#Brexiteers – how to secure UK outside EU

The thing about “sovereignty” is it does not take account of global reality. If pollution blows over your national boundary, or trading standards are enforced on your exporters by the target markets, or human traffickers and terrorists decide to operate internationally to help evade authorities…

“Brexit” makes it harder to share intelligence, to organise cross-border chases, or indeed to agree common standards of data management (for example). Naturally it would be harder to put national concerns to neighbours too.

So, what are we going to do about this? How exactly do we go about “securing the border”, and what would the direct cost (administration and security costs) and indirect cost (trade restrictions) be? And how specifically would this work on the new EU frontier within Ireland – what would it mean for the 18% of Northern Irish exports going South, or for cross-border sport and leisure activities, or indeed for nationalist sensitivities within the new cut-off UK? How precisely would all this be addressed?


4 thoughts on “#Brexiteers – how to secure UK outside EU

  1. The arguement about FTAs with non-EU developed nations often ignores resistance to them from the other countries. It’s easy to associate these deals with positive external success and tapping into a growth market. However when you look at them in reality in cases like TIPP the arguement that it’s the protectionism of 27 other nations stopping the UK “trading with the world” greatly ignores the fact that the UK have qualms as do non-EU nations. A possible exception is China who’d love carte blanc to flood the region with steel.

    Another aspect of soveirgnty could be asked to what will the democratic replacement to the EU actually be? Are any of these FTAs going to be put to referendum or are the same British ministers who make up the European Council and the European Council of Ministers still doing backdoor negotiations with the EU and non-EU nations. With the loss of European Parliament access is the sole scrutiny going to come from a Westminster that fails to represent more than 50% of the British people?

    The border question is a good one, the U.K. really has only one land border and it shares it and we’re told migration is so low across it that it’s not a huge problem keeping it open. The idea that other nations that do have land borders will give UK people free movement if it is denied to their natives. The EEC managed not to give the UK free movement and that pre 1970’s norm can and probably will be restored should the UK look to leave the EEA too.

  2. Para 1 – So the logical conclusion is not a European Union, but a binding global political union – a UN with an executive and legislature because pollution and people traffickers don’t respect borders.

    Para 2 – 5eyes = not EU. NATO = not EU. Interpol = not EU. Standards for data management – I can speak for my part of the IT world – Out of the c.200 technical standards organisations around the world, less than 10 are EU bodies (I think the actual number is more like 2). And that’s obviously pretty pointless since any technical standards development to be any use has to include the US and Asia Pacific. W3C = not EU. ISO = not EU. OGC = not EU. 3GPP = not EU. WMO = not EU.

    Para 3 – Given their 15% of exports to the UK, I reckon Dubin will be pretty keen to reach a tariff-free agreement with the UK without much delay. “Nationalist sensitivities”? Is your suggestion that the Shinners are only playing ball because we’re in the EU? If so, then I think we’ve probably got a more fundamental problem.

    You’ve unfairly characterised Brexit as closing the doors on everything like North Korea. The UK will continue to participate, contribute and lead in those international bodies as we do today, and to fantastic benefit for all involved

  3. Paragraph 1. No one is suggested such a thing, there are global bodies that deal with both these problems however it’s ridiculous that we adopt the mentality that every non-national issue automatically becomes a global matter. There’s a common sense approach to working together with nearest neighbours, there’s no common sense to suggesting that everything outside of the islands on the Irish Sea is the rest of the World’s problem.

    It’s not Little Europeanism to simply face the reality that there are levels between the national and the international, where Continental co-operation (and this doesn’t simply apply to Europe) make common sense.

    Paragraph 2. None of these bodies have a democratic insight, Europol does, CEPOL does,
    Eurojust does, the European Environment agency does, and that is the European Parliament.

    These international bodies are actually worse than the European Union Commission for democracy, because only individuals can ONLY be sacked by individual national governments, when in theory the EU Parliament, made up of representatives of its citizenry can sack the whole lot of them.

    This protection is removed when governments delegate democratic decisions to UN Permanent Representatives and NATO envoys. I don’t buy the argument that Envoys are more democratic because they are “Our Kin” approach, that can defend any traitor or treason.

    In terms of the European Committee for Standardization, my assumption would be the UK would remain part of this body on a Brexit. It would have the freedom to leave it and set up an alternative, which I would doubt as this is a huge standardization block across Europe with only Russia really the only European nation neither an associate nor a member of it.

    If the UK remains part of the EEA I would imagine it would still remain in it, though how much say it would have in it not being able to influence the EU or other trading group may be a bigger question. In terms of international bodies I certainly believe the UK working with as many nations as possible (EU being among the most similar) is the best way to maximize its influence over them.

  4. Paragraph 3 deserves its own rants …The premise of “Dubin will be pretty keen to reach a tariff-free agreement with the UK without much delay.” is deeply flawed.

    1 – History –

    Let’s forget the “Economic war” an six year trade war between the states didn’t happen for a moment (reluctant to call it the Anglo-Irish one because I don’t regard British/UK as Anglo), Lets forget the other war WW2/ Irish Emergency, even forget there was 20 years of protectionism between these nations after that war.

    During the 1960s when EIGHTY percent of the trade from the Republic of Ireland went to the United Kingdom there were still border customs posts on this island. It was only when both parts joined the single market that they were opened. The EU became the Free Trade honest broker.

    Both nations were highly pro-Free Trade, but didn’t have it between one another because in an entire decade they could not agree rules.

    The historical evidence proves you very wrong, this isn’t a fantasy, this isn’t propaganda, this isn’t scaremongering … this Opinion from the Leave camp has been proven wrong by contradiction through the causality of historical events!

    Proof > Optimism.

    2- The Precedence of Other Non-EU Nations –

    What you fail to acknowledge is that it is reasonable to suggest that the Republic of Ireland would want to remain in the European Union. If it stays in the EU it gets treated like any other one of them.

    There’s much talk about the Norway, Swiss and Turkish options for dealing with the EU … not a single one of them has tariff free trade deals with their neighbours on agricultural and other EU subsidized goods.

    Switzerland must have a trade deficit with its nearest EU nations but it still has to deal with some EU tariffs.There are customs posts on the Norwegian/Swedish border despite both being Schengen.

    Why would the EU get rid of these tariffs if it is subsidizing the Common Agricultural Policy, what guarantee is there that a UK government wouldn’t want to impose tariffs to fund its own agricultural policy?

    There is also going back to 1, that when the UK was not a member of the EEC it wasn’t able to get a Free Trade Agreement that would rid itself of these burdens.

    You are making too many assumptions here and they are all heavily biased in favour of the UK being the only nation in the world outside of the EU

    3 – Balance of Power in the British/Irish trade debate.

    Let’s assume the Republic of Ireland even leaves the European Union, doesn’t have CAP legislation to obey. It leaves the Euro and the Fiscal Compact of course as well, so its not bound by ECB fiscal conservationism either.

    The Republic of Ireland exists for a number of economic reasons around self-determination from the United Kingdom. Yes, there will be a trade agreement, probably likely a free trade agreement, but a completely free trade agreement seems unlikely. And without a Completely Free Trade Agreement there’s going to be customs posts.

    If it came down to it, tariffs and customs posts are better evils than the evils of a unilateral trade deal from Westminster designed to appease British Insular first and Irish insular interests second.

    Even if there was goodwill to have a bilateral treaty between the nations, they would have to be affordable to both, mandated by both, agreed to by both and agreed to be complaint under WTO rules as well. That’s not so simple.

    Without the tariffs both the UK and Ireland would have to find the money to subsidize agriculture another way e.g. higher prices or forming a smaller UK/Irish trading block with external tariffs.

    Like it or not there are disagreements on trade across the nations, even across the islands that cannot be hand-waved. From a historical point of view, with the exception of EU membership it’s unprecedented that an independent Southern Ireland would accept a Completely Free Trade Agreement from the (Southern Ireland independent) U.K.

    4. – Irish nationalist argument.

    I want to declare an interest, as an Irish nationalist, but one who recognizes my right to dissent against the Union is protected by recognizing other people’s right to dissent against the European Union. This is another Principle of Consent argument after all.

    For the sake of balance in this debate Rep. Ireland voted against the EU twice, and got reforms and voted for the reforms. One Irish citizen even sued the government to ensure all EU legislation had be passed by referendum of it would be constitutionally void.

    So far the only Irish nationalists to come out in favour of Brexit are a few dissident republicans, a few anti-immigration groups, the Irish Communist party and stretching it a bit George Galloway.

    Custom posts on the border are a bigger problem than mass migration, banana straightening, the Euro, environmental regulations and Spanish trawler men to the Irish or indeed the Irish nationalist. Hoey and Wilson on migration said it wasn’t a big problem that the UK’s only land border couldn’t remain open.

    For all intensive purposes the mainstream British Eurosceptic agenda is “foreign” even to Irish Eurosceptics, even in part to some Unionist Eurosceptics. Consider how “foreign” it feels to a committed Europhile SDLP supporter like myself.

    My own feeling is that British Eurosceptics will get absolutely nowhere near what they want which borders between the 50’s industrial nation, the British Empire or some Anglo-American libertarian free market paradise, which is basically TIPP on steroids and expanded out.

    The funny thing however is the traditional enemy of Irish nationalism “Westminster” has a clear Europhile majority, even arguably the majority of those MPs who are pro-union (no SNP, SDLP, or PC even the odd Labour one) are Europhile, maybe even the majority of English MPs too. The SNP even know this.

    Which is why I don’t buy the Little Englanders argument, Sinn Féin sometimes use.

    England or rather English politicians do love or at least tolerate the EU as much as they do.

    The bigger issue comes with the “risks” that the British government i.e. Westminster takes post-Brexit and how the Irish government and Stormont respond to them.

    If for example agricultural subsidies to Northern Ireland are cut below CAP levels per capita, surely there is an argument farmers south of the border get a better deal.

    If community grants are cut leading to greater segregation, a more isolationist form of Irish nationalism may emerge.

    It’s as complex a question as the Brexit debate itself, a lot older and a lot more tested

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