Guy Verhofstadt: RoI/NI border is "illogical" and "not natural".

Wascurito

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Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's main Brexit negotiator went quite far in his comments to the Dáil today with regard to the effects of Brexit on this island. Yesterday, he floated the possibility that Northern Ireland could remain in the single market or the customs union post-Brexit, much to the fury of unionists.

Today, his comments were even more pointed, referring to the border as "illogical" and "not natural", joking that not even the cows know where it is. Such comments go well beyond the context of the Brexit issue.

There has been comment recently that British Brexiteers see the NI/RoI border as a lever to procure concessions in other areas in their negotiations with the EU. Well, levers work both ways and the EU - with an economy that's some 7-8 times the size of that of the UK - will be able to do a lot more pushing.
 
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Tribal

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The thing is the unionists don't like being used as a bargaining chip either. They're at best a cargo culture to a Britain that's devolving and will probably finally disintegrate under Brexit pressures.
 

ScoobyDoo

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Verhofstadt does not respect a democratic vote. No wonder he does not respect borders either.
 

mr_anderson

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If I was good at IT, I'd have a gif of Paisley eating popcorn right about now.
 

Mercurial

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The best of a bad bunch of options seems to be a hard border in the sea. The UK may already be resigned to that, but need to be seen to put up a fight over it.
 
D

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The best of a bad bunch of options seems to be a hard border in the sea. The UK may already be resigned to that, but need to be seen to put up a fight over it.
You're talking about a hard border down the middle of a sovereign state, and if this is all the EU have to offer they should have said so at the outset instead of pretending that some magical solution was readily available.
 

Wascurito

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The best of a bad bunch of options seems to be a hard border in the sea. The UK may already be resigned to that, but need to be seen to put up a fight over it.
It is the most logical one and goes some way towards recognizing the democratic legitimacy of NI's vote against Brexit.

Be that as it may, the tone of Verhofstadt's comments are - to me - eyebrow-raising.

He seems to be leaning towards questioning the very validity of the NI/RoI border.
 
D

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It is the most logical one and goes some way towards recognizing the democratic legitimacy of NI's vote against Brexit.

Be that as it may, the tone of Verhofstadt's comments are - to me - eyebrow-raising.

He seems to be leaning towards questioning the very validity of the NI/RoI border.
He's questioning the validity and legitimacy of the United Kindom.
 

Mercurial

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You're talking about a hard border down the middle of a sovereign state, and if this is all the EU have to offer they should have said so at the outset instead of pretending that some magical solution was readily available.
They never pretended that a solution was available.

The EU's stance has always been that Brexit is a British policy, not an EU one, and that the onus is on the UK to provide a solution.
 

McSlaggart

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He's questioning the validity and legitimacy of the United Kindom.
He is trying to support the Good Friday agreement which the EU has to take in to account. Northern Ireland will have virtually the full population EU citizens after the UK leave the EU.
 

petaljam

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The best of a bad bunch of options seems to be a hard border in the sea. The UK may already be resigned to that, but need to be seen to put up a fight over it.
That's certainly the logic of the Le Touquet treaty which led to the Calais "Jungle" and similar : Britain as an island, without a land border with Europe at all.

Much as I oppose Brexit, I do find the irony of the ROI - which basically had to join the EEC simply because Britain did - now being the cause of Britain effectively having to cede territory, and NI at that, with added Unionist discomfiture, to be slightly delicious all the same.
 

between the bridges

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Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's main Brexit negotiator went quite far in his comments to the Dáil today with regard to the effects of Brexit on this island. Yesterday, he floated the possibility that Northern Ireland could remain in the single market or the customs union post-Brexit, much to the fury of unionists.

Today, his comments were even more pointed, referring to the border as "illogical" and "not natural", joking that not even the cows know where it is. Such comments go well beyond the context of the Brexit issue.

There has been comment recently that British Brexiteers see the NI/RoI border as a lever to procure concessions in other areas in their negotiations with the EU. Well, levers work both ways and the EU - with an economy that's some 7-8 times the size of that of the UK - will be able to do a lot more pushing.
'Main negotiator'? Has anywan told Michel Barnier...
 
D

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They never pretended that a solution was available.

The EU's stance has always been that Brexit is a British policy, not an EU one, and that the onus is on the UK to provide a solution.
They only adopted that stance a few weeks ago. Up until then both the EU and the UK pretended there were other options. But there are none, I've said so from Day 1 and I don't think I'm going to be proved wrong.
 

petaljam

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He's questioning the validity and legitimacy of the United Kindom.
No, he's questioning the validity and legitimacy of the Uk's proposed post-Brexit solution to how to manage a new land border with the EU, something they were previously very happy not to have, hence the outright refusal to join Schengen, and yet something they themselves now propose to create without clear rules as to how it would be policed.
 


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