Ireland has flexed its muscles on Brexit, and this is serious.
Until this past weekend the British were ambling along saying the border wouldn’t be an issue. However, if the UK leaves the custom’s union, there has to be an EU border in Ireland. The British were hoping that this difficult issue could be punted out to strand 2 of the talks, however the Irish – realising their only leverage is at this point – have called the British out.
The Irish stance, backed unilaterally by the other countries in the EU, is that the British can’t start talking about trade (which is what the British want to get onto) without settling the border. This has pissed off the Brits no end as evidenced by the editorial in “The Sun’ attacking Leo.
To be fair, I didn’t think our lads would have thought this through so carefully, but they have. Basically, the UK can’t talk trade until it has come up with a solution. The most logical solution would be that NI becomes a “special case” within the UK but remains within the EU’s custom’s union.
The DUP are having none of this, but will they be able to block the interest of the rest of the UK? If the UK don’t get a trade deal because they won’t compromise on the NI border, it’s a bit like economic suicide. But in order to get a deal from the EU, the border will have to be compromised on.
The next few weeks will be crucial. Not a pretty choice for the Brits, but it’s not pretty for us either since we do so much trade with them!