The DUP is spouting rubbish on Brexit because they don’t understand it

Posted By: September 18, 2019


Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus

he DUP has denied it will agree to checks in the Irish Sea

Brian Feeney. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, September 18, 2019.
You’d wonder why anyone here takes seriously the nonsense DUP MPs spout every time they speak about Brexit on radio or TV.

It may be because, with the distinguished exception of local BBC’s Economics and Business Editor, John Campbell, most interviewers don’t have enough knowledge of the detail of borders, customs and so on, to avoid bursting out laughing when the likes of Jeffrey Donaldson or Sammy Wilson deliver another load of garbage.

It’s been going on now for over three years. Donaldson, self-appointed expert on imaginary technology at frontiers, repeatedly assured interviewers and listeners that trade would be ‘frictionless’. He gave the US-Canada border as an example. That proved to be untrue. He then gave the Norway-Sweden border as an example; also untrue. He could not name any device which would successfully monitor vehicles and their contents, let alone animals alive or dead crossing a border. Despite EU officials examining in vain every border that exists, Donaldson kept insisting with no evidence whatsoever that such technology does exist. It doesn’t.

His equally evidentially challenged colleague Spluttering Sammy, a man who looks as if he doesn’t know whether to be angry or indignant, regularly dumped similar garbage loads, though with more sound and fury signifying nothing. The truth is no one in the DUP understands the EU legal order. All they do is parrot the equally ignorant Conservative Brexiteers whom they revere. What suckers they are.

Tony Blair’s former chief of staff and general factotum, Jonathan Powell, who does understand the EU legal order, admirably summed up the trilemma in a letter to the Times last week. He wrote that, since the UK is leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market, and Johnson apparently favors a Canada-style trade deal, then, ‘there will have to be a Border somewhere. It can be between Northern Ireland and the Republic, between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, or between the island of Ireland and the rest of the EU.’

As Powell acknowledged, the Republic is staying in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union, therefore, ‘to suggest that a common  agricultural area for the island and some cobbled-together ideas about trusted trader schemes solves [the Border], is nonsense.’

On the other hand, as the Republic’s finance minister Pascal Donohoe said on Monday, the UK intends to abandon EU regulations to acquire trading advantages. In short, despite the mendacious spin emanating from Downing Street, the UK is miles from a resolution. Furthermore, even if Johnson proposed something workable, which he won’t, he couldn’t get it through Westminster because he has no majority for anything. In any case, Britain has not advanced any proposals on anything. There has been no progress at all as the aftermath of Monday’s lunch fiasco made clear.

The most depressing aspect of the performance of the DUP is not that they’re lying; they’re not. They unload garbage because they don’t know what they’re talking about. They have never uttered a single syllable on their own initiative. Instead, they took as gospel rubbish spewed out by men in the Conservative party who have no knowledge of the EU, but more importantly, couldn’t care less about anything or anyone on this island as the evidence of the referendum and Theresa May’s ‘red lines’ demonstrates conclusively. Rather than think for themselves, or for the benefit of people here, the DUP’s MPs buy all this garbage and then regurgitate it on the airwaves here. They are the Conservative party’s useful idiots, stooges.

Now belatedly poor Donaldson is being sent out to prepare the party faithful for a U-turn on regulatory divergence. Conceding it on agri-food, as he did on RTÉ, means conceding the principle of no divergence on anything. What’s the argument against divergence on alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals? Why is he doing it? He knows that’s the direction of travel in Johnson’s cabinet. How far will the DUP go? Anywhere Johnson wants.