A special Saturday (Oct. 19) sitting of the British Parliament was supposed to decide the fate of the Brexit deal described below. Instead, the process has been delayed again. The Irish Times explains what happened. Further twists before the Oct. 31 leave deadline will appear in a new post. MH
FIRST UPDATE 1:
- “Boris Johnson’s prospects of taking Britain out of the European Union by the end of this month were on a knife-edge … as he scrambled for support at Westminster for a deal agreed with 27 other leaders.” The vote is scheduled for Saturday, 19 October.
- “Many traditional Unionist supporters in the Northern Ireland business community and farming community were less worried about the uncertain long-term constitutional implications of a deal that perhaps brings Northern Ireland a little closer to the Republic of Ireland and more concerned with the short-term impact on the economy and political stability of a hard Brexit, which would probably have led to new customs posts along the border. They are likely to accept the outcome, and the politicians they support may similarly be quietly relieved, even if they would never admit it in public.”
- “The irony of the plan for Northern Ireland to remain legally in the UK customs regime, while in practice following the EU’s, is that its most obvious precedent is in Irish nationalism. De Valera’s solution to the conundrum of getting on with governing 26 counties while claiming jurisdiction over 32 was the handy dualism of de jure/de facto: the North would be claimed de jure as part of the State while recognising that de facto it was not. There is something almost amusing in this Jesuitical device now defining Northern Ireland itself – UK by law, EU by fact.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Union officials have reached a Brexit deal, according to media reports.
The proposal requires approval by E.U. and U.K. governing bodies by the Oct. 31 deadline. U.K voters approved Britain’s separation from the E.U. in a June 2016 referendum.
The terms of Brexit will have tremendous impact on the island of Ireland, which has the only land border between the E.U. and U.K. The Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, a key part of Johnson’s coalition, says it does not support the latest deal. The DUP scuttled a 2017 proposal by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May.
The Irish Times reports:
- Northern Ireland will be treated significantly differently from Great Britain, a sticking point with the DUP. There will be a customs and regulatory border in the Irish Sea.
- The Republic of Ireland has conceded on consent and time-limit on border arrangements. Northern Ireland could get out of arrangement. For foreseeable future, however, there would be no hardening of the border in Ireland.
This is a fast-developing story. I will post updates. For immediate news resources, see The Irish Times and BBC.