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Discussion > First steps towards a sucessful Brexit

Martin A

You are right about the 1948 treaty, as far as it goes. Some connections like the Common Travel Area and the automatic rights of residence continue.

The Irish Free State formed in 1922. It became Ireland in 1937 and the Republic of Ireland in 1948. At each stage some of the remeaing economic and political links with the UK were severed. If Brexit takes place, history might date the final separation to 2018.

Blame my Northern Ireland viewpoint. Ask anyone here and they will regard the tipping point as the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922. Anything thereafter is detail.

Jul 5, 2016 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Steve Richards.
I have made decisions all my life that, in reprospect, I now consider to have been wrong (or bad). You are just playing with words.
EM is raising legitimate concerns (some of which I have seen discussed elsewhere) and would appear to be in a better position to identify them. But because you don't believe his views on other subjects, you rush to judgement upon his concerns about Ireland. Not really a good sceptical stance IMO.

Jul 5, 2016 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Didn't Ireland jilt us in 1922?

Jul 5, 2016 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

They have been claiming for years that the majority verdict on climate change must be wrong. Now they claim that the majority verdict on Brexit must be right.

Jul 5, 2016 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM - you are confusing two quite different things.

Deciding whether a scientific hypothesis is right or not by holding a vote is nonsense.

A democratic vote produces a result. To argue that you don't like the result or that it will have some results that were unforeseen by someone and therefore it is "wrong" makes as much sense as arguing that a democratic vote can decide whether or not a scientific hypothesis is correct. ie both are nonsense.


For the record, I think it was extremely stupid and foolhardy to have held the referendum. And totally astounding that the result did not seem to have been planned for. I had assumed that either way, or even with a 50.00%/50:00% result, there would have been an action plan ready to be rolled out that had already been discussed with the EU.

It would have been far better to have started negotiations on the basis "Look - polls show that around 50% of the UK electorate want out. And a larger proportion of the French want to leave. Let's start planning how to correct the EU to meet the desires of its citizens, otherwise the inevitable will happen".

Jul 5, 2016 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Steve Richards

Reductio ad absurdum.

I run a referendum on the question "Should the blogger calling himself Steve Riichards be executed without trial?"

I provide lots of dubious evidence that you are the worst human being ever, and the majority vote "Yes"

By your definition this is automatically the right decision. Would you accept it?

There is no intrinsic reason why any single individual, committee, Parliament or referendum will automatically produce the "right" decision, judge by objective criteria.

Humans are too easily influenced by fear, greed, short term interest, propoganda and the desire to be accepted within their group. It takes considerable effort to rise above them and another considerable effort to become fully informed about an issue.. Only then might one choose the outcome which archives the greatest good for the greatest number.

A benevolent dictator factor or a government minister, properly advised, might achieve this standard of decision making.

34 million voters? No way.

This is why I prefer representative government to referendum government.

Jul 5, 2016 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


A referendum is not designed to produce a 'correct' result, it is meant to discover what people want.

Jul 5, 2016 at 2:11 PM | Registered CommenterDung

EM, that is not a coherent argument. It was a choice. Do you want to go this way or that way? OK, the majority says that way, we will face and overcome the problems. Both options had their own set of problems. Now, why can't we carry on dealing and trading with Eire? because the EU says they, Eire, don't have the competence to manage their own trade agreements. When Eire tries to face and overcome the problems caused by brexit, it is unable to. Because the EU won't let it. That is one reason to vote to quit. The UK has no interest in causing problems for Ireland which has always received preference ever since they voted leave back in 1922 and the century before.

Jul 5, 2016 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Why don't we all agree that the words "wrong" and "bad" are commonly used interchangeably by many when applied to decisions or choices. Let us further agree that it may take many years before history judges whether Brexit was a wise decision or not. Now let's get down to what is important - are EM's concerns legitimate? If you disagree with him, don't just abuse him because he is EM and you've grown used to dismissing his views. Say what you disagree with and provide argument and evidence to back that up. He then is likely to respond, and we all might learn something.

Jul 5, 2016 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Martin A

You make an investment decision. If you gain money as a result, the decision is correct. If you lose money as a result, the decision is wrong.

34 million people have just made an investment decision, on the basis of conflicting, inaccurate and often dishonest information. History will decide whether it was right or wrong.

Personally I think Brexit wil go down in history as one of our worst economic and political decisions, made in a manner which shames our democracy. I will be living with the negative consequences in Northern Iceland for the rest of my life, whether or not any benefit accrues to the rest of the UK.

Jul 5, 2016 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


What people want and what they need are not the same. You do not give a child what it wants when to do so causes long term harm.

The weakness of democracy is that it is very difficult to do the same with an electorate. Giving them what is in their best interest, rather than what they want, leads to you losing the next election.


"Fuck you,Jack. I'm all right!!" is not a viable diplomatic stance. Brexit will damage the remaining EU countries.

Ireland, especially, will struggle with political, economic and security consequences.

Having demonstrated that we cannot be trusted, I doubt that anyone will be keen to risk treaties or trade agreements with us hereafter. Any that do emerge will not be in our favour and will be enforced by heavy penalties

If you behave selfishly with no consideration for the effects on those around you; expect dislike and ostracism, not favourable treatment.

Jul 5, 2016 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM - You joking? It was far from simply an 'investment decision', even though clearly there was an economic aspect. I would hazard a guess that most 'leave' voters accepted that there might be some negative economic aspects but the other aspects outweighed those. I'm sure you can list the two or three most important of those other aspects.

But it is far from obvious to me that, in say, five years time, the UK - even NI - won't actually be significantly better off, no longer being shaken down by the Brussels protection racket.

Jul 5, 2016 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

The EU had the option of giving Cameron enough to validly claim reform and they did not do so. The EU has known of its lack of support in the UK for decades. They decided not to do anything about it. This is the epitome of unaccountability. It's the reason we had to leave, being unable to do anything about what we perceive as problems. Immigration? My only requirement is that we have control over it. It is evident to me that numbers cannot be unlimited. But only sovereignty is the issue. I never saw it as an investment. I don't think there will be a financial disaster unless incompetent politicians mismanage the whole thing. Which is not impossible. But these are the same politicians who you seem to say are fit to decide where the people are not.

Jul 5, 2016 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

EM 2:56, the similarities between what you ascribe to Brexit supporters, and how the EU and Climate Scientists have treated the UK are uncanny.

Why has British industry and power generation been ruined because a few individuals thought CO2 was a bad thing? Do remind us all of the convincing evidence, backed up by predictions that have come true.

Can you explain that to the now redundant iron and steel industry, now relocated to India and China where they don't seem to be worried about CO2?

Jul 5, 2016 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Martin A

Brussels protection racket

Bias noted. Please avoid injecting emotional trigger phrases into a hopefully rational debate.

Northern Ireland remains disadvantaged by being poor, peripheral, troubled and agricultural. It has few natural resources. Exports to the UK already require a sea crossing. Exports to almost every country within 3000 miles require two sea crossings.

Brexit will further isolate us politically and economically from the only country with which we have a land border and all our other customers. It will also cut us off from half our public income.

What rational grounds do you have for even fantasising that Northern Ireland would be better off under Brexit?

Jul 5, 2016 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


"Look what you made me do" is not a good defence either.

Are you a child, to blame others for the consequences of your own actions?

Jul 5, 2016 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Not a child, screaming because it doesn't get its way. An adult, making its own decisions in its own interest. Although we tried screaming first. It didn't work. We have problems with the current arrangements. We are acting to resolve them. Nobody in the remnant EU needs to be harmed if we can agree the right terms. NI presents a different problem and that can be resolved too.

Try this:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the
political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the
earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes
which impel them to the separation.

Jul 5, 2016 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda


That was a colony rebelling. The result of that rebellion should be a warning to us all.

Jul 5, 2016 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Golf Charlie

Why do you keep asking me loaded rhetorical questions phrased to demonstrate the depth of your climate change denial?

Jul 5, 2016 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Might I try to summarize what has transpired here over the past 20 hours

July 4, 8.08 pm Martin A asks EM "Can you explain what it is that people in Eire are worried about?".

10.47pm EM replies in detail and with appropriate data (15% of exports..., 32% of imports..., 18 billion deficit...).

July 5, 1.55 am. golfCharlie asks if the fears expressed by EM are based on fact or conjecture (did he believe the data was conjecture?) and also asked if EM were predicting, projecting or scaremongering? gC seems to have forgotten that EM was asked what the people of Eire feared, not what he believed.

9.46 am. Martin A suggested, without evidence, that EM was expressing his own and unfounded fears. He then argued that there was nothing to fear because Eire-UK relations wouldn't change. Even though EM had argued that the Eire-NI border would have to drastically change.

10,56 am. ER reiterated his claim that the border would have to change, but used the words "French anglophobia"

Then followed a rash of posts about french anglophobia and when Eire was established.

11.27am EM mentions the 1930s Eire-UK trade war and its significance to the present.

12.31pm EM writes about a "wrong" referendum decision and everyone piles in (Steve R., Martin A., Dung, rhoda, golfCharlie)

3.34 pm. EM returns to the original question but now focuses on NI

My conclusion from all this: Martin A asked EM an interesting question which he was perhaps uniquely qualified to express an opinion. EM complied and for his trouble has been met with ridicule and attempts (deliberate?) to sidestep the issue. I would have liked to have heard a Leave response to the concerns raised by EM, but it seems you are only interested in giving EM a bad time. Pity.

Jul 5, 2016 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

EM - You only have one life. And it will all be the same in one hundred years anyway. Try to stop worrying yourself sick. It's no fun to watch.

If it's the same weather there as it is here, then it's a pleasant sunny day with a light breeze. Get out your best model plane, got to the top of a nice hill, wind up its rubber band, launch it from shoulder height and enjoy watching it soaring in the breeze.


Northern Ireland remains disadvantaged by being poor, peripheral, troubled and agricultural. It has few natural resources. Exports to the UK already require a sea crossing. Exports to almost every country within 3000 miles require two sea crossings.

If NI whinges like that about its misfortunes, and counting on handouts, it is doomed to remain stuck where it is.

Yet look at what is now Eire, which in 1916 was worse off than the six counties and far worse off than England. It is now rated (according to one assessment) the 10th most prosperous country in the world ahead of the USA, UK and Germany. Thanks to its knowledge economy, where sea crossings are irrelevant. "A 2005 study by The Economist found Ireland to have the best quality of life in the world".

If the UK surges ahead following Brexit, there is no reason why NI should not share in its prosperity.


"Protection racket" biassed? Well we all have our biasses when it comes to making personal choices and judgements and no point to pretend otherwise.

"Leave our club and we will make sure you will suffer economically" seems, for the time being, to be the message. I hope that the penny will drop and the EU will see that it makes sense for them to continue trading with the UK as at present.

Jul 5, 2016 at 5:13 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

EM. You have offered me advice in the past, now I offer you some. Avoid being provoked by side issues and simply ignore those attempts. You make a reasonable case so keep with it. Try wherever possible to demonstrate that what you write is not your own views but those of others commentating in Ireland. It is clear that there is no respect for your honestly held opinions here on any subject whether its related to climate change or not.

Jul 5, 2016 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Alan Kendall

I am used to carrying the whole debate here, and to the insults.

We are down to the hard core of BH commenters now. The rest have left and these Brexit discussion sites are the only sign of life.

Note how the posting rate increases when we are here and drops when we are otherwise engaged. Is it worth continuing the debate, or should we leave them to fade away?

Jul 5, 2016 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Alan Kendall, was EM protesting about all of the bad things that might happen as a result of the EU and UK Governments ignoring what the people of the UK wanted?

At every stage of the Common Market's evolution into what the EU has now become, the population of the UK has been ignored.

The views of those who raised questions (rightly or wrongly) were dismissed as being irrelevant, and marginalised.

EM wants to deny this total denial of Democracy, by claiming that decisions made were by Democratically elected Governments.

Hopefully any negative issues that arise in Northern Ireland due to Brexit, will be treated more sympathetically than all of the negative issues that arose across the whole UK due to UK and EU Climate Science policies that can not yet be scientifically justified. EM denies there is no evidence to support Climate Science, but can't produce any.

If Climate Science had dismissed the Hockey Stick, and stuck with science, Climate Science would not have ended up in the mess that it is in now. By choosing which bits of climate science induced legislation to ignore, the UK, including Northern Ireland, could do better than the EU.

Is a Democratic Referendum any more significant than a fabricated Consensus? Imagine how loudly the squealing would be if we had a fabricated Referendum and Democratic Consensus on climate science.

Jul 5, 2016 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

For detailed analysis of the impact of Brexit on the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland Google this report. It comes as a PDF.

Scoping the Possible Economic Implications of Brexit on Ireland - The Economic and Social Research Institute

Jul 5, 2016 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM. Hang on in there. Interestingly over at unthreaded it is claimed that my tedious contributions are causing the forum to decline and just now that my views are a waste of time. Interesting.

Martin A seems not to have been interested in getting an answer to his question. Was he just setting you up? And the presumption now to advise you to stop worrying. Eire will be Okay. Is this based on blind optimism, or arrogance that does not allow him to consider the concerns of others?

Jul 5, 2016 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall