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Can we have a NI Brexit thread?

(127 Posts)
Burntcustard Tue 17-Jan-17 21:57:58

I am ex-NI, now living in London after 20 years away. Having grown up near the border, with memories of nighttime evacuations and and the constant hum of helicopters, I couldn't wait to leave.

I look at the implications of Brexit and I'm worried. May may say that she wants to have no hard border, but how will that be possible with leaving the customs union? The only practical solution I can see to that is to have the border at the ferry ports.

What is the mood over there? Do the DUP still think Brexit is great?

GhostofFrankGrimes Tue 17-Jan-17 22:13:09

There will be people born in NI who hold irish (and not British) passports won't there? They will still be EU citizens post Brexit. Isn't this stuff tied up with the GFA? Irish citizens (regardless of where born on the island of Ireland) but living in the UK will surely fall into the same category? Common travel area? Government will have to tread carefully.

Its a complete cluserfuck quite frankly. I doubt leavers gave it much thought. No wonder NI (and Scotland) are livid.

Peregrina Wed 18-Jan-17 07:37:59

How does the election affect May's Brexit timetable?
Does there have to be a NI Government in place, or can May simply ride roughshod over that?

DIL is Irish, although hasn't lived there since being a baby, but is of the opinion that there is no real appetite on either side of the border for reunification. The present set up after the GFA was a working compromise.

A S Irish friend, who lives in Dublin, thinks Brexit is madness, but it has already had a knock on effect on some local firms, one or two of which have already gone bankrupt.

katiegg Wed 18-Jan-17 09:02:09

I don't think anyone thought through the brexit implications for NI. The border is going to be a huge issue, I have no idea how a soft border would work... it sirely cant be feasible. The issue with having border control at ferry ports etc is that unionists will object to there essentially being a border within the UK.

The implications for thousands of cross-border workers is another huge issue. my husband is a cross border worker, works in Dublin, we live in the north.

There is no appetite on either side for a border poll at the moment, but I can't help but think that brexit will push a border poll to be called faster than it would have been otherwise. But it will be for economic reasons rather than political reasons. Unfortunately for NI, ROI don't want us and can't afford us, and then UK don't give us a second thought.

Peregrina Wed 18-Jan-17 09:32:24

Unfortunately for NI, ROI don't want us and can't afford us, and then UK don't give us a second thought.

That's much the story coming from DIL's family who live in the Republic.

SilentBatperson Wed 18-Jan-17 10:27:00

I think whether there has to be an NI government in place will depend on whether the Supreme Court think the devolved assemblies need to be consulted.

The election had to happen, I think, but I'm wondering about the impact of reducing the number of MLAs to 90. Each constituency now returns 5 instead of 6. Very positive in that it will make it harder for the DUP to continue misusing the petition of concern mechanism, because you'll still need 30 MLAs for that but it will now represent a higher percentage of the total. But otoh, a lot of the Not Bawbags were returned 6th, last time round. Obv people vote differently, different candidates etc, and at least one 6th placer (Daithi McKay SF) presumably won't be standing this time round, but it's a concern.

Eamon McCann was 6th in from Foyle, I think. He's done a lot of profile raising this time round but it would be a damn shame to lose him. Whatever you think of him, he's an important voice. His behaviour in the chamber the other day was fantastic. That said, Martin McGuinness has a significant personal vote in that constituency and you have to wonder if he'll stand. He looks ill. In tems of more moderate voices, amongst the other 6th placers from 2016 there's one Alliance, four SDLP, one UUP. So that's not ideal.

Although silver lining, that useless corrupt turd Robin Newton from the DUP was 6th too, so maybe the Assembly will be rid of him. I'm also encouraged that PBP are standing two in West Belfast, which they should totally have done in 2016. And has anyone been following Sophie Long's tweets? From the PUP. She's not getting elected, and I don't much appreciate some of her flag and parade pandering, but she's done some fucking solid tweeting recently.

Burntcustard Wed 18-Jan-17 12:24:39

The DUP will of course be livid with a border at ferry ports, but I can't see any other solution if the UK leaves the customs union. Any other system has too much risk of arbitrage/ smuggling. I also cam't see May prioritising the Union over her brand of English nationalism.

Honestly, if May goes ahead as planned, this seems like a disaster for NI. I wonder is she would ever propose a HK-style transition.

lalalonglegs Wed 18-Jan-17 12:32:57

Nothing useful to add but marking place because I take an interest in NI and can't believe how casually NI (and RoI) have been screwed over by this Brexit insanity. I really pray that the Supreme Court ruling gives the devolved parliaments some comfort.

Peregrina Wed 18-Jan-17 12:49:15

I've nothing to add either, but take an interest in the issues. Does the limited amount of traffic on this thread mean that precious few do, or is it a reflection of MN being London centric?

TKRedLemonade Wed 18-Jan-17 12:54:08

The only people in the ROI who think reunification is a great idea is Sinn Fein. If there was a referendum it would fail spectacularly. ROI can in no way afford NI and quite honestly would benefit in no way except from historic pride at getting "colonialised land back from the crown"

A customs border is essential but God knows how that would work. Everyone and their granny knows 50 routes into the north and they can't patrol them all.

The suggestion months ago that the entire Ireland of Ireland might be encompassed as a UK border control area was frankly deeply insulting to ROI.

It's an absolute disaster

Peregrina Wed 18-Jan-17 13:15:03

I could see that you could have a sort of mini-Schengen agreement for traffic flows within NI and RoI but I can't see what can be done from stuff coming over via Wales and Scotland. Am I right in thinking that if May could keep the UK in the Single Market then the problem doesn't arise? In the same way that Norway and Sweden manage with one being EU and one EEA.

I don't think May is interested in Irish questions - I feel angry that Major and Blair's work, which I think was a real achievement, could be thrown away so carelessly. If the NI issue proves to be May's undoing, I won't shed any tears for her.

Burntcustard Wed 18-Jan-17 13:22:00

Peregrina - exactly. Within the single market, or even the customs union, there is no need for border checks for goods. The people issue is already dealt with by the ROI not being part of Schengen.

Tellingly, in May's speech yesterday she kept talking about Great Britain, not the UK. I don't think that is part of a dastardly plot to ditch NI, more that she just doesn't think about it. She expressed wishes for it all to work out, but no details as to how.

extrabiotin Wed 18-Jan-17 13:38:19

Have connections with ROI and NI.

ROI seems to be running around like a headless chicken on the one hand, on the other the silence is deafening, they have no plan, no one in charge of dealing with the UK on Brexit implications, they need to get the finger out now. But I reckon they do not want to irritate Brussels either at the moment. It is not an easy one for them.

The unfortunate thing is ROI wants to be friends with everyone, they know their major trading partner is UK and they also know that they want to stay within the EU. It is an impossible situation to be in, and no one seems to care about the effect it will have on the ROI/UK relationship.

Brexit will have huge implications for both ROI and NI. There is no way a hard border will work. It just won't. And if border controls are set up from NI to UK that will just drive the Unionists mad. But at the same time, it might just HAVE to work that way, because FOM will be gone, and since that is a big plank of Brexit, it may be the only way.

This is a minefield now. I just hope it doesn't result in a return to the Troubles in any fashion whatsoever.

In any event NI folk are entitled to an Irish passport, so even though they will be out of EU they can still be in the EU. LOL.

The Good Friday Agreement is an international Treaty aswell, not something that can be torn up and tossed away in order to achieve Brexit either.

I hope it all works out really I do. But it is going to be quite complicated I think.

CorporalNobbyNobbs Wed 18-Jan-17 13:39:52

I've been thinking about this issue for about a year now and can't figure out how it's workable (without a hard border between ROI and NI which isn't very workable in itself and would mean tearing up the GFA). We did have a thread about it a few months back and no one could figure out a workable solution - and if the Mumsnet Massif can't do it what hope has May??? wink

CorporalNobbyNobbs Wed 18-Jan-17 13:45:43

X post with extra

ROI seems to be running around like a headless chicken on the one hand, on the other the silence is deafening, they have no plan

I take your point extra but in fairness we haven't done anything, this mess isn't our fault. But yes, it's happening now and needs to be sorted.

What a bloody mess. Did you see May said she'd consulted with the devolved Welsh and Scottish governments? Ah, hello think you might have forgotten one of your countries there?

extrabiotin Wed 18-Jan-17 13:52:45

I also personally think that NI is not on Theresa May's radar at all. She doesn't care about it really since it is costing the Exchequer a fortune to keep it going and is an ongoing headache.

That, as someone else said is one of the reasons ROI could not possibly take it on under a UI (which is aspirational at best anyway), because of the cost of it. The economy of NI is largely based on the Public Sector, which while useful is not productive IYSWIM.

Problematic to say the least of it, just when things were settling down under the Assembly. Now I do realise that's not perfect either, but even though there will be elections soon, at least the reason for the collapse of the Assembly (on the surface anyway) is due to perceived wrongdoings under the Cash for Ash, which is not "political" under old money in NI.. Things have moved on.

The GFA cannot be torn up by Theresa May. Cannot be.

inniu Wed 18-Jan-17 13:58:48

There was research done in Canada which showed the huge cost savings that a United Ireland would bring. Most of the savings would be generated by making a huge amount of public sector workers in Northern Ireland redundant as their work is replicated elsewhere.

Can't see that ever happening.

extrabiotin Wed 18-Jan-17 14:01:13

Someone, I can't remember who or the circumstances put a suggestion forward that ROI should be the border for the UK!!

In other words, entry points to ROI would have UK Border control operating there on a nice friendly basis in order to keep the free border between NI and ROI.

I'd say that person was kicked to touch PDQ. Anyway the EU would not allow it I don't think.

Just seems to me that the situation is becoming more and more bizarre by the day, and no one has a solution.

Sad to think that NI has been thrown to the wolves, which is exactly what is happening here. IMV

CorporalNobbyNobbs Wed 18-Jan-17 14:01:14

And as GFA stands then no hard border. So how will they stop EU citizens getting into NI and therefore UK without a border?? <head melts>

CorporalNobbyNobbs Wed 18-Jan-17 14:06:55

extra that was feckin Brokenshire. Go and feck off. Wanting us to do their dirty work.

After 800 years...grumble grumble.

CorporalNobbyNobbs Wed 18-Jan-17 14:08:22

That's it extra no one gives a toss about NI, in the UK government at least. And our crowd just don't know what to do.

CorporalNobbyNobbs Wed 18-Jan-17 14:08:42

Sorry 'our crowd' meaning ROI (my crowd).

extrabiotin Wed 18-Jan-17 14:08:49

And ROI are left with the problem. ROI has been totally disregarded too I think. Small peripheral country no one cares about. I'm not getting a good feeling at all about this.

And I also think that ROI is dreaming if they think banks and legal entities will just rock up to Dublin and set up shop there. Frankfurt maybe or wherever, but Dublin just doesn't have the infrastructure to cope with things as they are, not to mind if firms decide to come on over. That is why I am a bit concerned that they haven't got a post Brexit Czar/negotiator in place getting things in place in order to encourage these firms out of London. If the Passport for banks within the EU goes, it is all over for London banking IMO.

But Maybe they have a plan and they aren't telling us. But realistically why would May talk to ROI if they are coaxing people from London to Dublin?

The more I think about it the worse it seems.

But time will tell I suppose, maybe there are a few cards up some sleeves as we speak.

Peregrina Wed 18-Jan-17 14:09:04

The Good Friday Agreement is an international Treaty aswell, not something that can be torn up and tossed away in order to achieve Brexit either.

I seriously wonder if May is aware of this? Just imagine the message that would be sent to the rest of the world if the UK just ripped up an international treaty. Couldn't be trusted, springs to mind. Furthermore we no longer have an Empire and the navy is much reduced, so we couldn't impose our will by force as we might have got away with 100 years ago.

extrabiotin Wed 18-Jan-17 14:13:39


I think that daft notion was quietly shelved. But there is no alternative mooted either.

The only way it will work is passport checks from NI to GB. If that's what it takes... Plenty of Unionists work in ROI and shop down there, and enjoy holiday homes there too. Strange as it may seem. Cross Border workers are plentiful too.

I would hate to see a hard border ever again. Just seems to me it will be going back to the dark ages again.

It is very problematical. Politicians on both sides of the Border need to wake up and get something sorted here. Imagine going back to all that.

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