Day in and day out well over half the goods traded between Northern Ireland and the rest of the world cross the Irish Sea to or from Great Britain. This is where the EU, the Irish Government, and, shamefully, some Northern Ireland parties want to insert a crippling frontier politically and economically dividing the UK .
Although the defunct devolved Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive have not functioned since early in 2017 MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly), still even now on full pay, are finding plenty of mischief occupy their idle hands.
Foremost in this trouble making are a cabal from Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance Party and the Northern Ireland Green Party and sadly some UUP members.. Determined to thwart the democratic vote of 17 million of our fellow citizens these Cultural Marxist parties seek to show that they know better than the Common Herd and have proceeded to throw spanners in the works of achieving a clean Exit from the European Union. One of the more inane attempts is described below.
Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Stephen Farry, MLA, in an article for the Belfast Telegraph on 15 October shamefully sought to tempt Northern Ireland to weaken its UK ties and remain partially subjugated to European Union trade restrictions post-BREXIT. He suggested that a “special arrangement with Europe can only benefit NI” and dangled as a carrot “.. the EU already has over 50 [trade] deals.”
I would refer you to the relevant pages of the European Commission web site, http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/negotiations-and-agreements/#_in-place
It rather whittles down the number of worthwhile deals. If we leave aside Partnership and Economic agreements, which keep existing tariffs in place, the number of substantive agreements falls below 40. The Commission makes much of Agreements with New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and the Mercosur trading zone but, in reality, negotiations with these have barely started and the wheels of the EU turn very slowly. Recent agreements with Singapore, Japan and Canada have more substance.
While the rest of the list does include countries such a Switzerland, South Africa and South Korea, all worth trading with, it is also cluttered with countries which, with no disrespect intended, would not contribute at all significantly to the trading portfolio of one of the World’s largest economies. Andorra, San Marino, The Faeroe Islands and the Palestinian Authority all seem to fit this latter category.
The giant trading economies of the USA and China do not apparently feature in EU In-Trays.
Mr Farry also accuses “Brexiteers” of neglecting “..goods coming from GB travelling via Dublin [to NI] which would be impacted by BREXIT anyway.” The solution to that problem is surely up to the combined wisdom of the Irish Government and the EU. If obstacles are placed in the way of goods transiting the Irish Republic in this manner market forces would soon be boosting the fortunes of Warrenpoint, Belfast and Larne Ports with probable spin offs to Birkenhead, Heysham and Loch Ryan.
The only Special Arrangement on the UK/EU Land Border that would currently make any sense would be for the Republic of Ireland to temporarily withdraw form the EU Customs Union and Single Market for a few years until our friends in Brussels come to their senses.