Because the Good Friday Agreement is based on the logic that, with devolution and European integration, Northern Ireland will be effectively an autonomous territory within the EU, in which British sovereignty is of little practical significance. It will be British enough to satisfy most of the Unionists and Irish enough to satisfy most of the Nationalists. There will be no physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
And all that depends on Britain being a member of the EU – which wasn’t an issue in 1998, as there was no mechanism by which a member state might leave the EU.
If the UK is outside the Single Market and the Customs Union, there must be customs checks and duty paid on goods crossing the border. Border posts – symbols of British sovereignty and reminders of the division of the island – would be an obvious target for attacks by Republican paramilitaries (the successors to the Provisional IRA), as they were during the Troubles.
Like that, but dryer and cracklier.
So to sum up:
- A crashout is terrible.
- May’s deal is unworkable.
- Ignoring the referendum is untenable.
- Calling another referendum is undemocratic.
The only way to proceed is to change one of these assumptions. To wit, a modest proposal:
Best two out of three‽
Not to worry, at this rate, May’s deal will pass after the 23rd of June.
The last vote was the largest defeat of a government in a House of Commons vote ever.
This time, the government persuaded 43 MPs from the governing Conservative party to switch sides- 6.6% of the house changing sides on the issue.
This allowed this vote to be merely the fourth worst defeat in history.
We can unilaterally withdraw without EU approval but i fear that would really bring out the far-right extremists and we’ve already had an MP murdered over this before the referendum was even run. Even now farage is greasing himself up and ready and waiting to stoke the bigotry that will result from this utter utter clusterfuck.
Again, this was a significant part of the Cameron cock-up. MPs and Peers were assured that this was only going to be an advisory referendum, and hence their concerns about wanting thresholds and supermajorities were entirely misplaced.
And then, once it was called, Cameron and the official government leaflet proclaimed that the result would be implemented, a promise that the Leave campaign made a big deal out of. When it was far too late to make any sort of amendments or fixes. But plenty of constitutional reform advisory groups, as well as MPs and peers who had raised concerns all said that this would be a fiasco without those thresholds (such as requiring a 60% majority) in place.
As I said before, in any normal world, Cameron would be destined for the textbooks as a perfect example of how not to do something. Until Theresa May came along and made him look like a true amateur.
Here’s a billion dollar idea. Why can’t the UK just go for a no deal brexit, and then have a new referendum to enter back into the EU. This way we can be sure that absolutely no one will be happy.
This obviously needs some out-of-the-box thinking.
What if, to avoid all legal entanglements, they simply suspend the rule-of-law completely?
Maybe they can switch from a constitutional monarchy to some sort of free-floating Macau-like gangster’s paradise Interzone? Sure, all the hospitals would probably be re-purposed into no-limit casinos, but nobody would ever have to propose hopeless legislation ever again.
That’s not quite true. There are perhaps about 10% of us who would be delighted, because it would force us to join Schengen, and probably the Euro, and forego an awful lot of our amazing current arrangements. (Yes, I’m a Eurofederalist, and not remotely afraid of the caricatured “United States of Europe”)
But yeah, none of the other 90% would be happy in the slightest…
Wow. A libertarian’s wet dream as long as some(*) are able to afford a private army.
(*) the rich
Not to mention the massive disruption and economic damage done by a no-deal Brexit, which we would avoid by staying in (except for the damage that has already been done, of course).
Tories: That is…our plan, yes.
This thread is giving me some serious cognitive dissonance, particularly w.r.t. the way people seem to perceive the EU. At points I’m unsure if we are talking about the same entity.
Nothing about this is part of any EU agenda. It’s a ridiculous lose-lose proposition the EU never wanted. They don’t have as much to lose as the UK but they certainly don’t want to inflict damage on themselves to score points. Certain member states (like Spain) might wish to slip in the odd discreet kidney punch, but overall the EU just wants things to be organised; it is a pure bureaucracy after all.
They have said that an extension to article 50 needs to be for a reason, because sure, that makes sense. But if it comes to it, they have little reason to refuse an extra 3 months of non-chaos for European businesses, even if there is no hope of a better outcome at the end of it. And a general election or second referendum would certainly be a good enough reason.
People on the internet can suggest all sorts of second-referendum options, but the one option with any chance of being set before parliament is where the Labour Party supports May’s deal in exchange for a referendum choosing between that or staying in the EU (and, again, the idea that the EU would thwart that is fairly science-fictional; it might not even be legal, if the relevant amendment were voted on before the 29th).
Parody is bankrupt.
Reality keeps outbidding it.