Irish PM Proposes New Customs Union or “Deep Free Trade Agreement” With UK

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar proposes a new UK-EU customs union on the Turkish* model, and suggests as one alternative a “deep free trade agreement” instead of membership of the single market. He is sympathetic to a long transition period. It has been Guido’s view since the referendum that Ireland will be of necessity an advocate for a good deal between the UK and the EU. A punishing deal by the EU for the UK will hurt Ireland even more. Irish politicians are very transactional in their approach, they will want a deal that is in Ireland’s best interests. Ireland’s best interests are served by a prosperous neighbour with whom it trades freely.

The endless gloom from the remainstream media stems partly from the media’s frustration with the government’s understandable unwillingness to show its hand in negotiations. This will abate as negotiations proceed, as openly stated positions become more realistic and rational, as transitional arrangements are agreed and compromises are made. Pressure will increase from corporations in the EU which fear having their business models disrupted if there is a punishment deal. Ireland’s business and political elites are far from being the only ones in Europe with a vested interest in making a good deal. It will become blindingly obvious that the only people in favour of a punishment deal are swivel-eyed europhiles and those seeking to derail Brexit…

*Turkey has 18 other Free Trade Agreements and is negotiating at last count 13 more.


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