Even Churruscados ducks hanging from windows of London Chinatown can attest that Irish border is one of most deviled problems in Brexit. In Singapore, where se high-end palmípedos also arrive, y are called "Irish London Ducks". And some reason y have: quintessential duck of Chinese restaurants of British capital comes from Sugar Hills Foods, a company located in Monaghan, a beak of Republic of Ireland that is introduced in Norrn Ireland. In his short journey from egg to container, explains Micheál Brody, his CEO, each duck has crossed Irish border at least five times.
Of course, border here, as such, does not exist. It's just a line on maps. A reminder of times that no one wants to return to. And suddenly main obstacle to advancement of Brexit negotiations.
Eighteen months after referendum, only clear thing is that it is difficult to accommodate two premises of British stance: one, that United Kingdom is outside single market and customs Union; Two, to continue without a physical frontier between Norrn Ireland and Republic of Ireland. London, defends Dublin, has underestimated magnitude of implications of Brexit for island of Ireland.
The Irish is one of three issues, along with bill of divorce and rights of Europeans in UK, in which two parties agreed that re must be "sufficient progress" before beginning to talk about future relationship. The objective of London is that, at European summit in December, twenty-seven agree to start talking about trade. The agreement on or two issues seems to be at hand, and May was confident that everyone would agree to leave Irish affair for later. Then Dublin reacted.
The Government of young Leo Varadkar, Irish Prime minister since June, threatens to veto progress of negotiations if he does not obtain guarantees that re will be a solution to measure for specific problems of island. Europe has closed ranks around its small partner. From anger of hard sector of Brexit attests to fact that tabloid Sun, from an editorial, asked Varadkar last week to "close mouth and ripen."
Two factors furr complicate resolution of problem: first, fact that government of May, after losing absolute majority in June, depends on unionists of DUP, contrary to any measure that moves away to Norrn Ireland in London; Secondly, political crisis itself in which region is mired, which has been without regional government since January.
At commercial level, on this island Brexit "is equivalent to separating two Siamese twins," explains Anne Deniin of Irish export Agency. But border, y get tired of repeating ir inhabitants, is much more than trade.
It is, for example, invisible line that separates Donegal from Derry. Both municipalities experienced a exciting growth in recent years, but y realized that this, as explained by its alderman, John Kelpie, "was limited to 180 degrees." In 2015 y decided to join and create a 360-degree region spanning two countries. A unique economic and administrative zone. A year later, Brexit arrived. "10% of people of Derry live on or side, it is clear that we cannot imagine any kind of frontier," explains Kelpie. "There are 50 paved border passes between two municipalities, it would be impossible to control."
The agreement of Good Friday, which in 1998 put an end to 30 years of armed conflict, ran a veil on thorny questions identity of island. No one conceives a reissue of conflict, but it is enough to walk around Derry to see that sectarian division that fed it is far from being resolved. Jim Roddy, a local high official from Derry, warns that "paramilitary activity and aggressions have grown enormously in past year, especially among young people." "The division creates context for people to radicalize again," he explains, "and problems like Brexit return people to ir starting positions."
It is clear here that, whatever solution, it will hardly go through imposition of a physical frontier. London has spoken of a smooth border, with cameras and technology instead of barriers and agents, but neir does it seem to convince border's inhabitants. "If y put cameras in, farmers'll knock m down." Then police will have to come and, in end, army. "No one has money or desire to militarizing border," explains Denis Bradley, a Catholic priest and member of Consultative Group on Norrn Ireland. "Politics only works in crisis and now we're in crisis." It's a golden opportunity to face problems we haven't solved. The United Kingdom must make decision: to keep Norrn Ireland in customs union or to lose it.The Irish Government, on verge of collapse
The recent role of Irish government's Brexit negotiations may be truncated by an incipient crisis that seriously threatens its own continuity. An old police scandal, dating back to 2006 and dotting Vice prime Minister, has pushed to limit minority government of Leo Varadkar.
The main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, yesterday recorded a motion of censure against Deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald, criticized for her management of a police corruption scandal. Varadkar, who replaced five months ago in front of government to resigned Enda Kenny, without going through ballot box, supported without nuances his second and could be forced to convene early elections as soon as next month. Its minority government depends on a pact, virtually broken yesterday by Fianna Fáil, which included abstaining in eventual motions of censure against ministers.
The Prime Minister met yesterday with opposition leader, but y failed to resolve crisis. Both envisage reconvening today with aim of avoiding new elections at such a delicate time for country.