Category Archives: A United Ireland in Peace and Prosperity

In 2017, Senator Daly was appointed rapporteur by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement of the report Brexit & The Future of Ireland, Uniting Ireland and its People in Peace & Prosperity. Full information on the report including all submissions and reference documents are available at https://senatormarkdaly.org/uniting-ireland-in-peace-prosperity/

Section 1 Recommendations

The Irish government must negotiate for Northern Ireland to be
designated with special status within the EU and for the whole island
of Ireland to have a unique solution as part of the Brexit negotiation.

If current EU funding programmes cannot be protected then the
eligibility of Northern Ireland for receipt of EU Structural funds and
other funding schemes and mechanisms must be clarified as a matter
of urgency, to help underpin the peace process.

The Report on the All-Ireland Economy: compiled in 2016 by Peadar
Tóibín TD for the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and
Innovation in the light of Brexit should be updated.

Any passport controls between Ireland and the UK should be along the
same basis as for people traveling between these islands from 1939 to
1952. There should not be a return to passport controls on the borders
between the North and South of Ireland.

Given the likely impact on certain categories, including women, in border
counties and employment in these areas there is a need for impact
analysis on these sectors of society

Further research into the income and expenditure for Northern Ireland
should be carried out

Section 2 Recommendations

Welcome the declaration agreed to by the European Council on 29 April
2017 which provides for Northern Ireland automatically becoming part of
the EU in the event of a future united Ireland.

This declaration known in Brussels as ‘The Kenny Text’ is similar to that
of Commission President Jacque Delors in January 1990 on the issue of
German Unification ‘East Germany is a special case’.
Section 3 Recommendations

It is recognised that World Trade Organisation rules and a hard border
would have a detrimental impact on Ireland North and South & Further
impact assessment is required on the economic impact of reunification.

The Committee urges that the matter of EU funding for Northern Ireland and
the border region remains high on the agenda and an expeditious solution is
found for successor programmes after 2020.

Section 4 Recommendations

The establishment of a New Ireland Forum 2 is recommended to set a
pathway to achieve the peaceful reunification of Ireland.

Establish an international task force with experts in security so that plans to
meet any risks may be devised and implemented.

Fears and concerns of the Unionist community need to be examined,
understood and addressed comprehensively by all stakeholders in advance
of any referendum.

The legacy issues in society outlined by Senator Frances Black and the
inter- generational impact of the troubles in terms of mental health
consequences and substance abuse needs to be addressed
Section 5 Recommendation

Explore potential solutions to resolve disputes that may arise from the
implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, as recommended by High Court
Justice Kevin Humphreys.

Section 6 Recommendation

Lessons from referendums need to be learned to ensure that the Irish
government fulfils its constitutional obligations.

Section 7 Recommendation

The Government needs to carry out an audit in relation to the
legal and constitutional changes pre and post-unification

Reuters – “Britain seeks Brexit without borders for Northern Ireland”

By William James and Conor Humphries, Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-ireland-idUSKCN1AV2KX

Some 30,000 people cross the 500-km (300-mile) border every day without customs or immigration controls; negotiators must work out new arrangements without inflaming tensions in a region that suffered decades of bloody turmoil before a peace deal in 1998.

As part of a series of papers that Prime Minister Theresa May hopes will push forward talks with the EU, the government on Tuesday outlined its vision for a “frictionless” customs system, which one EU politician described as ‘fantasy’.

Wednesday’s publication drew heavily on those proposals as a solution for Northern Ireland that would not involve “physical border infrastructure and border posts”, or electronic surveillance. Reaching agreement with the EU on this was top of Britain’s list of Brexit priorities, the government said.

The aim is “to find a practical solution that recognizes the unique economic, social and cultural context of the land border with Ireland, without creating any new obstacles to trade within the UK,” Northern Ireland minister James Brokenshire said.

May also said Britain would consider stepping in to replace some EU funding for peace projects in Northern Ireland after it leaves the bloc in March 2019, to prevent a resurgence of violence between pro-British Protestants and Catholic Irish nationalists.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the proposals, saying Britain had acknowledged for the first time that it would not be practical to depend on technological solutions to monitor the border.

“Of course what we don’t have, though, is the detail as to how it’s going to work,” he said.

But Senator Mark Daly, deputy leader of Ireland’s opposition Fianna Fáil party, said the proposals for a frictionless border appeared “more like fiction, and clueless on this island”.

“It will be a smugglers’ charter,” he told BBC Radio Four.

Northern Ireland sold 2.7 billion pounds ($3.5 billion) of goods into Ireland in 2015, according to official figures, and many businesses have complex supply chains that involve crossing the border multiple times during the production process.

The Sinn Fein party, which wants a referendum on ending British rule in Northern Ireland and uniting the island under the Irish flag, said it doubted an open border could be delivered.

“They have not put anything concrete on the table . ….we are a fleeting concern to the British government, collateral damage in the Brexit negotiations,” said Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein’s leader in Northern Ireland.

Britain said it wanted to maintain the Common Travel Area (CTA), a pact that allows free movement between the United Kingdom and Ireland for British and Irish citizens, with no need for passport controls and “no question of new immigration checks operating between Northern Ireland and Ireland”.

That would mean EU citizens wishing to enter Britain could do so by traveling legitimately to Ireland and crossing the border unchecked – something that is likely to antagonize the many Britons for whom controlling immigration was a key reason for backing Brexit.

“If you don’t have any of these checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – the UK-EU border – and you don’t have any between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, well then, where do you check immigration?” Conor McGinn, a spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, told Sky News.

“It seems to me that the government has handed back control of its border to the EU.”

The government said control over migration from the EU into Britain could be exercised by restrictions on access to the British social security system and labor market. Further details would be set out in a future document on immigration.

Britain also wants to introduce new ‘trusted trader’ arrangements to help larger companies and make smaller firms exempt from customs processes.

It rejected the idea of an effective customs border in the Irish Sea that separates England, Wales and Scotland from Ireland and Northern Ireland as “not constitutionally or economically viable”.

Advertisements

Comments Off on Reuters – “Britain seeks Brexit without borders for Northern Ireland”

Filed under A United Ireland in Peace and Prosperity

The New York Times – “U.K. Sets Out Goals for an Open Irish Border. Trade Is More Complex.”

LONDON — The militarized checkpoints that once stood along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland became flash points for sectarian violence during the Troubles, and no one wants to see their return after Britain quits the European Union in 2019.

But a document released by the British government on Wednesday on how to preserve the open border there has underscored the sprawling complexity of Britain’s planned departure from the bloc, known as Brexit.

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, while Ireland has been an independent nation since 1921. Both are members of the European Union — a shared status that has helped London and Dublin put aside historical differences and develop such a close relationship that border controls have disappeared. Travelers generally do not even know when they have passed from one country to the other.

After Brexit, however, the roughly 300-mile frontier with Ireland will be the United Kingdom’s only land border with a bloc whose economic arrangements, including its customs union and single market, it plans to leave. That creates a host of problems.

The customs union allows members to trade freely among themselves while charging a single tariff on some goods from nonmembers. When Britain leaves the bloc, goods crossing the border from Britain into Ireland could be subject to varying tariffs, unless the British adopt the same tariffs as the European Union or strike a special deal with it. Policing those varying tariffs could be burdensome.

The same principle holds for the single market. It is maintained through a complex and detailed set of standards that Britain would either have to abide by or face the logistical nightmare of checking goods entering the European Union from its territory.

Adopting the same tariffs and standards as the European Union would clear up a lot of problems, but would undermine the supposed purpose of Brexit in the first place, which is to re-establish control over immigration and national sovereignty. It would also complicate, or perhaps even preclude, forging trade deals with countries like the United States, another major goal of Brexit.

The document published on Wednesday represents the first, if somewhat vague, attempt to deal with these problems as they affect the Irish frontier. It rules out the reintroduction of physical infrastructure such as customs posts, and there appear to be no plans to use security cameras or license plate recognition technology at or around the border.

Immigration would not be policed at the Irish frontier, nor would there be passport checks on people entering mainland Britain from Northern Ireland.

That would seem to raise the possibility that European Union citizens could enter Britain indirectly through Ireland, perhaps undermining control over immigration. But the document hints that European citizens would probably be allowed to enter Britain freely and directly from Europe even after Brexit, though they might face some restrictions on their right to work or to claim welfare payments as people from outside the European Union do today.

The bigger problem is trade. The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned last month that “frictionless trade” would not be possible if the United Kingdom left the bloc’s economic arrangements.

Wednesday’s document calls on the European Union to agree to a series of waivers for small businesses and farmers, to avoid the need for them to complete customs formalities.

But that is only part of the problem. Even if that were agreed, larger companies would surely face higher costs. The British government is hazy on this point, talking about setting up simplified customs procedures and applying technologies — so far unspecified — to track goods, reduce bureaucracy and prevent costly delays.

British officials say there is so far no estimate of the increased cost that some businesses would face. Stephen Martin, the director general of the Institute of Directors, a business lobby group, described the document as a “significant step forward,” while adding that it “throws up even more questions about how much flexibility and imagination will be needed to overcome some very fundamental challenges.”

John Bruton, a former Irish prime minister, said the document failed to address the need for tariffs to be collected by Ireland on some goods imported into the European Union. “Brexit is going to increase the cost of doing business,” he told the BBC.

Farmers may have to adapt, too. More than 10,000 pigs are exported from Ireland to Northern Ireland every week, while a quarter of all milk produced by dairies in Northern Ireland is exported to Ireland for processing.

To minimize disruptions to trade, the document suggests setting common regulatory standards on agricultural products traded between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Yet that could complicate London’s efforts to strike global trade deals with countries such as the United States, if they involve importing agricultural goods.

Ireland’s government gave the document a polite but cautious reception, with its foreign minister, Simon Coveney, welcoming the principles behind its approach. Yet he added, according to the Irish broadcaster RTE, “What we don’t have, though, is the detail as to how it’s going to work.”

Mark Daly, a senior member of Ireland’s opposition Fianna Fail party, was less diplomatic, describing the plan as “pie in the sky” and warning that the proposals amounted to a “smugglers’ charter.”

Comments Off on The New York Times – “U.K. Sets Out Goals for an Open Irish Border. Trade Is More Complex.”

Filed under A United Ireland in Peace and Prosperity

Congressman Murphy from Pennsylvania who has been interested in the issue of Ireland for many years discussed my report on ‘Uniting Ireland In Peace & Prosperity’

Congressman Murphy

Comments Off on Congressman Murphy from Pennsylvania who has been interested in the issue of Ireland for many years discussed my report on ‘Uniting Ireland In Peace & Prosperity’

May 18, 2017 · 1:49 pm

On the Claire Byrne Live show discussing a United Ireland

Comments Off on On the Claire Byrne Live show discussing a United Ireland

Filed under A United Ireland in Peace and Prosperity

THUMBS UP FOR NI’S EU MEMBERSHIP

EU leaders note Germany as precedent

By Bernard Purcell, The Irish World: http://www.theirishworld.com/ni-eu-membership-gets-go-ahead/

EU leaders last weekend agreed that should voters in Northern Ireland opt to be part of a United Ireland, supported by people in the Republic, the region would automatically be accepted into the Union.

It is not new but it is an affirmation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, an internationally recognized treaty, and is nevertheless politically significant. While to some it may be a statement of the obvious that as Ireland is a full EU member, it should follow that Northern Ireland, as part of Ireland, would be also be part of the Union. But it’s not that simple. Continue reading

Comments Off on THUMBS UP FOR NI’S EU MEMBERSHIP

Filed under A United Ireland in Peace and Prosperity