Hard Brexit = Hard border on Ireland

Jon Danzig |

The Good Friday Agreement was a landmark achievement that completely opened all the borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland. This remarkable initiative brought peace at last at the turn of the millennium.

That peace is now threatened by Brexit.

The Tory government is hellbent on a hard Brexit, meaning the UK will leave the EU and its Single Market and customs union.

If that happens, it will be impossible to avoid the return of hard borders on the island of Ireland.

And that will mean undoing years of delicate and intricate work to create the Good Friday Agreement, that ended decades of terrible and intransigent sectarian violence.

There is talk of vague technological solutions to create semi-transparent borders, but nobody has been able to explain exactly how they would work, and nobody with any sense or understanding of the situation has any belief that such fanciful ideas could ever work, let alone be accepted or acceptable.

So hellbent (yes, the word has been used twice on purpose) are some Brexit politicians in their ideological desperation for Brexit, that they have now proposed scrapping the Good Friday agreement, as it is getting in their way.

They can have no idea of the Pandora’s box they are willing to prise open to the detriment of everyone.

Labour is about to announce that it will support staying in the EU customs union, which would allow the open borders between Northern Ireland and Ireland to remain. This weekend an alliance of over 80 senior figures in the Labour Party also called on the party to go one step further, and to support the UK staying in the EU Single Market too.

This is called a ‘soft Brexit’. But a soft Brexit means that we would be, like Norway, a member of the European Union in all but name: yes, enjoying the benefits of membership, but not having any say or vote in the rules, regulations and laws of the EU that we would have to follow.

Absolutely none of this makes sense.

The only rational resolution is for Britain to scrap Brexit and to remain a full member of the European Union. There is no agreement that will be as good as the one we have now, as an EU member.

And the sooner the country realises that, the sooner we can get back to where we were before this madness all started on 23 June 2016.

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