I really should be writing about the fact that exports to the EU are still down 15% on last year but I am once again dragged back to the subject of Ireland and the EU. The latest Brexiteer fantasy is that the solution to the Northern Ireland Protocol is to place the border between Ireland and the rest of the EU. It tells you a great deal about the mindset of these people that they think their problem is so important that others will destroy themselves to help them but let’s just look at the facts.
Ireland is in the EU and the Single Market, is an independent country and regards Brexit as a very inconvenient mess, caused by the British government. Its huge economic successes have been built on being in the EU and it knows it. It is also best mates with the new American President, who like international law and thinks states should comply with the treaties they sign.
Secondly, the rest of the EU knows that if it proposed a border between it and Ireland, the UK would have got away with breaking its word and would be emboldened to go much further. It has no reason to do this at all, in fact with law on its side it can punish the UK for breaking its word.
Finally, and this is the big one, Ireland could only leave the Single Market if it left the EU, there is no mechanism for throwing countries out of the EU, for conveniences sake and so it would have to invoke Article 50; just like the UK did after the referendum.
So, it is not in Ireland’s interest, it is not in the EU’s interest and it is not possible, unless Dublin decides to cut its own throat to help Boris Johnson and the DUP. I therefore confidently predict that the Brexit supporting press will be proposing this as a serious solution for months to come.