Still no answer to the Irish question

Hancock: punt it into the long grass by setting up an Irish Council to discuss possible solutions. Ask for a deadline to backstop. (we know EU won't agree to that.)

Javid: remove the backstop by offering to pay for a (non existent) digital border (we know EU won't agree to that).

Any other non answers from this merry band of no hopers?

Probably loads but none of them will not result in us breaching the GFA which is why Brexit is dead in the water.

Or in Jurassic terms, the tail has been kicked but the signal has yet to reach the dinosaur’s brain.

not a non-answer, but an answer:


Sam Gyimah - stay in the EU

fair enough

he seems like a sensible guy

he has zero chance of becoming leader this time around

Maybe the Unionists would be more relaxed about special status if Scotland got it to.  Stay in the EU and a special big EU funded stadium for orange walks with big custom bonfire pits.

Give it back to its own people Guy you teeeedious rimlicker 

Isn’t there some sort of self determination thing that we agreed to stand by?  Maybe they should do another referendum, we can’t just randomly give a chunk of the population to a foreign government without the approval of the people concerned.

Its a bit like the whole Gibraltar thing in that our hands are a bit tied even if we wanted to hand it over.  Same with the falklands.


Oh yeah it’s in the UN Charter.  I don’t see us breaching that one.

Article 1.2 of the UN charter is fairly authoritative as well!

Subject to paragraph 3 [not if such a poll has been held in the last 7 years], the Secretary of State shall exercise the power under paragraph 1 [hold a poll re NI being part of the UK or not] if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland


Jeremy Cunt also has no answer. Just read this drivel and weep. 

"2. You now say that the Commons won’t allow No Deal, and that any attempt to achieve it will provoke a disastrous general election.  So what will you do as Prime Minister if you can’t get a deal agreed and ratified by October 31?

I have always said that if the only way to deliver Brexit was no deal then I would do that because the democratic damage of ignoring the referendum result would outweigh the economic risks of a no deal exit. However, parliament is extremely likely to block a no deal exit so the question is how you avoid us being presented with the same stalemate at the end of October as we have now.

I believe I have the best chance out of all the candidates of getting a better deal.  I’ve been talking to European Governments for the last year so I know the people on the other side of the table; they see me as reasonable so I’m less likely to invite an ultra hard-line response from those leaders who are fighting populism in their own backyards; I have a background both as an entrepreneur and experienced Cabinet Minister in handling complex negotiations and striking deals. 

3. You also say that “with the current deal, I cannot see a way forward”.  This suggests not only that you aim to get a deal by October 31, but that it will be a new one.  How can you achieve this in fewer than five months?

The deal with the backstop as it is does not have a future. We know that, and now the EU know it too. There is a better deal to be had but we need the right approach and leadership. We must present a team that gives them confidence we can deliver a parliamentary majority with the mandate of a newly elected Prime Minister.  When you talk to European governments as I’ve done over the last year, and explain our concerns on the backstop, they appreciate they are perfectly reasonable. There are other ways of guaranteeing no border infrastructure on the Irish border, and we can make this case."

right, so Hunt is saying he’d go with no deal if he had to. Fully in the knowledge HoC would stop it ( but can it??). Great! Duh.

although...I do agree that one of the reasons the EU said no more negotiations was because it would be pointless given unlikely Patliament would go along with anything - back to their original question, which was, tell us what you want. Still hasnt been answered.

No. Soda bread does not belong in a fry up. 


Pretty damning indictment on the state of the Tory party that Hunt is probably their most credible candidate. 

Ah Heffa, you have clearly got it all wrong. I saw Sajid on Marr this weekend, and I quote" I have been working with IT experts and other experts for two years and no doubt we can digitise the border" So there you go. Throughout the interview he became increasingly sweaty and shaky , I think he would be like TMPM version ii hopeless.

If the border solution is nearly ready, the backstop should present no problem at all, because at the end of the transition period it will no longer be needed. Right? 

I have always said that if the only way to deliver Brexit was no deal then I would do that because the democratic damage of ignoring the referendum result would outweigh the economic risks of a no deal exit

jesus wept.  I cant believe he actually thinks this. 

If that bellend wins the leadership and threatens to take us out with no deal then I am going to knock on every door in his affluent, remain voting constituency in the run up to the next election.

trump's solved it. we just build a wall . and maybe get the irish to pay for it.


Govey the most credible candidate, surely?

Leader of the leave campaign, essentially (in relative terms) sane.

That Mr Gove who himself admits that at times of pressure his sense of judgment tends to be faulty?

great, just what we need



It's not exactly an all-star field, and I don't think Stewart has the votes.

Hancock this morning saying that the EU will agree an expiry date to the backstop

um, I don't think they will

I don't know about anyone else but I'm quite enjoying watching the slow and painful death of the Tory party.

I've read the Belfast Agreement (with all this fo'shizzle in mind, and I have to say I can't see how the imposition of a border could per se be a breach of it.


I can see how it creates the conditions for undermining it, but I'm not sure it's a direct breach in and of itself.

I do think it is perhaps arguable that Brexit happening at all is a breach of the Agreement, though.  It is peppered with language like "The two Governments recognise the legitimacy of whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland with regard to its status".


Whilst this is in the context of a wiedervereinigung of Ireland, the language i sarguably broad enough to mean that any change to the constitutional status of NornIron requires there to be a majority vote in favour by the NornIrons.

Brexit will result in a constitutional change (and a constitutional change which will alter the relationship between NornIron and SouIron, so not entirely out of scope).  

There was a majority in favour of remain in NornIron.

So it isn't about the border issues.  Any form of Brexit which removes free movement rights and takes NornIron out of the single market and Customs Union is arguably in breach of the Belfast Agreement.

sounds about right, LF

I don't really understand why the tories want to break up the union but they are certainly being quite effective at pissing off anyone who isn't a brexit nutter

oh yes, and they are also effective at pissing off the brexit nutters 

The real question on ireland is - if we leave with no deal, with the EU put up a hard border?

If we leave with no deal, we will be so desperate for trade deals with anyone and everyone that we will end up doing whatever they tell us is necessary to keep the border open. It will probably involve a border in the Irish sea and the DUP will have a shit fit but them's the breaks.

Looking forward to hearing your explanation as to why I am wrong, which doesn't rely on a completely unrealistic assessment of the UK's bargaining position following a catastrophic crash out no deal Brexit.

Raphael Behr may well be correct on what Boris's actual plan is:

If it isn’t going to be a ballot box solution, it has to be “the deal”. Johnson would get whatever cosmetic concession he can from Brussels and then turn his bloviating salesman dial up to 11, presenting the thing as Boris’s Brilliant New Deal. Maybe enough Tories would be cynical, exhausted, afraid and plain stupid enough to buy it. And Johnson would have the obvious advantage in his party’s eyes of not being Theresa May. Discussing this scenario with one Conservative recently, I was reminded of the famous Punch cartoon depicting a meeting room and the chairman addressing the only woman at the table. “Excellent suggestion, Miss Triggs,” he says. “Perhaps one of the men here would like to make it.”

It is not inconceivable that Johnson could swagger and bluster May’s deal past his party, while all collude in the pretence that it is his masterful plan all along. He’d still need DUP votes and maybe some Labour ones too. None of it is easy and less of it has changed than the leadership contestants like to pretend. But Rory Stewart is on to something, whether he gets through the next round or not: watch closely for a stirring of blue feathers. “The deal” might only be sleeping after all.

The Irish Backstop "Problem" is a Canard. It was also the poison pill the Remainers in Government and the bureaucratic negotiating team inserted in the deal to insure it split the Leave support and thus failed.

If freedom of movement is accepted as given at the Irish border (and it always has been by both sides) - the all that is left are goods vehicles.

First - it is not a certainty people would start blowing up Pubs again just because goods vehicles have to be checked at the border. Especially considering the EU already maintains a list of over 550 trusted shipping/goods transporters who cross the frontier borders every day with no checks whatsoever (other than security related spot checks).

Second - as the UK aren't too bothered with smuggling over the Irish border (and in reality neither are the EU) - the UK is happy to allow Republic of Ireland ports officials to certify goods entering Ireland for transport thru the UK to France and Rotterdam - this already occurs literally every hour of every day.