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Brexit Part II: Border Harder

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  • “With @DavidGHFrost, for @BorisJohnson, tweeting 1 am threats at Ireland’s government … what’s up? “Ever bought a fake picture?” Smiley asks Esterhase, in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. “The more you pay for it the less inclined you are to doubt it”. A (very long)🧵/1.”

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    • Apologies.

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      • hi-rev, that's a great post about the Polish perspective. Thank you for sharing it.
        1998 Porsche 911 3.4 Carrera 2 (996)
        2000 Mazda MX-5 1.8 Jasper Conran #68/400
        2003 BMW 325i E46 Sport Touring


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        • Cheers lads, hope it helped.

          About the divide between city and country. Funny you should mention it: It, along with the East-West divide, is a major societal issue in Poland.

          Its a long convoluted story, but the partitions of Poland in 1770s to 1918 and the lack of industrialization in the 19th-20th century split the country into parts such as the urban vs. rural and the east vs. west.

          While we like to joke about culchies and dubs here, the reality in Poland is striking.
          The towns have a vaccination rate approaching 70-80% the country side is in the 20%, with the west countryside on average higher than the east countryside.
          The towns are generally pro-choice, pro LGBT, and predominantly liberal, the countryside is increasingly conservative and pro-church.
          The most popular TV station in towns and cities is TVN (a private station) the countryside watches the national TV TVP, which is now under complete party control.

          One can partially blame the current/actual situation on the previous governments' policies which predominantly focused on the "big" issues such as the improvement of the health system, the building of motorways, one of the biggest gas storage plants in EU, trying to improve Poland's international standing such as taking part in the NATO wars in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. etc. while forgetting the fact that the villages are still struggling financially and that fresh motorways don't put food on the table.
          Sure, the unemployment rate in Poland is low, but that is in the cities. In the small towns and villages there are no options available as obviously major employers set up shop in cities.
          So a 500 PLN (approx. 120 EUR) free government handout for each child (the rural population also has more children than the urban.. and at a younger age) seems very appealing. Just as it must be said there is a bit of arrogance from the city population (and its politicians) to the rural population, and resentment in the other direction too, which is not entirely unfair I think.

          However, what makes it a bit annoying is that the countryside is benefiting the most from EU both with farming subsidies, and money spent on otherwise non-profitable infrastructure such as schools, clinics etc.

          Its quite often that pundits share a map of Polish elections with partition borders overlaid like so:

          In which you can also see the town/rural divide. (The map is from 2015, but its still relevant)

          Smart folks have long considered the societal divide detrimental to Poland's further evolution, but I guess it takes a brave and smart politician to try to tackle such a problem, when he can just get cheap and easy votes by either promising motorways or free handouts.
          "This is a non-contact sport but then so is ice hockey" - Roberto Giordanelli on Irish FIAT Punto racing but applies to all Irish racing..
          "Tailgaters have small dicks" - Me

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          • Hi-rev is there much impediment for poorer people from the countryside or even the cities,getting into college and so limiting their ability to move up the society ladder if you like.

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            • Just looping back to Brexit for wan second, I was leafing through the changes to the Protocol and specifically the reaction not from London, Dublin, Belfast or Brussels but from NI business. And believe it or not, they're happy out. It appears, at least by my cack-handed reasoning that the EU consulted directly with the NI business community, got into the details (example: proportion of GB to NI product of total NI sausage sales: 4.6% vs 95.4% produced on island of Ireland, hence the import restrictions aren't so important in the greater scheme of things but are a big swing of the emotive mickey) and in the words of an NI businessman shooting from the hip somewhat, appeared to have copy/pasted the NI business community's requests into the EU proposal.

              I didn't look too greatly as to what the reaction has been from the Tories, not that it is ever rational but as far as I can tell the sea border stays, the ECJ, EU VAT rules, State Aid etc. all stay. Checks on foodstuffs are simplified and/or reduced between GB -> NI, which is logical. In summary the EU is trying to help, and benefit the people and businesses of NI and that is in stark contrast to UK Gov.

              On another note, I did reach Frost's speech from the 12th Oct and would have reason to be very pessimistic indeed unless the EU can hold its ground elsewhere.
              Last edited by Flet; 14-10-2021, 02:38 PM.
              1998 Porsche 911 3.4 Carrera 2 (996)
              2000 Mazda MX-5 1.8 Jasper Conran #68/400
              2003 BMW 325i E46 Sport Touring


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              • Matt Cooper had some NI business organisation guy on yesterday evening, said he had been involved in meetings with Sefcovic, said they were name checked in his speech and all which was nice.

                So someone who's been involved at the top level of these talks with the EU. He said not once has the ECJ been mentioned to him in the years they as a group have been working on Brexit. it is a non issue to businesses in Northern Ireland.

                Sefcovic said that only once has anyone in NI raised the ECJ with him.

                The EU have cut the legs from under the UK Government with this move, they have given the people and businesses of NI pretty much exactly what they asked for.

                Sadly I think the EU is fighting with the Black Knight and when Boris gets back from Magaluf he will completely ignore reality and bleat on about new red lines completely ignoring what's gone on between the EU and the NI community

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                • Yeah I've read a few articles and this whole thing about the ECJ now being a red line issue with businesses in NI is just fantasy.

                  I dont know how Johnson and Frost hope to get away with that one but they are trying their best to make it their latest scapegoat to get out of the deal they have signed.

                  Ignoring all of that I think the EU has played a blinder here.
                  They have talked and actually listened to businesses in NI about how they can make things easier and better for them.
                  Completely different approach to what the UK government are at.

                  Now that they have acted,Johnson and to a slightly lesser extent the DUP,are talking themselves into an ever tighter corner.

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                  • I also think the EU did very well here, they have acted very capably in defending the people most affected by the NI/GB sea border - the people and business community of NI - while of course acting in Dublin's interests, and taking steam out of the Tories' bluster. But it does look like Brussels is now sending a message that they've stretched as far as they are willing to stretch with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands meeting with Sefcovic to demand contingency plans for a trade war if the UK suspends the NI trading agreements.

                    Sefcovic meets Frost today but already sent a message that pacta sunt servada and why make new ones if two existing agreements are not being respected.
                    1998 Porsche 911 3.4 Carrera 2 (996)
                    2000 Mazda MX-5 1.8 Jasper Conran #68/400
                    2003 BMW 325i E46 Sport Touring


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                    • It must be deeply embarrassing to have seen the EU, Johnny Foreigner if you will, come into your territory, meet your citizens, listen to their concerns and then go away and make proposals on how to make an international agreement, an agreement that you spent years negotiating, an agreement you hailed as a great success, had it voted for in your Parliament with no scrutiny (because it was so good) and then hold an election that you win based on delivering the great deal, and have your own citizens say that the proposals would deliver a fix to the aspects of the agreement that were causing difficulties. I mean, how can they come to know your citizens better than you can?

                      Frost is quoted in the papers today saying that they regarded the international treaties they negotiated and agreed as provisional.

                      This charade cannot continue much longer surely. These charlatans can hardly retain their roles.

                      Embarrassing.

                      Sent from my SM-G980F using Tapatalk

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                      • Looking at a couple of articles in the Irish media, what really comes through from the NI folks interviewed is that all they want is a functioning economy and a functioning political system. I think that's what the EU - obviously with careful guidance from Dublin - really have connected with. And this is interesting from a few points of view, one that occurred to me is that something like identity can now be viewed through a larger prism away from the whole orange/green thing of the past where you have on one hand a rogue state that is cutting its nose off to spite its face and regularly demonstrates that it treats Northern Ireland as a plaything while down the road you have a country not without its own problems but very much plugged into a larger bloc. NI is, in effect in the EU Single Market for Goods and the EU is taking that seriously where Downing Street is not.


                        1998 Porsche 911 3.4 Carrera 2 (996)
                        2000 Mazda MX-5 1.8 Jasper Conran #68/400
                        2003 BMW 325i E46 Sport Touring


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                        • It is still very much UK, though. It feels nothing like the south, particularly when a couple of Aston Martin V12’s and a 20yo looking guy in a Nissan GT-R roll by.
                          I'm with the resistance

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                          • Sorry DMZ but NI feels absolutely nothing like the rest of the UK. About all they have in common is the Queens head on their sterling and even then its funny money to most in the rest of the UK and viewed with suspicion of being counterfeit.
                            Apart from maybe a small group in Scotland they have so little in common (unionists that is) its almost laughable.
                            Growing up our only real interaction was during children in need when they would cut the the NI broadcast and even then it seemed very different.

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                            • Each to their own but to me it’s quite similar to Scotland. Of course each part of the K has its own identity but it’s not our identity or even close to it. I’m pretty sure what you watched on TV is irrelevant, what matters (to me) is what it’s like walking down a street in Belfast. Shops, currency, housing (which looks identical to Scotland or northern England), the way people look, etc. it’s very different from here (in my opinion), which… was my point. There is nothing wrong with that, by the way. Variety is always good.

                              I know nobody in England gives a toss but that’s not exactly the same thing is it?
                              I'm with the resistance

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                              • Not what I have watched on TV but what I have lived and experienced in my life growing up in the UK. Id be pretty certain nobody in Wales gives a toss, and most of Scotalnd wouldnt either. The Unionist mentality of the UK union being so central to everyones thinking is pretty far from the truth

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