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Where Does The Border Go?

Unanswerable Questions for Brexiters #1

The UK government has said the vote for Brexit was not just a vote to leave the European Union but also a vote to leave the single market and customs union. (As the question on the referendum ballot paper was “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”, and it did not mention the single market or the customs union, we strongly disagree. Hopefully a majority of Members of Parliament will disagree too. But in the meantime...)

 

If the UK leaves the single market and customs union (a ‘hard’ Brexit), we will need a ‘hard’ border between us and the EU in order to minimise smuggling and control immigration. But there’s a MASSIVE problem with this.

 

Where does the border go?

 

To put it simply:

 

There must not be a hard border between ‘A’ and ‘B’

 

There must not be a hard border between ‘B’ and ‘C’

 

There must not be a hard border between ‘C’ and ‘D’

 

There must be a hard border between ‘A’ and ‘D’

 

So where does the hard border go?

 

 

 

To elaborate:

 

There are many reasons there can’t be a hard border between Great Britain (Scotland, Wales and England, or ‘A’) and Northern Ireland (‘B’), but perhaps the most important is that it would not be acceptable to the UK government and Northern Irish Unionists on whom Mrs May’s weak and unstable government relies.*

 

There can’t be a hard border between Northern Ireland (‘B’) and Eire (the Republic of Ireland, ‘C’) because Eire won’t allow it. The Irish government says they won’t even let Brexit talks progress without a formal guarantee this won’t happen.

 

There can’t be a hard border between Eire (‘C’) and the rest of the EU (‘D’) because they don’t want one and won’t have one. And why should they? It’s not their problem.

 

But, as we’ve already said, if there’s no hard border between Great Britain (‘A’) and the EU (‘B’), we won’t be able to minimise smuggling and control immigration. So there has to be a hard border.

 

If you can come up with a viable solution, we’d love to hear from you – contact us on Facebook or using this form.

 

Coming soon this series: Why is 'independence' right for the UK but not for Scotland?

 

Image source: D Maps (d-maps.com/carte.php?num_car=2562)

Matthew Wherry

About the Writer

Matthew is Impolite Conversation's editor.

 

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