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azadi

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Reply with quote  #61 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
You seem to be literally repeating yourself entirely now. You clearly know nothing of Ulster and little f Britain. Your opinions are irrelevant.

I'm not repeating myself. I'm clarifying some misunderstandings, which are caused by my previous statements. I have never urged Ulster Protestants to abandon their British identity. I'm just proposing making learning the Irish language in school compulsory in Ulster. I'm actually quite moderate on the Irish question. Having been a lurker on the forum for several years before joining it, I remember a member of the forum proposing the expulsion of Ulster Protestants from Ulster.
I would like a more in-depth explanation of, why you consider a customs border in the Irish Sea a constitutional matter, when Ulster has home rule and diverges from Great Britain concerning e.g. gay marriage and abortion rights.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #62 
Obviously because those are completely different issues. It is exceedingly rare to have internal customs checks in a modern nation. One of the hallmarks of a modern nation is internal free trade. California has 'home rule', but it still has no customs checks on its internal borders. A customs border sends all the wrong signals about Ulster.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #63 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
Obviously because those are completely different issues. It is exceedingly rare to have internal customs checks in a modern nation. One of the hallmarks of a modern nation is internal free trade. California has 'home rule', but it still has no customs checks on its internal borders. A customs border sends all the wrong signals about Ulster.

You're right on internal customs checks being very rare today, even when parts of a country have home rule, but this is an exceptional case, because the EU will never accept a hard border in Ireland. That means, that you must either stay closely aligned to the EU or leave the EU without a Brexit deal. If you prefer to stay closely aligned to the EU, a customs border in the Irish Sea isn't necessary, but if you want to be able to make your own trade agreements, a customs border in the Irish Sea is the only way to avoid a disastrous no deal Brexit. In addition, the Good Friday made Ulster a territory with an ambiguous status. It's neither fully British nor fully Irish. A customs border in the Irish Sea will preserve the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement, because it will preserve the links between Ulster and the Republic of Ireland, which were established by the Good Friday Agreement.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #64 
This is tiresome in the extreme, because your arguments often don't make sense and you talk nonsense. It is the EU that demands a hard border, if there is no internal customs barrier. It is the EU that mandates external tariffs and checks. Britain could easily simply say it won't necessitate these on the Irish border, and I think it should. It would be Ireland and the EU causing the issue then.

I doubt no deal will be devastating. You won't scare me with that.

Ulster is still a full member of the United Kingdom. The Good Friday Agreement doesn't change that.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #65 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
This is tiresome in the extreme, because your arguments often don't make sense and you talk nonsense. It is the EU that demands a hard border, if there is no internal customs barrier. It is the EU that mandates external tariffs and checks. Britain could easily simply say it won't necessitate these on the Irish border, and I think it should. It would be Ireland and the EU causing the issue then.

I doubt no deal will be devastating. You won't scare me with that.

Ulster is still a full member of the United Kingdom. The Good Friday Agreement doesn't change that.

If Great Britain refuses to accept a customs border in the Irish Sea, it has the following options:
1. Remaining in the EU
2. A Turkish-style customs union
3. No deal Brexit
If I was a British citizen, I would support a Turkish-style customs union. It will preserve national sovereignty while limiting damage to the economy. But Boris Johnson has repeatedly made clear, that he wants Great Britain to be able to make its own trade agreements. If Great Britain wants to be able to strike its own trade deals, a customs border in the Irish Sea is the only way to avoid a disastrous no deal Brexit. Proposing a customs border in the Irish Sea isn't talking nonsense. It has actually been proposed by the EU. According to opinion polls, the majority of the population of Ulster supports a customs border in the Irish Sea. 
Of course Ulster remains a full member of the UK. But the Good Friday Agreement has granted it a special status, which has caused it to become increasingly linked to the Republic of Ireland.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #66 
The nonsense I was referring to is your claim the EU won't allow a hard border. It is actually the EU that will demand this, because the EU won't allow free trade between any EU member state and an external nation, except under very specific circumstances. Britain could simply allow free trade to continue with Ireland, but it is Ireland and the EU that won't allow that.

Ulster is fully part of the UK, constitutionally and by international law. The Good Friday Agreement didn't change that. If the implication is the Nationalists will resort to terrorism again if Britain takes quite legal and reasonable actions, then I reject caving in to such blackmail. If the Nationalists have the numbers, they can leave; otherwise, they still reside in an area as fully part of Britain as any other. Besides, this is the post-9/11 world, as I have said several times. American money and support was vital to the IRA in the Troubles. That can't reoccur to anything like the same degree.

And, as noted, the idea that Ulster is dependent on trade with Ireland is questionable. Ireland represents 30% of its exports, but most of Ulster's economic activity is internal or with partners other than Ireland. That doesn't mean Ulster won't be hurt by tariffs, perhaps quite a bit, but I wouldn't say it is dependent on Ireland. Besides, again, you don't understand what no deal means. It doesn't mean all trade stops between Ireland and the UK. It just means tariffs and customs checks may be reinstated.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #67 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
The nonsense I was referring to is your claim the EU won't allow a hard border. It is actually the EU that will demand this, because the EU won't allow free trade between any EU member state and an external nation, except under very specific circumstances. Britain could simply allow free trade to continue with Ireland, but it is Ireland and the EU that won't allow that.

Ulster is fully part of the UK, constitutionally and by international law. The Good Friday Agreement didn't change that. If the implication is the Nationalists will resort to terrorism again if Britain takes quite legal and reasonable actions, then I reject caving in to such blackmail. If the Nationalists have the numbers, they can leave; otherwise, they still reside in an area as fully part of Britain as any other. Besides, this is the post-9/11 world, as I have said several times. American money and support was vital to the IRA in the Troubles. That can't reoccur to anything like the same degree.

And, as noted, the idea that Ulster is dependent on trade with Ireland is questionable. Ireland represents 30% of its exports, but most of Ulster's economic activity is internal or with partners other than Ireland. That doesn't mean Ulster won't be hurt by tariffs, perhaps quite a bit, but I wouldn't say it is dependent on Ireland. Besides, again, you don't understand what no deal means. It doesn't mean all trade stops between Ireland and the UK. It just means tariffs and customs checks may be reinstated.

I have never claimed, that the EU won't accept a hard border in Ireland. What I claim is, that the EU will make no Brexit deal with Great Britain, if the Irish border doesn't stay open. Refusal to accept either a Turkish-style customs union or a customs border in the Irish Sea will inevitably lead to either a no deal Brexit or Brexit being cancelled.
I have never claimed, that the Good Friday Agreement means, that Ulster is no longer fully part of the UK, but the Good Friday Agreement means, that Ulster has forged close links to the Republic of Ireland. Ulster being closely linked to the Republic of Ireland, while remaining part of the UK will satisfy both communities in Ulster.
The Irish backstop ought to be put to a referendum in Ulster. If the majority of the people of Ulster votes in favour of the backstop, a customs border in the Irish Sea must be established, while if the majority of the people of Ulster votes against the backstop, a customs border in the Irish Sea must be abandoned, despite it being the best practical solution.
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Reply with quote  #68 
It isn't about not accepting. It's about the EU literally being the ones who require it. The hard border would entirely be the EU's doing. Because the whole point of the single market is to create links and preferential treatment amongst EU members, to forge an ever closer union, rather than being primarily an economic venture , the EU is very keen to shut out non-EU members, except under special circumstances. The EEC in its early days had the choice of a free trade zone, which would lower trade barriers between members and yet be open to good faith free trade arrangements with non - members, or a common market and customs union, with free trade internally, but barriers externally: it consciously chose latter, because its primary interest has always been political. Britain could happily trade freely with Ireland. It's Ireland and the EU that can't countenance this without making Britain join the customs union or remain in the single market.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #69 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
It isn't about not accepting. It's about the EU literally being the ones who require it. The hard border would entirely be the EU's doing. Because the whole point of the single market is to create links and preferential treatment amongst EU members, to forge an ever closer union, rather than for economic reasons, the EU is very keen to shut out non-EU members, except under special circumstances. Britain could happily trade freely with Ireland. It's Ireland and the EU that can't countenance this without making Britain join the customs union or remain in the single market.

Why won't you support the people of Ulster deciding on a customs border in the Irish Sea in a referendum? Fundamentalist unionism, which refuses to accept a customs border in the Irish Sea, will lead to Great Britain loosing Ulster forever.
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Reply with quote  #70 
That's not my choice, is it. In general I am not in favour of referenda. They aren't the usual British way of doing things. But I wouldn't be fundamentally opposed to such a referendum , except perhaps that it might open up a can of worms, with the Scots asking for one and remainers pushing even harder for a second referendum on Brexit itself. It will be said that if the people of Ulster are directly consulted, why not others.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #71 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
That's not my choice, is it. In general I am not in favour of referenda. They aren't the usual British way of doing things. But I wouldn't be fundamentally opposed to such a referendum , except perhaps that it might open up a can of worms, with the Scots asking for one and remainers pushing even harder for a second referendum on Brexit itself. It will be said that if the people of Ulster are directly consulted, why not others.

The people of Ulster have never before voted on the Irish backstop, while the people of the entire UK have voted on Brexit in 2016, and the people of Scotland have voted on independence in 2014. According to Alex Salmond, the Scottish independence referendum of 2014 would settle the question of Scottish independence for a generation. 
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #72 
I suggest that you fly to Ulster to suggest it then. Perhaps you can conduct your lecture tour around Unionist areas at the same time, letting them know they are really Irish.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #73 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
I suggest that you fly to Ulster to suggest it then. Perhaps you can conduct your lecture tour around Unionist areas at the same time, letting them know they are really Irish.

I repeat, that the majority of the people of Ulster actually supports a customs border in the Irish Sea according to opinion polls. Support for fundamentalist unionism is waning in Ulster. Ulster unionism can't afford to be a Protestant cause in the long run. The DUP are political dinosaurs. In order to survive, Ulster unionism must be attractive to Ulster Catholics. Ulster Catholics want close ties between Ulster and the Republic of Ireland, and in order to appeal to Ulster Catholics, Ulster unionists ought to accept Ulster having close ties to the Republic of Ireland, while remaining part of the UK.
I apologize for having appeared to demand Ulster Protestants abandoning their British identity. It is possible to identify as both Irish and British. It's understandable, that you Brits don't want a foreigner to lecture you on Ulster, but while you obviously know Ulster far better than I do, I'm more able to understand the feelings of an oppressed people than you are, because I'm a Kurd.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #74 
Who's oppressed? You aren't oppressed because your ancestors were oppressed. That's the kind of reasoning leftists use. Neither Catholic Ulstermen nor Irish men are oppressed today.

I strongly doubt there is much reason to think a significant amount of Catholic Ulstermen will come to identify with Britain. That seems very unrealistic to me.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #75 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
Who's oppressed? You aren't oppressed because your ancestors were oppressed. That's the kind of reasoning leftists use. Neither Catholic Ulstermen nor Irish men are oppressed today.

I strongly doubt there is much reason to think a significant amount of Catholic Ulster men will come to identify with Britain. That seems very unrealistic to me.

It's true, that Catholic Ulstermen aren't being oppressed today, but I'm speaking about the collective memory of oppression. That's why reconciliation is still needed in Ulster. Ulster unionism being a solely Protestant cause will continue the legacy of oppression. Ulster unionism ought to be inclusive of Catholic Ulstermen. Otherwise, the Ulster unionist cause isn't worth supporting. As a monarchist, I prefer Ulster remaining ruled by the Windsors, but I will never support Ulster unionism, if it's a solely Protestant cause. I will never side with supporters of sectarianism and religious bigotry. Ian Paisley is far worse than Gerry Adams, and Sinn Fein is reasonable compared to the DUP.
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