Posts Tagged ‘Northern Ireland’

Boris Johnson should call the DUP’s bluff and create a border in the Irish Sea | Simon Jenkins

Only a separate, soft-Brexit status for Northern Ireland can resolve the backstop conundrum

As Boris Johnson journeyed back from this week’s desperate trip to Germany and France, he might have reflected on his hero Churchill and those “dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone.” Somehow those totems of Britain’s archaic colonisation of Ireland refuse to release their stranglehold on British politics. And here was Johnson at their mercy, being lectured by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron on how to govern them. It was intolerable.

Johnson got no joy in Berlin or Paris. Merkel’s meaningless 30-day “talks” period was greeted with ecstasy by his Tory press claque. But Macron merely pointed out that nothing had changed. The steeples were still there, telling London what not to do.

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The Guardian view on Boris Johnson and the EU: he cannot be serious | Editorial

The PM’s letter to Donald Tusk is a reckless and detail-free approach to the new deal with Europe that he claims to want

If there is any fragile encouragement to be squeezed out of Boris Johnson’s letter to the European Union this week, it is perhaps the fact that he wrote it at all. After four weeks of acting as if the EU does not exist, the existence of the letter is at least an implied recognition that the relationship with the EU matters. For nearly a month, Mr Johnson’s government has also promoted the fiction that a no-deal Brexit is an acceptable prospect for Britain. So when Mr Johnson starts his letter by saying that he very much hopes the UK will be leaving with a deal, it is just about possible to muster some carefully guarded optimism that he may actually mean it.

Yet the content of what he wrote makes a mockery of any such conclusion. In fact it is difficult to see how Mr Johnson could have done less than he does in the letter to Donald Tusk. At the core of the letter is the statement that the Irish backstop is not viable. The letter then excoriates the backstop as undemocratic, a brake on UK trade and regulatory policy and a threat to the Northern Ireland peace process. In most respects, this is the opposite of the truth. In some ways it is downright mischievous. The letter is more like one of Mr Johnson’s fact-free and irresponsible newspaper concoctions than a serious diplomatic approach to solving an impasse that imminently threatens British economic stability, trade, jobs, constitutional cohesion and security.

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EU unconvinced by Johnson’s fresh bid to remove Brexit backstop

PM says new commitments to stop hard Irish border should be considered by the bloc

Boris Johnson has written to the EU suggesting the backstop could be replaced by some form of commitment to prevent a hard Irish border in his first major move to explain the UK government’s new position to Brussels.

Ahead of talks with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, Johnson released a four-page letter setting out his position that the backstop is “anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK”, because it could keep the UK indefinitely in a customs union with no means of exit.

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No-deal Brexit: key points of Operation Yellowhammer report

From cross-Channel transport disruption to public disorder – the predictions in the leaked document

A government report on Operation Yellowhammer was leaked on Sunday, revealing the probable consequences of the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement, which is due to happen on 31 October. Here are the key points:

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How the ‘neithers’ could decide Northern Ireland’s political fate

Fifty years after the tribalism of the Troubles, the ‘non-aligned’ are likely to determine the outcome of any referendum on unification with the Republic of Ireland

When the British army was deployed in Northern Ireland 50 years ago, Anthony Kennedy was not out on the streets protesting or lobbing petrol bombs.

“The truth, I was trying to get laid,” he recalled this week.

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No chance of US-UK deal if Northern Ireland peace at risk – Pelosi

Senior US politician says Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil Good Friday agreement

There is no chance of Congress approving a US-UK trade agreement if Brexit undermines the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has said.

Pelosi was restating the entrenched position of congressional Democrats and many Republicans in the wake of remarks made by Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, during a visit to London this week.

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