade deals with anyone.

Fourth, it is surely inconceivable that the EU would enter into a zero tariffs, zero quotas trade deal with a third country which refused to address the subject of border checks (this is not a question of leverage but logic). This would have had a devastating impact on many sectors of our economy. His answers confirm that it was necessary for parliament to step in to prevent no deal (which is, I suppose, reassuring for those of us who sacrificed our parliamentary careers in the process).

Emphasis mine

I said from day one after Brexit that a wet border would be the only solution to the GFA. That we are ruled by a bunch of English nats that had no understanding of the politics on the island of Ireland, and more to the point, did not give a shit is truly disheartening.

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Reply Dominic Cummings's solution to the Irish border problem would have been disastrous (Original post)
Soph0571 Jul 2021 OP
viva la Jul 2021 #1

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sat Jul 31, 2021, 07:55 AM

1. No regard for peace...

The island has been able to maintain peace for decades now. But to Cummings, that's just "dicking around?"

What would the "refusing all border checks" mean in practice?

And why is this guy still acting like he's got some authority? Wasn't he fired by Johnson and then testified against his own former boss? He must be hated by everyone.

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