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@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant If I may add my not so humble opinion ;-): Ireland is, same as UK, a chess piece for other EU actors. But this is multi-dimensional chess with figures who actually play by themselves. Ireland has indirect geopolitical relevance and this has not been understood.
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant And I guess @CER_Grant was one of those who didn't get this part or simply misunderstood that. From EU perspective it would be a problem to throw Ireland under the bus, not because of purely ethical concerns (so they exist, we simply don't know if they actually play a role).
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant It's more that EU has a lot of small countries and a good chunk of them with perceived, and quite big, adversaries outside EU. EU is partly seen as a protection against them. They may moan about EU, but ultimately EU is their endurance policy against those third parties.
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant I'm not sure if those countries would actually give up their sovereignty (or control) to autonomously legislate on domestic matters if EU would not be a trustworthy advocate of their national interest against outsiders.
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant What also not has been understood is, how vital the debate is from an Irish perspective. It's about legitimacy and not just frictionless trading. Ireland ultimately gave up claims over NI to get the GFA and no border (it was not just about having peace).
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant From their perspective UK has no right to put up any border infrastructure or to put any costs of British politics on Ireland. This is a vital, constitutional matter. In almost every dimension (cultural, social, economical and political as well as constitutional).
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant From UK perspective it's at best about trade & a bit about 'they have no right to make claims impeding about our sovereignty'. This may have been seen as equal claims, but since UK is outside EU, their values aren't values on their own but at best of instrumental interest for EU.
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant Anything else would beg the question what would be the point of being member of EU if your interest have no primacy against third parties. UK simply didn't understand that. It's a geopolitical matter.
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant Beyond that, it is also a question of establishing and defending ceremonial power which is in the competition with USA but also Russia and China vital. If EU gets dictated by UK what to do and can't get their own terms it may have repercussions on their authority too.
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant There is virtually little incentive to throw Ireland under the bus, but every incentive to do so with UK if it gives EU a situation where a) UK needs to concede to the terms of EU, b) establishes it's hegemony in Europe and c) makes sure that UK doesn't try to meddle with EU*.
@KeohaneDan @SnellArthur @Londoneuro @BrigidLaffan @HeleneBismarck @CER_Grant *meddle as in trying to challenge EU directly or indirectly.
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