94 thoughts on “NEVER GONNA BE A BORDER IN THE IRISH SEA…”

  1. Ha! What an ar*sehole the man is. But I suppose we knew that already.

    Should we be operating on the assumption that his New and Improved (ha!) Brexit deal will get through the HoC on Saturday (I think that’s right)? Who knows? I think the best reaction to that particular conundrum is to ignore it until we know for sure, and meantime avoid and fashing our delicate sensibilities.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It looks like it’s down to Labour rebels to save the Tories’ deal.

      DUP, Liberals, SNP, Plaid and Green voting against. Some of the ex-Tory rebels voting against. Labour whipped to vote against.

      But some will vote for… whether becasue of conviction or bribes for their constituency.

      Like

  2. Here’s an archived page from the Irish Times which I hope will be of interest to Munguinites:http://archive.is/cO0FK. It’s from late yesterday (17 October 2019) and is entitled “Brexit on a knife edge as Johnson in race to win support for deal”.

    I really need to subscribe to the Irish Times, because I can’t get into most of it, and I really want to read Fintan O’Toole’s column because he’s so bloody good. That’s on the list for the moment I have some spare dosh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ed.

      “Northern Ireland will leave the EU’s customs union with the rest of the United Kingdom but it will be treated administratively as if it is remaining within it.”

      WHAT?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eggzaktically. Jesuitical sophistry or good old British Imperial fudge? If it passes the HoC, I look forward to the moment They break it anyway, regardless of consequences. For Northern Ireland and everyone else in these islands, that is, because of course we don’t matter a jot, or even a tittle, to Them.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. In pursuit of my long-term covert and unusual campaign to hijack Tris’s – sorry, Mr. Munguin’s – blog entirely, here I am yet again.

    It occurs to me to wonder how the Unionist parties at Holyrood, the Great British Meeja Machine and the Usual Suspects in the comments section of the National and elsewhere would react if the Scottish Government and the SNP as a party were to commit the volte-faces and indulge in the tergiversation so typical of the Westminster regime, the Tory Party in general, and the Ruth Davidson now Jackdaw Carlot Party in particular.

    They’d be slaughtered, wouldn’t they? So here’s the question: how do Boris Johnson, the rest of his scurvy crew of barking Brexiteers and the Mundellocarlotic Faction and RossThomsonites in particular get away with it?

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    1. They play the boogieman card, is how they get away with it. Plays into the sensibilities of the xenophobic little englanders. Remember Ed Milliband in Alex Salmond’s pocket, Farage and his queue of immigrants poster, Boris and his The Turks are coming. The Tories are simply the ‘acceptable’ face of the england that does not want to speak its name.

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    1. Dr P Whitford was at our stand at the conference to give a reason for independence. Hadn’t met her before, similar formidable presence to Mike Russell. Glad they are both SNP.

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    1. Or as Boris might /will say
      In the Trumpian way .

      DUP!DUP! Er nope never met em

      But here is a picture of you with

      Er yeah I was in the same room as them never spoke it’s all fake news.

      As for the ERG Spartans if they had fought (not likely ) the Persians would of walked straight over them 😝

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think Arlene may be in purple, with rage. They are about to be left in the backstop as the rest of the UK (hopefully minus Scotland) leaves the EU. The withdrawal agreement, if passed, circumvents the Benn bill. The trade agreement discussions will be dragged out, by the usual parliamentary stunts till the transition period ends. I had heard this but just saw a tweet which makes it clearer and more despicable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the right wing papers are making him into some sort of hero. Needless to say anyone who disagrees with him will be likely to be considered a traitor.

      Like

  5. As others have said,it is most regrettable that NI’s democratic wishes have only been “respected” by Westminster because of the threat of recurring violence.
    What sort of message does that send to our young people?
    However,I do believe that they didn’t even take that into consideration and it was the EU who tried to
    avoid that by insisting that the GFA must be upheld (more or less).
    A despicable rabble lead by a mendacious chancer,to quote Chris Patten.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few weeks ago LBC’s James O’Brien was discussing this and the consensus was that the Security Services had advised that if it was NO Deal then they would not be able to contain the “Troubles” in GB. Hence the last minute scramble for a deal.
      On the face of it this seems to me an interpretation I can’t argue with.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. On the subject of nationality and identity. Munguinites will recall that one of Dodgy Dave’s beezer wheezes in the wake of the 2014 catastrophe was to introduce the Union flag onto peoples’ UK driving licences. I myself complained about that at the time, and got back a form letter full of guff about it being too expensive to make different kinds of driving licences and it was to reinforce our British identity.

    The exception, of course, was Northern Ireland, where people would not get any flag at all on their driving licences, in recognition of the Good Friday Agreement’s provisions on the recognition of identities: people born in Northern Ireland may define themselves as British, Irish or both, and may hold both UK and Irish passports.

    So – Cameron’s refusing to allow us Scots to have saltires on our licences if we want one, or nothing at all, really was an insulting refusal to allow us the choice of Scottish or British identities, or both.

    My suggestion for the Scottish Government and SNP High Heid Yins, if they’re reading this (yoo-hoo, people!), is that oor Nicola or Joanna Cherry (what with her being Justice) should come out with a statement that both homegrown Scots and people in Scotland from the rUK will have a choice of identity and the possibility of dual nationality and all the right of abode stuff as well.

    Another thing we need to have a thought about – not a very long one, I hope – is about the question of birthright citizenship. I suggest that one Scottish grandparent (cf. how the Irish do it, and normal practice in other European States) should be enough to give one the right to Scottish citizenship, along with anyone with a UK or Irish passport resident in Scotland. I expect you can all see where I’m going with this: inclusive not exclusive; operate on the assumption that people can have what they want unless you can find a damn good reason for refusing; and do not be like the English Home Office, which looks for any possible excuse, including subterfuge, dishonesty and bad faith, to refuse.

    I’m thinking of Scotland in the EU with all the four freedoms at this point, so I’ll leave our compatriots from the rest of Europe to one side for the moment, with no offence intended. Besides, if I committed such an offence, the Polish half of my family might kill me.

    Some of our more Yoonatic compatriots suffer from conspiracy theories that they will be the victims of Ethnic Cleansing unless they swear an oath of personal fealty to Nicola Sturgeon and have saltires and SNP logos tattooed on their bums, one on either cheek. We still hear from far too many people, including people who really, really ought to know better, that our Scottish nationalism is the blood-and-soil, hate the English, bledadidahdidah yadda yadda yadda kind.

    It’s important for us to reassure the timorous and misled that their fears are groundless. I don’t think we put enough energy into demystification and demythification.

    For your consideration, a House of Commons library research briefing, dated today 18 October 2019, entitled “Northern Ireland, Citizenship and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement”, which I have archived for you at http://archive.is/POf8p.

    Here’s little jewel from that which you may like: “EU law rights for family reunion of non-EEA spouses are more advantageous than the UK immigration rules which apply to non-EEA spouses of British citizens.”

    That is something which we Scots should commit to fixing as soon as we can. I read over on WGD that Paul Kavanagh, whom I much admire, is off to America for his first anniversary with his husband, so this subject has been on my mind.

    Here’s another little gem: “In the British constitutional system commitments made in international treaties cannot be relied upon directly. In order for such commitments to result in individuals having rights domestically, such provisions would need to be given effect in UK law (or, in some cases, policy).”

    This is, as so often with Westminster, simply the wrong way round. If your Government, on behalf of your country, puts its name on our behalf to a document that is binding in international law, it and we must necessarily be bound to it. The German Grundgesetz, for example, says in its article 25 entitled “Primacy of International Law”, that “The general rules of international law shall be an integral part of federal law. They shall take precedence over the laws and directly create rights and duties for the inhabitants of the federal territory.”

    But no, not Westminster. Westminster’s sovereignty is infinite and untrammelled – or so it likes to think. Independent Scotland should follow the standard European model, and be a State whose word can be trusted – unlike the Brits, with their exceptionalist, jumpe-up idea of their own right to bend, break and waive the rules as they see fit.

    *Tris, I’m going to try putting this up on my own blog, so I don’t need to hijack yours all the time. I’m very grateful for it, by the way, to both you and, of course, Mr. Munguin.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh dear. Thanks for letting me know, Aucheorn.

          I am not surprised it doesn’t work. My hat goes off to Tris and those others who have persevered with WordPress and strongarm it into submission.

          Maybe I should read the manual. As a last resort.

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  7. “Just Leave Already”

    An op-ed piece in today’s NY Times that sheds a little light (that probably everyone but me already understood) about why the Europeans seemed to be willing to accommodate the antics of the UK with endless new “talks” after they (the EU) had already declared the agreement had already been reached and was final……..EXCEPT that it never really turned out to be all that final in the details that actually mattered.

    The article would seem to show that the Europeans are engaging in tactics that are no more principled than those of the UK in these endless “divorce” negotiations.

    (BTW my American view is probably somewhat less generous in its view of European motives and behavior in general than most readers of MR. 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Possibly, Danny, possibly. I think the Europeans have been trying very hard, in their own interests as well, to avoid chaos and – most importantly, perhaps – seeing what the Irish think about the border issue. If the Irish can live with it, so can they. That’s how I view it, anyway, which is a positive analysis of the reason they agreed to revisit the whole border issue in Ireland. You have to recall that May, in hock to Fragrant Arlene and her Dancing Dinosaur-Deniers, would not could not live with the “border down the middle of the Irish Sea”, which is bonkers because there already is one, between two sovereign States and then between two devolved parts of the UK with legal systems which differ with each other and from England&Wales.

      So Boris is now accepting something which May rejected – in other words, the UK has given up one of its red lines, and the Europeans have moved to meet them.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ed……your analysis seems unassailable to me.
        So now as I understand it the question is whether Boris can sell the deal to parliament without the support of the Dinosaur-Deniers.

        But not to worry if he can’t. Never more than a week or so has ever elapsed between the Europeans declaring that an agreement is set in stone, and they are welcoming the PM with open arms for more “talks” about changing it.

        So people are in a tizzy about that October 31 “deadline?” Does anyone really think that the date can’t be changed by European politicians who seem to be as good at making it up as they go along as their UK counterparts famously are, if it’s in their interests to do so.

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        1. Even if the MP’s decide to accept Boris’s deal and Brexit is set for 31 October, we still have the transition period and existing EU law will continue to apply until at least the end of December 2020. There is also provision for a one time only extension of this transition period (as long as an application is made before Ist July 2020) for a further two years.

          Potentially therefore there could be another 3 years during which nothing much will actually change with regard to EU rules and trade.

          During this 3 year period the UK won’t be required to adopt any new EU laws, rules or regulations. We’re also expected to negotiate in good faith about the future trading relationship between the EU and the UK, ( while at the same time being allowed to negotiate with other non-EU countries). At the end of this period ( potentially 3 years) we could end up with a soft brexit or a hard brexit. That will depend upon this, or the next, government. What we do know is that Boris’s government have made it clear that they will be doing the negotiations and these won’t be subject to approval by parliament.

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          1. Jake……So as I understand it these are all details in the deal that Boris is now peddling and still requires approval by parliament, before the Benn Act deadline kicks in and an extension is required. This seemed to indicate that Boris will obey that deadline.

            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/16/boris-johnson-will-ask-eu-for-extension-if-no-brexit-deal-by-saturday

            The recent reporting here has been all about the Irish border issue, with very little about an actual trade deal.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. If Boris really does provoke a no-deal Brexit, all bets may be off. I for one don’t trust the Westminster regime to do anything in good faith, and not to screw things up with their damn arrogance and exceptionalism. Better if it all goes smoothly, of course, but in a worst-case scenario comes to pass, it will not be pretty.

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        2. Danny, the Europeans have not in fact moved at all on their own red lines, one of which, the most important from their point of view, was the question of the Irish border. The reason for that is because it involves the sovereignty of an EU member State and a binding international treaty, i.e., the Good Friday aka Belfast Agreement between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

          As for the postponement of Brexit – the noises are that the Europeans are willing to extend the deadline another three months maximum but that’s all, and only if there’s going to be a general election / second Brexit referendum – some good practical and political reason for the postponement, in other words, because Tusk warned the Westminster regime when they were granted the extension to 31 October that they must use the time wisely. That being the case, the Westminster Parliament immediately went into recess and buggered off for the whole summer. So not much political capital left there, but the Europeans are also well aware that given the chance, BoJo will blame Europe for everything and anything, so they are naturally reluctant to play into his hands.

          A possible scenario too is that one of the other EU States might veto an extension. I suspect that BoJo has been dealing with Orbán for just that purpose. The Tories under May won brownie points with Orbán by voting against a motion in the EU Parliament censuring Orbán’s regime for I forget what – the usual far right human rights abuses or interfering with the judiciary or something. The UK Tory MEPs sit with the far right MEPs from the other EU States, not the centre right. I suspect not a lot of people in the UK actually know that. And of course Farage is even further to the right of them. Ghastly man.

          I think you’ll find that the Europeans haven’t budged an inch on the things that really matter, or in fact on the deal they reached with May and she couldn’t get through Parliament even after three attempts. She should have resigned after the first failure, of course, but that doesn’t seem to be the fashion any more.

          The only movement there has been is on the one issue of how to deal with the Irish border problem, and there the EU team have defended Irish interests to the hilt. We shouldn’t forget that the likes of that awful Priti Patel were threatening to use starvation to force the Irish to play ball over Brexit, or that a surprisingly awful lot of people thought that in order to allow England to leave the EU, the border problem should be solved by the Republic rejoining the UK and leaving the EU at the same time. I kid you not. That was the view of about 9% of the English electorate when polled, and the further to the right and the more banking the Brexiteer, the more likely they are to think so.

          If only Scotland had the support that the EU has given Ireland, we would be in a much different and much, much better place. I’ve pretty much reached saturation, and I’m sure you know the feeling too: how much more of this insanity can I take?

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Ed…..I will defer to your greater knowledge about the specifics of the proposed agreements, and allow that the Europeans may have remained more intellectually honest and consistent in the Brexit negotiations. (However annoying their endless accommodations for yet MORE talks with the Brits seemed to me at the time.) You do make an excellent point of the use that the Westminster crowd made of the 31 October extension, which was to be used “wisely.” And I do also have a modern American appreciation for how much “insanity” in one’s own governance can be tolerated.

            Leaving Brexit aside however, and looking at history through a longer and wider (American) lens, I will believe that Europeans are fundamentally more reasonable and rational and good and caring people than the British when we have at least a couple of more centuries of history under our belts. Rivers of blood flowed for a thousand years of European nationalism, and right wing nationalism is to some extent resurgent in modern European politics (as I understand it.) Relatively recently by historical standards, we have the Europeans and Brits to thank for WWI and II, both of which involved the assistance of American armies to sort out the mess. So exactly WHEN did the Europeans start being viewed in such a positive light? Have they really changed their ways? Is bloody European history irrelevant at this juncture? Or perhaps the Leopard cannot change his spots. Anyway, it may be worthwhile to reflect on history when people get all worked up about the rational and peaceful nature of Europeans (and for that matter the invariable European description of Americans as being impulsive and warlike.) 😉

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            1. The EU was set up – in embryonic form – after WWII as part of the general Western determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The Coal & Steel Community were the first baby steps, if I remember my history, but the intent was clear: to bind Europe together within a common economic and political framework, with common standards of human rights, to eliminate the causes of the continent’s centuries-, or rather millenia-long history of constant war. And it has worked.

              The UK – England – has always had at best a semi-detached relationship with the Continong; part of that damned English exceptionalism again, and jingoistic, nationalistic We Won the War harking back to days that were more glorious in memory than in fact. They have never been good European citizens. Oh, their reaction when the whole Brexit mess began and the Europeans told them that no, they couldn’t expect to hold onto the good bits about European membership, junk the bits they didn’t like, and not pay for any of it! Oh, the throwing of toys out the pram!

              The European project has its problems and its detractors, but on balance it is a Very Good Thing. It has prevented war in Europe for coming on 70 years – the longest period of peace the continent has known ever, as far as we can tell. That alone is beyond price in human terms, and billions upon billions in economic terms. The dismantling of borders and the introduction of the four freedoms, and the constantly increasing degree of interdependence between the countries of Europe, have brought with them unprecedented prosperity and security. Europe’s love affair with neoliberal capitalism has been unfortunate by increasing social inequality and wealth disparities which always act as social stressors and result in the resurgence of right-wing, racist ideology and social strife. But Europe is getting over it, or trying. England, though, is doubling down on it; inequality there is at its highest level since the Victorian era, while Scotland is struggling to swim in the opposite direction to become more like Norway and Denmark in its economic and social policies, whether in the EU like Denmark or out of it like Norway.

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              1. Ed…..I do agree that the Europeans have been much better behaved of late, and in time I may actually forgive them for World Wars I and II, not to mention the War of the Spanish Succession.
                As for the UK, it was probably a sign that its heart was never really into the European project when they refused to give up the pound sterling. A careful reading of history suggests that the English are a greedy violent people who raped and pillaged half the world in the days of empire, and who, by mismanagement of their empire, are ultimately responsible for most of the geopolitical problems in the world today.
                A contrary view is that as badly as the English ruled their empire, the European powers were even more bloody and violent with their colonies. One might have a favorable view of the “peace loving” Belgians for example until you take into account the atrocities in King Leopold’s Congo Free State, which the Belgians long ignored. I’d feel better about the EU if its headquarters were not in the country that engineered the Congo atrocities.

                https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/jul/18/congo.andrewosborn

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                1. WWII was the realisation that Europe – the Western world – realised that they could not carry on in that way. Especially after Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Oppenheimer’s “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds” summed it up: Europeans, looking at a continent laid waste by war like never before, realised that another European war with weapons of destruction more power by orders of magnitude than anything we had seen before, would be the death of us all.

                  In the post-war period, Germany, for example, underwent systematic and systemic denazification. With a new Constitution pretty much given them by the Allies (in the West), they underwent a kind of national introspection: how had they got themselves into that madness, that hell? Thus it was a German, Konrad Adenauer, who led the push toward the European Coal and Steel Community, to which were added the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Community, all of which together eventually led us to the European Union we have now.

                  The decades after WWII saw decolonisation worldwide, and at least some recognition of past sins. The odd thing about the Belgian Congo was that it wasn’t actually a colony – it was the personal property of Leopold II, so there’s an argument that it was Leopold himself that was at the heart of the darkness. A bit more history: the Belgians favoured the Tutsi (sharper noses; more European-looking) over the Hutu in Rwanda, Burundi and what is now the DRC, and shoved a wedge even deeper into already fractured societies.

                  A lot of their thinking was based on the pseudoscientific racist theories of the French aristocrat Joseph Arthur de Gobineau (14 July 1816 – 13 October 1882), who wrote some influential works – e.g., “An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races”, which influenced not just the Belgians in their treatment of Africans in the Belgian Congo and its East Central African periphery but also American pro-slavery white supremacists, and if I mention the word “Aryan”, you can see immediately that the Nazis took up his ideas too.

                  With the educational track I pursued and through my professional and personal life, I have become more than ever terrified of how quickly and easily societies can descend into chaos and horror. With Trump and his nasty little corrupt and racist pals, and Boris Johnson with his, we are all under severe threat. Both our societies face burgeoning inequalities and inequities, wealth disparities, and an underclass in misery. These are the canonic soil in which fascism, racism, scapegoating of minorities, hatred and division flourish. On both sides of the Atlantic, systems of governance are breaking down, with authoritarian-minded leaders performing overt acts to break them.

                  And, as Nancy Pelosi just said, all roads lead to Putin, and she is largely right – but throw in some of the normal, self-interested corruption along the way to flesh out the picture.

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                  1. Ed……Yes, the Congo atrocities were personally engineered by Leopold II, whom the people of Belgium still hold in the highest regard as I understand it. Then there were the human zoos (not unique to Belgium it would seem.)

                    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/16/belgium-comes-to-terms-with-human-zoos-of-its-colonial-past

                    BTW, a photographer was on hand in the White House Cabinet Room to record the Pelosi-Trump confrontation.

                    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/10/17/20918945/nancy-pelosi-trump-meltdown-photo-white-house

                    I’ve been watching the Brexit debate in Commons. Boris paid “tribute to our European friends for escaping the prison of existing positions and showing the vision to be flexible by reopening the withdrawal agreement.” It would seem that his masterful negotiating skills accomplished something that Theresa May could not. She apparently accented the European position that the agreement was final and not subject to change. Boris would have none of that, and he negotiated a new agreement. At least that seems to be his spin on the matter. 😉

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                    1. Tris……I have no problem at all believing that he is a better liar. The debate seems to be going along with an uncharacteristic semblance of order.

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                    2. Yes, Danny, I saw the pic of the White House confrontation, and was particularly struck by the way all the military guys to the President’s right were looking down at the table. They must have felt very shamed and embarrassed.

                      As for the Europeans reopening the Withdrawal Agreement after May said it was final, it was indeed final because reopening it the way she meant it was that the Europeans would have to give way – and they would not.

                      What Boris has done is revisit something May ruled out – so he was the one that moved to something the Europeans had said way back when that they would accept (can’t be bothered doing any in-depth research on this) but Fragrant Arlene and her Dancing Dinosaur-Deniers has kiboshed. So Boris is the one that moved; whereas May said “This is the deal because I can’t get anything more out of the Europeans”, Boris has given the Europeans something they came up with in the first place and they’ve accepted it.

                      Of course he has spun it as a great victory for himself. They always do.

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                    3. Tris…..Yes, in his opening speech, Boris made a point of taking notice of the Saturday session. Quite a burden apparently. 😉

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                    4. Ed….Yes, I too noticed the heads down posture of the guys on Trumpy’s right. Not wishing to be involved in any way. 🙂

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      2. PS Ed…….I did very much enjoy your comment about the wonderfully ambiguous nature of that “border down the middle of the middle of the Irish sea” which both did and didn’t already exist in one sense, and was totally unthinkable for Brexit purposes, until it wasn’t.

        Making it up as you go along and redefining the objective reality of the state itself is SO very easy when you are unencumbered by any sort of constitution, with all its definitions and standards. Politicians simply redefine things as it suits their ad hoc interests, which will automatically conform to that “unwritten” constitution that the Brits like to pretend that they have.

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      3. Let’s hope that the SNP propose an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement
        “The Kingdom of Scotland shall Remain in The EU Customs Union and Single Market”. Would be worth it in exchange for supporting the deal as long as it was written in to the WA as that is a legally binding text, unlike the Political Declaration which is aspirational.

        I understand that the Tories have sought an opinion from Geoffrey Cox as to the implications of not doing an FTA at the end of 2020 and crashing out instead.

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        1. They don’t improve, do they, K?

          For the amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement, one would rather hope that Joanna Cherry QC MP is on top of it…

          I love the idea of moving the border in the middle of the Irish Sea to our Border with England. Even if some checks will have to be carried out on goods crossing it, it seems a price worth paying. Betcha we’d get more traffic through our ports with good coming and going our way avoiding the hassle of getting through England, the same way the Irish can expect more traffic through Cork.

          Or maybe goods for Scotland and Ireland will be able to come through the Channel Tunnel under bond and zip through Englandland sealed, uninspected and unhindered, whereas the Europeans will have given up trying to send Englandland any insulin, fish or salad vegetables because they all go off anyway as they wait to get through customs and all the phytosanitary and veterinarian wotsits… That would piss them off something rotten, seeing all our stuff wheech by.

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        2. Aye, I heard this too. It was specifically the ERG group, known as the Spartans. If they vote for this aggreement that contains one of their red lines, a huge gash of a red line, then we can assume AG Cox gave them the thumbs up. Expect prevarication and a possible crash out. But wait if the WA is accepted, the Benn bill doesn’t apply. Ahh but, we have the Letwin ammendment and if passed that means an extension/delay because parliment must see everything negotiated before voting. Which might cause BawJaw to take the baw oot the game.
          I’m off for a coffee and somewhere quiet.

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          1. No impact assessments have been done on this deal of Boris’s. But it has to go through or he’ll have to die in a ditch.

            I think an impact assessment is more important, to be honest.

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            1. Impact assesment and all details via the Letwin ammendment gets us a delay, which means we need to start checking ditches for dead bodies, to check the identity matches.
              Right oh, cappuccino large. The place I’ll be visiting does the best mocha anywhere and has views over the harbour.

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                1. I want that cappuccino even more than before, Alan. Tris, one would have thought that Mr. Munguin had had his factotum dig a few ditches in connection with the new moat at Munguin Towers. Surely one of those could be pressed into service?

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                2. I was just thinking that, in a couple of weeks, from a ditch somewhere there will be a stench, it’d be good to know it was the correct body.
                  Hell aye, you’re right. Who’s for another mocha? Large cappuccino? Sticky bun?

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                    1. No probs. The swirly thing, is that the pastry that looks similar but hopefully bigger than a catherine wheel with imbedded currents? If it is you might be disappointed. We haven’t left yet and Danish pastries are not a patch on what they used to be. Just saying.

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                    2. Nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be, is it, Alan? Tesco are still selling those cinnamon swirly things as cinnamon swirls, fortunately, but I expect I’d better have several right now in case shipments from Denmark get cut off at Halloween, like my insulin. I expect we’ll still be able to get them on the black market, but they’ll probably cost an arm and a leg.

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                    3. Insulin is a worry and the many medicines and radio isotopes that may be on short supply.
                      With hint at black humour, the lack of insulin could result in many of us paying an arm or a leg for brexit.

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  8. Read somewhere that the Treaties of Union between Scotland and England state that there should be no differential treatment of Scotland in access of markets or tariffs in the union. So the “cracking deal for NI” according to Dom Raab and Fraser Nelson breaks articles 4 and 6.

    Normally you’d think this was a deal breaker but the treaty was first broken in 1707. Yip the year it was implemented.

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    1. P paws it’s in the 1707 Treaty of Union. It is one of the founding principles. Perfectly correct that there can’t be a difference. Twiddling my thumbs watching the UK Gov fail over and over again at getting Brexit done whilst trying Not to break the Treaty.
      Remember the Gold Standard is to demand a S30, but that doesn’t mean that there are no other ways to achieve the same ends. I would take a Treaty breach as a legal way out.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I can’t remember who was leader of the SNP at Westminster at the time because I’m a doitit auld git, but I recall listening to him make exactly that point in the Commons and being cut off by the Speaker. Whoever was commenting on it for the BBC actually said that he thought the point was valid or at least arguable. It occurs to me that no one on the BBC would dare say that today, in fact not since the run-up to the 2014 referendum.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think that at that time the Acts of Union were more or less forgotten by most people and the Speaker, whoever he was, and his advisers, probably thought… pffffffff, all that is dead and buried.

            Of course changes over the last 20 years have brought this much to people’s minds. I doubt if any Speaker would now be advised take that attitude.

            Like

  9. This from the Independent

    “Raab tells us that, far from being a humiliating retreat back to a position once suggested by Michel Barmier, the Northern Ireland-only membership (de facto) of the EU customs union is going to be a “cracking deal” for Northern Ireland because it will keep “frictionless access to the single market”.

    The obvious point arises as to why the UK can’t just keep “frictionless access to the single market”, if this is really such a “cracking” deal. Another awkward question is why devolved Scotland isn’t allowed to have the same special deal (after all, Scotland voted to remain in 2016, just as Northern Ireland did).”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/dominic-raab-single-market-northern-ireland-cracking-deal-dup-boris-johnson-brexit-deal-a9161641.html

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All very well – but Sean O’Grady is certainly wrong about one thing: “Perhaps, before too long, the Johnson government will offer the same kind of deal to try and buy off Nicola Sturgeon and her second Scottish independence referendum. It might be enough, but Johnson won’t have much to show for his efforts in his secondary role as Minister for the Union.”

      Oh no, it wouldn’t be enough at all. Not that I can read Nicola Sturgeon’s mind or anything, but I’m damn sure it wouldn’t be enough for her either.

      Liked by 1 person

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