Dublin delivered a stark warning today that it is ready to torpedo Brexit talks unless the UK caves in over the border with Ireland.
Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said his country would block the start of trade discussions over the issue even if the divorce bill is resolved.
Arlene Foster making noises last week too:
TENSIONS over Brexit and the Irish border have intensified with Arlene Foster accusing Ireland’s Taoiseach of being “reckless” and warning him not to “play around” with Northern Ireland.
Here's one viewpoint from a Irish perspective on "perfidious Albion":
The Irish question is back in British politics. Next month the European Union must decide whether sufficient progress has been made in the Brexit negotiations to move on to the next phase of talks. Should Ireland veto an unsatisfactory UK offer on Northern Ireland’s future relations with the EU or would that prejudice an acceptable deal at the end of the talks?
The Irish border problem is a genuinely complex issue for several reasons.
- Nobody wants a hard border. Not the British government, the Irish government or the unionists or republicans in Northern Ireland.
- Everyone wants the peace process to continue.
- A majority in Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU during the UK referendum.
- Northern Ireland's trade, especially its agricultural industry is closely integrated with that of the Republic of Ireland.
- The UK is leaving the customs union.
How can the UK leave the customs union and not have a border on the island of Ireland which would almost certainly destroy the peace on that island?
From the Irish perspective, Brexit is a lose-lose situation. They didn't get to decide whether the UK leaves the EU or not and most of their trade is with the UK, but their most pressing concern is not going back to The Troubles.
The EU leaders have their final meet up of the year on Monday and will decide whether they'll allow the EU to progress onto talks with the UK on trade or not. The Irish will be in a powerful position, their most powerful position they'll have ever have had over us, will they use it and veto the Brexit talks?