Well, Mr. Verhofstadt, ball’s in your court

The former Belgian prime minister also repeated his insistence that there could be no return to a hard border of checkpoints in Ireland after Brexit.

The UK’s fine with that. The problem’s on your side.

15 thoughts on “Well, Mr. Verhofstadt, ball’s in your court”

  1. That’s what I can’t figure out. Yesterday the Guardian or BBC was squealing about how the border will be the UK’s responsibility. Okay, so why doesn’t the UK say “There’ll be no hard border” and be done with it. From what I can tell, the EU want there to be a hard border complete with landmines, barbed wire, and long queues – but want it to be a UK decision to erect it and the UK to man it.

  2. The story I’ve heard from a colleague in Dublin is that they’re worried that the UK will do trade deals, and as a result cheap stuff (especially food) will flood into the Republic (and therefore the EU) from NI. Good for European consumers, but will annoy farmers and such like.

    Am not sure how the EU (being as it is) can tolerate an open border if the UK can do its own trade deals (as many of us would like)

  3. Well I suppose we could promise to destroy any hard border that Eire/EU construct- I’m sure that would keep both parties happy.

  4. I like the idea of just declaring it a non-problem.
    So someone driving a burger van from North to a show in the South ( tariff free cheap US feed as an input ) is ignored. Someone driving a wagon of feed across to sell to a poultry farm in the South is treated as taking the piss to be dealt with at point of delivery ( if duty hasn’t been paid ).
    So still no need for a hard border.
    I think our host has called this the Irish solution.

  5. There was a piece in the Irish Times a few weeks ago from Fintan O’Toole saying exactly what Adrian is suggdsting: a soft border would allow US and other importers to push goods into the EU via Northern Ireland. And in The Tool’s words, the Irish can’t allow that to happen.

    So they express their concerns about “smuggling” ( yep, the Irish now appatently don’t like smuggling across the border), they call their border with Northern Ireland an “external” EU border and they try to blamethe UK for what they themselves do.

    Remember the ORA’s “look what you made us do; it’s your fault” line? The EU is no better.

  6. I like pointing out to Irish and Scouse friends on Facebook that the UK and the EU are negotiating he future of Ireland’s land border; the purest expression of sovereignty you can get. And Ireland is excluded. After all these centuries, this is where Ireland’s struggles have got it.
    They don’t like it!!!!

  7. @Tim Newman, September 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    An accurate interpretation of EU, Guardian, BBC view & belief.

    They’re, to be polite, bonkers.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    If EU bureaucrats think that a hard border can be erected between north and south they’re more delusional than I gave than I thought. The British Army couldn’t seal it in the ’70s and ’80s and now both sides have got used to just wandering across they ain’t going to listen to some bureaucrat at a border waving a stick.

  9. If the EU don’t want their people importing cheap furrin food, it’s completely in the power and remit of the EU to stop it, not the other side.

    I’m more and more agreeing with Tim’s line: no deal is the best deal. Once out of the customs union we have the power to unilaterally abolish all and every import control on all and every import without permission from anybody else. When furrin government chose to stop their peoples from doing is entirely their business.

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