What if ‘access to the single market’ just means paying Brussels a massive bung to keep what’s already there?

In the FT yesterday, Janan Ganesh had good advice for those of us who might be vulnerable to becoming what Wolfgang Münchau describes as “bitter and without influence” (sound familiar)…

It is impossible to know what will happen after a hard exit but almost as impossible to see an alternative to finding out. Pro-Europeans must show goodwill during the process, but probably from the margins.

Test it, and see what happens. Apportion blame accordingly. Brutal, but democratic.

Two days ago the Times found a document saying that hard Brexit could cost £66 billion a year. Last night Newsnight discovered plans for the government to do a massive cash dump for access to the single market. [So no reliable cash savings from exiting the EU? – Ed.] Reliable, no.

The will to Brexit was a matter mostly of ideology first, material economics, later.

The  problem for anyone outside British state in dealing with the external consequences of the UK’s decision to back out of the EU. At today’s leaders questions, it became obvious that many of the Irish Government’s calculations were based on a Sterling rate that no longer meaningfully exists:

The other question, as framed by Colum Eastwood is whether the border is to go through the island or around it, will depend on the kind of deal the UK strikes with the EU.

A hard break, will mean a hard border of some sort. As Brokenshire’s comments demonstrate, no one on the British side of the debate seems to want a hard border on the island.  Nor does Michael Noonan, who explains:

“If you do not have a border going from Newry, going across, dividing Sligo and Donegal from the northern counties, the next step is to have controls at the ports. That would mean Rosslare and Larne [sea ports] and the airports, but that wouldn’t be much more than the normal checks we have at airports already, where you show your passport.”

As Pete noted in 2007 this is not that different to how things are done already.

But if ‘access to the single market’ just means getting out of the EU, but paying Brussels a massive bung keep what’s already there (with a tweak on immigration)? Then most of these fears should disappear over time.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

donate to keep slugger lit