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How Can You Not Be Purist About The Irish Backstop Ms Leadsom?

There’re arguments in favour of Brexit, arguments against it then there’s piffle – which is where Andrea Leadsom is spouting in this insistence that we not be serious about the Irish backstop. One the one hand we’ve the European Union making up stuff in order to delay Brexit and on the other we’ve the European Union making up stuff in order to ensure Brexit doesn’t happen – or in name only – at all. The common thread there, as the perceptive will note, being that it’s the European Union making up stuff.

How can we not be serious or fundamentalist about the b’stards lying to us?

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Brexit: Leadsom urges Tories not to be ‘purist’ about Irish backstop[/perfectpullquote]

This isn’t one of those things that can be fudged, it’s an either or:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Andrea Leadsom has urged Conservative MPs not to be “purist” about the changes Theresa May hopes to secure for the Irish backstop arrangement, as she said the House of Commons must give the prime minister more time for negotiations. The comments are likely to spark concern among Tory Eurosceptics who have insisted the withdrawal agreement must be reopened and legally binding changes made to the backstop, though MPs differ over whether they would like it removed entirely and replaced or just given a time limit. [/perfectpullquote]

It needs to be removed entirely of course. For there’s nothing in the Good Friday Agreement that demands this in the first place:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] We do keep being told this. But where actually is that insistence? Here’s the Northern Ireland Act (1998) which is the translation of the Good Friday Agreement into law. Here’s the full text of the Good Friday Agreement. I’m finding it rather difficult to find where there is that insistence upon no border. Or no physical border. Or no towers, guns and goons border. Can someone help out here? Where actually is this insistence? For it couldn’t possibly be true that it has just been invented by the European Union so they can stick their oar in, can it? [/perfectpullquote]

As to what we actually do about it we’ve pointed out before that all we do is what we’ve done to Ireland so often, we lie:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] M. Barnier and others insist that if the regulatory regime is to change at this line on the map then we must have a border, with customs posts, checks and limitations. If we are not to have what we cannot, an impermeable physical barrier to unfettered movement, then the regulatory and customs regime cannot change at Gortnacarrow and again at Clonacore. Effectively, our choice is Brexit or the Bogay Wall, towers, barbed wire and all. Our answer should be “Yes.” We agree that we are leaving, that we have put in place that hard border. Then we do absolutely nothing above what we already do. People come and go as they wish, carrying what goods they can, and we do nothing. Except, as we already do, we keep an eye on those moving things on an industrial scale and have our little customs and tax chats with them away from that line on the map. What other people wish to do on their side of that line is entirely up to them. We will do, as we’ve always done when in our right minds, what is useful and beneficial to us. It’s somewhat unfashionable these days to talk of the empire but it’s still true that we had it. Often because we’re rather good at this lying, cheating and dissembling. We should carry on. So, there’s the border, as it is today. And? [/perfectpullquote]

This is not being purist, this is just being realists. For the entire concept of that Irish backstop is a pure invention just to make Brexit more difficult than it need be. An invention by those who would prefer Brexit didn’t happen.

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Jonathan Harston
Jonathan Harston
4 years ago

The location of the regulatory regime change is in the Town Hall office labelled “Trading Standards” (and the one at HMRC labelled ‘VAT returns’). No physical infrastructure needs to be put on the ground out in the countryside.

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