Monday, March 13, 2017

Brexit Is On

The last barrier to Brexit has fallen, according to the Daily Mail. Parliament has rejected two amendments which attempted to weaken the resolution making leaving the European Union British law. The more important one would have protected the right of EU citizens now living in Britain to remain.

The Queen is expected to sign the bill tomorrow morning, after which May can act on her preferred timetable. May has said she will "pull the trigger" on Article 50 at the end of March, sometime around the 27th.

It will start a two-year period during which Britain and the EU will negotiate the terms of separation. One supposes it could happen more quickly if that outcome is desired by both parties.

A major motivation of Brits who voted "Leave" was gaining control over immigration, basically limiting it. One of the thorniest Brexit issues is what will happen with the land border between the independent Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (part of the U.K). The border was somewhat tightly controlled during "the troubles."

When Northern Ireland's Protestants and Catholics finally stopped killing each other, the border became essentially just a line on a map, with no controls. That freedom is likely to end unless Ireland decides to join Britain in leaving the EU.

If the border remains uncontrolled, those wishing to sneak into the U.K. could fly to Dublin and mosey across the border to Belfast before flying to London. The vote to Leave was a vote to close this door, regardless of how difficult it makes life for Irish on both sides of the border.

We live in interesting times.