On the reasons behind the UK Government’s insistence that there will not be any checks in the Irish Sea. A credible analysis by Dr John Cotter.
First published in February 2020.
The reaction to Brandon Lewis’ statement seems to be:
1. “My God, he’s thick; didn’t he read the Withdrawal Agreement/Northern Ireland Protocol?”
2. “Wow, what a bare-faced liar.”
However, there are other possibilities...
The Tories are threatening not to comply with the WA/NI Protocol as some kind of ill-considered negotiation tactic.
“We’ll cut off our nose, unless you give us what we want.”
It wouldn’t be a first in Brexit history.
The Tories signed the WA/NI Protocol to get the first stage of Brexit (the irreversible bit) done. With the UK out, they have no intention of abiding by its rules and don’t give a stuff about breaking international law.
Moreover, they (irrationally) don’t care about the only stick the EU has (restricting access to the single market), because they want a race-to-the-bottom trade deal with the USA.
So, goods enter Northern Ireland without customs being paid or inspections being carried out. In such circumstances, to protect the single market (as a last resort), Ireland would have to impose customs checks and inspections on the Irish border.
And of course, for the Tories, that would be the EU imposing the border, not them.
I know, it’s a bleak picture I am painting.
Tweets posted on 14 February 2020 by @John_Cotter.
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