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Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:47 pm
by seemslikeadream
Brexit Live Updates: Theresa May’s Plan Fails in Parliament, Sowing Confusion

March 12, 2019

Anti-Brexit demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday. A vote on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union is potentially a definitive test for the battle-worn prime minister, Theresa May.Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Anti-Brexit demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday. A vote on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union is potentially a definitive test for the battle-worn prime minister, Theresa May.Matt Dunham/Associated Press
• Britain’s Parliament on Tuesday soundly defeated Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to exit the European Union, a 391 to 242 vote that is likely to delay Brexit and could derail it entirely. It is a devastating blow to Mrs. May that threatens her hold on power.

• The vote left the nation with no obvious way forward, just 17 days before the deadline for leaving the European Union. Parliament is sharply divided on when, how and even whether to proceed with Brexit, and whether to call an election or a second referendum.

Members of Parliament after voting on Tuesday at the House of Commons in London.Parliamentary Recording Unit
Confusion and uncertainty deepen

Parliament’s rebuke to Prime Minister Theresa May, on the issue that has dominated British politics for three years, casts the nation’s political and economic future into confusion with just 17 days left until its scheduled exit from the European Union.

The vote is sure to intensify calls for her to either step down, call a general election, or both. Plenty of Conservative lawmakers would like to take her place as party leader and prime minister, but there is no obvious front-runner, and the outcome of a general election is just as unclear.

Mrs. May’s plan, painstakingly negotiated with the European Union, would have set the terms for Britain’s scheduled exit on March 29.

Unless Parliament takes some other action, Britain will leave the bloc on that date without a deal in place, which Brexit hardliners insist would be fine, but which most lawmakers and economists say would be disastrous.

Parliament is set to vote Wednesday on whether to reject the prospect of a “no-deal” Brexit, and to vote Thursday on whether to seek a postponement of the March 29 deadline.

The bloc would have to agree to a postponement, which appears likely, but the duration of such a delay is uncertain.

Britain could unilaterally revoke its decision to withdraw, and either abandon Brexit or start the process over again, which Mrs. May has said she will not do.

Tuesday’s vote was Parliament’s second rejection of the plan, and there was talk of a third vote, even closer to the deadline.

The British attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, outside the prime minister’s office on Downing Street in London on Tuesday.Toby Melville/Reuters

The British attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, outside the prime minister’s office on Downing Street in London on Tuesday.Toby Melville/Reuters

Attorney general says little has changed, a setback for May

Prime Minister Theresa May’s prospects of winning the crucial vote were dealt a significant blow Tuesday morning when the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, said that the extra assurances she had negotiated with European leaders did not fundamentally change the legal position.

Mr. Cox said the concessions did “reduce the risk” of Britain’s being trapped in the backstop — an insurance policy to ensure there is no hard Irish border, and a main issue for opponents of Mrs. May’s deal.

[What is the Irish “backstop”? Read our full explanation here.]

But Mr. Cox said that the assurances did not alter Britain’s rights and obligations. Were there to be a dispute, he wrote, the country would have “no internationally lawful means of exiting the protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement.”

Subscribe for original insights, commentary and discussions on the major news stories of the week, from columnists Max Fisher and Amanda Taub.

Mr. Cox’s opinion is likely to be influential for pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers who had been considering voting for the deal, and his views leave Mrs. May’s chances of winning the vote on Tuesday hanging by a thread.

On Tuesday morning, Mrs. May led a meeting of the cabinet and told her senior ministers that passing the vote would allow the country to move on to a brighter future, while the alternative would be uncertainty with no guarantee of what happens next. “Let’s get this done,” Mrs. May said, in comments released by her office.

Mrs. May has delayed the withdrawal vote time and again in hopes that the looming deadline would force critics on both sides to give in. But she faces a very steep climb: Her earlier deal was soundly rejected by 230 votes in the 650-seat Parliament.

Mrs. May speaking in Parliament on Tuesday.Parliamentary Recording Unit
Making the case, even as her voice gives out

Her voice hoarse and her political career hanging by a thread, Prime Minister Theresa May stood up in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon and tried to narrow the choice before lawmakers: Vote for my deal, she said, or Britain might very well end up staying in the European Union.

“If this vote is not passed tonight, if this deal is not passed,” Mrs. May said, “then Brexit could be lost.”

Mrs. May was alluding to the possibility that, if Parliament were to reject her deal on Tuesday night, lawmakers could delay Britain’s departure from the European Union, and could later get behind a softer deal or a second referendum that could reject Brexit altogether.

The prime minister, who hopes the threat of those outcomes will persuade hard-line Brexit supporters to back her deal, argued that the tweaks she secured from the European Union on Monday had strengthened Britain’s hand and given it more power over the backstop arrangement that would temporarily bind it to European trading rules.

But the empty green benches behind her at the start of her speech were just one sign of the thin support she enjoys among backbench Conservative members of Parliament.

Protesters on both sides of the Brexit debate outside in London on Tuesday.Matt Dunham/Associated Press
Legal experts are skeptical

Even before the attorney general had issued his analysis, other legal experts had expressed similar opinions.

Apparently, the most that can be said for the changes is that they reinforce the notion that Britain can opt out of European trading rules if officials in Brussels are found to be negotiating in bad faith.

“In the real world,” wrote Michael Dougan, a professor of European law at the University of Liverpool, “such a prospect should be considered almost entirely theoretical, if not altogether fanciful.”

Three experts in European and international law, commissioned by Brexit opponents to consider Mrs. May’s last-minute tweaks, wrote in an 11-page opinion, “The backstop will endure indefinitely, unless and until superseded by another agreement, save in the extreme and unlikely event that in future negotiations the E.U. acts in bad faith in rejecting the U.K.’s demands.”

New figures show an economy held back by uncertainty

Government figures published on Tuesday showed very weak economic growth in Britain, just 0.2 percent in the three-month period that ended in January.

“Growth remained weak with falls in manufacture of metal products, cars and construction repair work all dampening growth,” Rob Kent-Smith, the leader of the team that compiled the report, said in a statement.

Investment in auto manufacturing and other sectors has taken a hit as the country has stumbled toward Brexit. Manufacturers have pleaded with the government for some certainty so they can plan ahead, but many have opted to take their business elsewhere.

Joshua Hardie, the deputy director general at the Confederation of British Industry, described a no-deal Brexit as a “threat that is crippling business in sectors every day,” and encouraged lawmakers to vote for the deal.

The value of the pound sagged after Mr. Cox’s advice on the backstop, with currency traders fearing that his comments had hurt the deal’s chances of passing.

If the deal is defeated, financial analysts said, the outlook for the pound, and the British economy as a whole, depends heavily on what follows. If Mrs. May resigns or calls an early election, that would inject still more uncertainty into the equation, making for a bumpy ride for Britain.

As Prime Minister Theresa May takes a new Brexit deal to Parliament, we talk to people in Northern Ireland to find out why the Irish border has been such a contentious issue.
What is the Irish “backstop”?

If you don’t understand the plan for the Irish border, you’re not alone.

Confusing in the best of times and loudly debated almost all the time, the Irish backstop is shorthand for the question of how to deal with the border between Ireland, a European Union member country, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, once Britain leaves the European Union.

The backstop would be a way to avoid building a physical barrier with checkpoints for goods — the kind of barrier that the European Union has done away with inside the bloc. The backstop provision of Mrs. May’s Brexit plan says that so long as there is no long-term trade pact, Britain would remain in the European customs union and Northern Ireland would be bound by many of its rules.

Britain could therefore remain tied to the European Union indefinitely without having a voice in shaping its rules — a nightmare scenario for hard-line supporters of Brexit. Mrs. May could cut a deal with the opposition Labour Party for a plan that keeps Britain closer to the bloc, but doing so would put her at risk of alienating her Conservative allies.

A call for a general election

Charles Walker, a senior Conservative lawmaker and member of the influential 1922 committee, demanded on Tuesday that Mrs. May call a general election if she loses the vote on her Brexit deal.

“If it doesn’t go through tonight, as sure as night follows day, there will be a general election within a matter of days or weeks,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One program. “It is not sustainable, the current situation in Parliament.”

The 1922 Committee is a group of Conservative lawmakers who meet weekly to discuss party matters. They are responsible for keeping the leadership informed of the party’s mood.

The committee would manage any leadership ballot, although Mrs. May is largely immune from such an effort to remove her for the next 10 months since a party no-confidence vote in December failed.

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, after meeting with Mrs. May in January.Andy Rain/EPA, via Shutterstock
A linchpin of the deal

At the center of the Brexit issue is the Democratic Unionist Party, a small group of socially conservative, pro-withdrawal lawmakers from Northern Ireland who wield outsize influence because they prop up Prime Minister Theresa May’s government.

The backstop infuriates them not so much because it might trap Britain in the regulatory orbit of Europe, but rather because it might bind Northern Ireland to more European trading rules than it does other parts of the United Kingdom.

That effectively means trade barriers in the Irish Sea, splitting Northern Ireland ever so slightly from the rest of the United Kingdom. That’s unacceptable to unionists, for whom the link to Britain is sacred. The D.U.P. would rather kill the backstop and risk a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The 10 D.U.P. lawmakers were coy early Tuesday about the tweaks that Mrs. May had obtained. But after Britain’s top lawyer said the new language didn’t substantially change the backstop arrangement, the government’s slim hopes of winning them over quickly deflated.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the D.U.P. saw the legal advice as “not exactly a ringing endorsement.” Other news outlets said D.U.P. officials saw no way that they could support the deal.

Conservatives balk at the proposal

A faction of pro-Brexit lawmakers within the governing Conservative Party appeared unlikely to support Mrs. May’s deal after a group of its lawyers officially recommended on Tuesday that the lawmakers should not vote for it.

Opposition from the faction, known as the European Research Group, would virtually kill Mrs. May’s chances of getting her deal through Parliament.

The group of lawyers published its assessment of the extra assurances that Mrs. May had secured from European Union leaders, saying that the agreement still did not give Britain the power to extract itself from European trading rules that it would be forced to accept as part of the backstop.

“They do not provide any exit mechanism from the protocol which is under the U.K.’s control,” the assessment found.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, leaving his home in London on Tuesday.Neil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock
Unrest in the Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, is likely to oppose Mrs. May’s deal but otherwise maintain his ambivalence over Brexit as part of his strategy to buy time and come out ahead, observers say.

Mr. Corbyn has said that he does not like the plan put before the British Parliament while “being imprecise over what exactly is Labour’s dream deal, other than that he wants a closer alliance with the customs union and single market,” said Jonathan Tonge, a professor of politics at the University of Liverpool.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Mr. Corbyn urged British lawmakers to reject the Brexit plan.

“The Prime Minister’s negotiations have failed,” he wrote. “Last night’s agreement with the European Commission does not contain anything approaching the changes Theresa May promised Parliament.”

[Read about how Mr. Corbyn’s efforts to play both sides of the Brexit debate are tearing his party apart.]

Mr. Corbyn’s ambivalence has angered the party’s primary constituencies: Although a majority of Labour voters overall wanted Britain to remain in the European Union, Brexit supporters in rural areas and working communities make up about a third of the party’s electorate.

Mr. Corbyn has consistently rejected a “Tory Brexit,” and recently said he would support a second referendum — a bid to stop a rebellion among Labour lawmakers in Parliament. But that proposal has angered many Leave voters — especially those who feel left behind by a party they believed had championed them.

“Corbyn can’t ride both horses forever but he’s already ridden for quite a long distance, and there is a certain logic to it,” Professor Tonge said.

Some hard-line Brexit supporters insist that they would welcome a no-deal split as a clean and complete break from the European Union.Matt Dunham/Associated Press
What happens if Parliament rejects the deal again?

If Parliament rejects Mrs. May’s deal on Tuesday, the focus would then shift to a vote scheduled for Wednesday on whether to oppose leaving without a deal, a move that would most likely require pushing back the originally scheduled departure date of March 29.

Some hard-line Brexiteers insist that they would welcome a no-deal split as a clean and complete break from the European Union. But it is clear that most members of Parliament see it as more akin to driving over a cliff.

Formal opposition in Parliament to a no-deal departure would ratchet up pressure on the government to seek a postponement of the deadline, something that would be contingent on an agreement between Mrs. May’s government and the European Union.

The government could evade the March 29 deadline unilaterally, but only by revoking its decision to leave the European Union, a step that Mrs. May has insisted she will not take. But postponing or revoking Britain’s departure would give new hope to those who want to call a second referendum.

The 2016 referendum won with 52 percent of the vote, but Brexit opponents hope that circumstances have changed enough to reverse the result.

Not since the early 1990s had a prime minister faced a vote of no confidence. Mrs. May has experienced two in three months.Jessica Taylor/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images ... -vote.html

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:53 am
by RocketMan
16 days to go... Craig Murray foresees the end of Great Britain as we know it.

I must say, Theresa May is truly trying to make this as humiliating for herself as she possibly can. And my hopes for Corbyn are somewhat diminished as well, he doesn't seem to want to put up a fight. ... bad-faith/

Brexit and Bad Faith

The Westminster system of handling business is designed purely to handle binary questions disputed between two major parties. Where those parties are both themselves hopelessly riven by internal conflict, and the issues not simply reduced to a manageable number of binary choices, Erskine May just cannot cope.

Parliament thus ended up yesterday with a vote in which the majority of MPs who voted against May’s Withdrawal Agreement view its Irish Backstop provision as almost the only decent thing in it – an opinion with which I tend to concur. They however were egging on the antediluvian DUP/ERG faction to join them, on the basis of an argument that the Irish Backstop is terrible and could be permanent, neither of which anyone sensible really believes.

It says something about the insanity of UK politics that the debate quite seriously hinged around discussions of what happens if the EU acts in bad faith and used the “backstop” deliberately to trap the UK permanently in the Customs Union. The notion that the EU is acting in “bad faith” is frankly ludicrous. No trading partner has ever accused the EU, which has the most transparent negotiating process on trade deals of any country or trading bloc, of acting in bad faith. In its own interest, yes. In bad faith – ie lying and tricking – no.

The notion that the EU is like SPECTRE, and its leaders sit round a table headed by Blofeld Junker conjuring up evil plots to trap the UK in a customs union, is stark raving mad. It is an absolutely crazed conspiracy theory. Yet pro-EU MPs were pretending to share this conspiracy theory in order to encourage the ERG/DUP nutters to vote down May’s deal. That is madness.
The party, parliamentary and political system of the UK has simply become dysfunctional. This is a symptom of the much wider fact that the UK is no longer a viable socio-political entity and will not continue to exist much longer. Its system of economic regulation promotes the accumulation of vast wealth by a tiny minority, while not providing a decent standard of living to millions. There is massive disillusion with its political leadership and distrust of its extremely narrow mainstream media.

What we are witnessing at Westminster is plainly not a functional political system. It is essential that the SNP now strike out decisively for Scottish Independence. Westminster will never be held in more contempt by the public, so there will never be a better time to assert the right of the Scottish people to decide for themselves on Independence without being blocked by Westminster. Ian Blackford was very good on this yesterday.

The rise of Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labour Party is not a chance; it is based on popular reaction to the failure of the UK political system to satisfy the needs of, and deliver a fair society for, the general population. Despite desperate Establishment attempts to smear the Left, I suspect these underlying factors may still propel Corbyn to victory.

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:35 pm
by RocketMan
The motion passed means Theresa May will now ask the EU for an extension to article 50 until 30 June 2018. If they agree – as most assume they will – the UK will not be leaving the European Union on 29 March.

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:19 pm
by JackRiddler
That also means they're in this:

The next elections to the European Parliament are expected to be held between 23 and 26 May 2019. A total of 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) currently represent more than 512 million people from 28 member states. In February 2018, the European Parliament voted to decrease the number of MEPs from 751 to 705 if the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union on the current schedule.[4] ... t_election

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:29 pm
by seemslikeadream
Brits want an official investigation into the Brexit Leave campaign. They’re getting an HBO drama instead. ... c-cummings ... ontinue=60

Cambridge Analytica = BCCI 2.0

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:41 am
by seemslikeadream
Carole Cadwalladr

A German TV reporter appears at
for an interview. "You're doing a whole hour on Brexit crimes?" I say. No British broadcaster has done that. "In Germany, we think this is a v important topic. It affects the entire future of Europe. People really need to know the truth." ... e-102.html

Diamonds, guns and Russian cash: The extraordinary new claims against Arron Banks ... VOpXpijo3I

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:43 am
by RocketMan
May's detachment from reality seems to be increasing... ... ay-control

The European Union is poised to take control of Britain’s exit by rejecting Theresa May’s request for a three-month delay and setting a new withdrawal date of no later than 22 May.

The prime minister is seeking an extension of the negotiating period to 30 June to allow the necessary legislation to be passed should she finally get MPs to back her deal next week.

But EU ambassadors at a meeting late on Wednesday night agreed that the risks of having the UK as a member state beyond 23 May, when European elections are due, were too high.

Sources said that during the discussions some member states favoured a longer period and some a shorter one, but that the room coalesced around 22 May as the absolute limit.

Things are fixing to get ugly in a hurry if there's a no-deal Brexit. It seems the entire country is in an acute state of dissociated denial.

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:49 pm
by seemslikeadream
Deutsche Bank Exec Gets $3.4 Million Bonus From Brexit
By Steven Arons
March 22, 2019, 8:32 AM CDT

Who says everyone loses in Brexit? For Deutsche Bank AG investment banker Garth Ritchie, it meant a bonus boost of $3.4 million for last year.

The executive saw his pay soar last year as he earned his first bonus since 2014 plus 250,000 euros ($282,000) a month for his work leading the bank’s Brexit preparations. His total compensation for last year climbed to 8.62 million euros from 3.25 million euros for 2017, according to the bank’s annual report published on Friday.

Ritchie took over as sole head of the investment bank last year amid a shake-up of the management board that also saw the appointment of Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing. Ritchie was also promoted to co-deputy CEO together with the bank’s legal head, Karl von Rohr.

Profit at Ritchie’s unit, the corporate and investment bank, plunged by 48 percent last year as revenue dropped 8 percent. The division’s overall bonus pool fell to 1.03 billion euros from 1.34 billion euros, accounting for almost one third of the bank’s total decline in adjusted costs last year. ... rom-brexit

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:04 pm
by conniption
Brexit: What's the f**k is going on?
Jonathan Pie
Published on Mar 22, 2019

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:32 pm
by alloneword
Cheers for that, Connoption... he pretty much nailed it.

I know more than a few 'leave' voters who did so mainly on the basis of it being the opposite of what Cameron et al were telling them to do.

A popular sentiment...

And here we are.

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:44 am
by seemslikeadream
Murdoch edging closer to getting the double act he craves



Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:02 am
by seemslikeadream
Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 7.03.46 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 6.59.54 AM.jpg

UK can’t escape Irish backstop with no-deal Brexit

Even in a cliff-edge scenario Brussels will want UK to settle the money, citizens’ rights and the Irish border.

Lili Bayer3/29/19, 12:30 PM CET

The Brexit deal between London and Brussels contains a so-called backstop provision | Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images
No deal is no escape from the Northern Ireland backstop.

The U.K. will face firm preconditions for any talks with the EU following a no-deal Brexit, European Commission Secretary-General Martin Selmayr told ambassadors at a meeting in Brussels today.

A day after the U.K. parliament rejected a host of Brexit outcomes, EU officials met to take stock of their own options. They reaffirmed that a no-deal scenario cannot be as favorable as the deal negotiated between London and Brussels in November.

Speaking to ambassadors of the EU27 countries, Selmayr said that if the U.K. leaves without a deal, the EU must present it with three preconditions for starting any new discussions, three diplomats confirmed to POLITICO. These are: Trade talks will not begin until the U.K. agrees to settle its financial obligations to the bloc; the protection of EU citizens' rights in the U.K. must be ensured; and there must be safeguards to protect the Good Friday Agreement, Selmayr said, according to the diplomats.

EU officials are worried that if the U.K. crashes out of the bloc, it would suspend its payments into the EU's coffers, despite what the EU regards as a legal obligation to keep transferring funds it has pledged under the bloc's long term budget.

One senior EU diplomat noted that the three areas brought up in the meeting are "permanent concerns" for the EU27. Another senior diplomat argued that “if one walks out of a marriage, one cannot then approach one's former spouse as if they are meeting for the very first time ever.”

With political turmoil in London, the EU27's strategy remains to keep the ball firmly in the British court, in an attempt to ensure that Brussels is not blamed for any no-deal fallout.

In the meeting, Selmayr said that the EU27 must keep a united front in order to maintain its advantageous position in the negotiations, one of the diplomats said. He also said that when leaders meet “they should also make clear that there can be no mini-deals” to make a no-deal scenario more tempting, two of the diplomats said.

The Commission secretary-general also noted that officials should focus on sending a message to the public that it is highly prepared for a no-deal scenario, the diplomats said.

While officials remain puzzled at developments in London, they are also setting the stage for their own next move. "If the House of Commons defeats the deal again, you can expect a European Council on April 10," another EU diplomat said. That is two days before the new postponed Brexit day, as agreed by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels last week.

If the House of Commons does not ratify the deal on Friday, President of the European Council Donald Tusk will officially call the extraordinary summit, another diplomat said.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier briefed the meeting that both scenarios if the deal is not ratified — no deal and a long extension — have a cost for the EU. He expressed a concern that in a long extension, the U.K. might attempt to "mix up" all the aspects of the divorce and future relationship, according to one diplomat at the meeting. The rigid sequencing of the Brexit discussions imposed by Brussels has prevented that from happening thus far.

Another diplomat commented on the proposal for a permanent customs union with the EU — the option put forward by former Chancellor Ken Clarke that was closest to passing a series of indicative votes among MPs Wednesday evening.

"If parliament votes for the customs union we will still need the Withdrawal Agreement because a Customs Union would say nothing on things such as citizens rights, Northern Ireland and financial settlement,” the diplomat said. ... al-brexit/

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:04 am
by RocketMan
Found this chestnut:

On Thursday night, Newsnight reported that a cabinet minister, when asked why May was pressing ahead with another vote she was sure she would lose, replied: “Fuck knows, I am past caring. It’s like the living dead in here.”

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:18 am
by seemslikeadream
Fearing Brexit, protesters gather along Irish border
CARRICKCARNON, Ireland (Reuters) - Anti-Brexit campaigners protested at six different points of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland on Saturday, fearing a return of customs checks could risk peace, jobs and their way of life.
Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 5.16.02 AM.jpg

People attend a protest against Brexit at the border crossing between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in Carrickcarnon, Ireland March 30. 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
The currently seamless 500 km (350 mile) border would be the United Kingdom’s only land frontier with the EU after Brexit and the question of how it is kept open has become a major hurdle in efforts to ensure the UK quits the bloc in an orderly fashion.

Organizers estimated more than 1,000 locals gathered from the northwest village of Bridgend to Carrickcarnon on the east coast, two of the more than 200 crossings that some 30,000 people cross each day for work.

“People are very concerned, they voted to remain (in the EU) here,” said John Sheridan, a farmer from the Border Communities Against Brexit group who led the protest in the Northern Ireland border village of Belcoo. “We feel like we’re going to be left behind again and have a border imposed on us.”

The group also held a candle-lit vigil across the border in the Irish village of Kiltyclogher at 2300 GMT on Friday, when Britain had been scheduled to leave the EU until its departure was extended by at least two weeks.

It has held other protests since the 2016 Brexit referendum and again erected mock customs checkpoints on Saturday, to demonstrate the disruption they could cause and the resistance their return would meet.

Britain, Ireland and the EU all say they want to avoid physical checks on the border, which was marked by military checkpoints before a 1998 peace deal ended three decades of violence costing around 3,600 lives.

But the backstop or insurance mechanism negotiated to exclude such checks has been resisted by some British lawmakers, who have on three occasions voted down the divorce deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee said on Saturday it would be very difficult to achieve the Irish government’s twin aims of keeping the border open and maintaining the integrity of the EU’s single market, if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal.

“But we are absolutely determined to do that,” McEntee told national broadcaster RTE. “We have always had the support of the EU and I don’t see that changing.”

Writing by Padraic Halpin; Editing by David Holmes ... ce=twitter

Re: The Brexit thread

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:49 am
by seemslikeadream

MPs reject Brexit plans again in boost for May
PM could link another vote on her deal with snap election

Matt Chorley, Red Box Editor | Sam Coates, Deputy Political Editor | Oliver Wright, Henry Zeffman
April 2 2019, 9:00am,

Philip Hammond, Stephen Barclay and Theresa May watch stony-faced while Jeremy Corbyn calls for a third round of votes

MPs failed for a second time last night to agree on an alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit deal, handing the initiative back to Downing Street to find a way out of the impasse.

The Times understands that Philip Hammond, the chancellor, will tell the cabinet today that the government has to make its own compromise proposal or admit that parliament has failed “and put it back to the people in a referendum” since the party and the country cannot afford an election.

Mr Hammond is understood to believe that any compromise would have to involve attaching a customs union to the withdrawal agreement, an option he is “not enthusiastic” about.

The Commons rejected a customs union with the European Union by only three votes last… ... -pbzpfbhqn