Although Theresa May has scarpered and Boris Johnson is ready to take over, Brexit is still with us. Brexit and the Irish border. Time to update my juvenile solution to the Irish question.
There seems to be two basic problems with the thorny question of the Irish border. In the same way that Theresa May publicly said that remaining in the EU was a good thing, she has made it known that technological solutions to the Irish border crisis do not exist and, even if they did, have never been tried anywhere in the world.
No technology solution to address these issues has been designed yet or implemented anywhere in the world let alone in such a unique and highly sensitive context as the Northern Ireland border. (Theresa May)
It does seem that we cannot trust anything Mrs M. says these days, since her unconditional support for the EU has led to Brexit, her denial of ever holding a general election led to a general election, whilst her insurmountable doubts concerning the viability of an Irish border functioning on your laptop will probably lead to just that.
Well, Monsieur Barnier, what is it you don’t understand in the word “backstop” – “back,” as in “take it back,” or “stop,” as in “stop it?”
I really don’t see what all the fuss is about because, like my favourite cuddly toy Boris Johnson stated, borders don’t exist and, what’s more, even in the absence of a border you can make plenty of dosh.
There’s no border between Camden and Westminster. I was Mayor of London and we anaesthetically, invisibly, took hundreds of millions of pounds from the accounts of people travelling between the two boroughs without the need for any border checks whatsoever. (Boris Johnson)
So there you have it, Monsieur Barnier, what is it you don’t understand in the word “backstop” – “back,” as in “take it back,” or “stop,” as in “stop it?”
For the leader of the Democratic Unionist party, Arlene Foster, there’s no doubt that the backstop must go. Either it goes, or she goes – she being, Theresa May. Well, we now know the answer to that!
We will be reiterating our opposition to the backstops. The prime minister has a clear mandate to go back to Brussels. (Arlene Foster)
Backstops with an “s” – gosh, things are getting complicated. I had a similar existential dilemma millions of years ago. I had to choose between posting my cat to my gran’s so that my girlfriend could move in to my flat with her cat, or sending my girlfriend by recorded delivery whence she came. It was a no-brainer, of course – the cat stayed. Poor Theresa May, just as she was beginning to feel comfortable in the House of Commons, she is being treated like a foreigner and told to go back home to Brussels. I didn’t know that she came from Brussels!
Anyway, the message is loud and clear, even to the EU.
To say that we are making a mountain out of a mole-hill is an understatement. Northern Ireland is so small that I’m sure half the Europeans haven’t heard of it,
[Northern Ireland] is so small and there are so few firms that actually use that border regularly, it’s just beyond belief that we’re allowing the tail to wag the dog in this way. We’re allowing the whole of our agenda to be dictated by this folly. (Boris Johnson)
And he should know, having been foreign secretary and a folly specialist.
For another hard Brexiteer, Jacob Rees Mogg, it’s not a problem to have a border, as long as you don’t check everybody, and as long as the Irish don’t mind having their “troubles” back. You know what I mean – hand-grenades and mailbombs!
It would be possible to continue with historic arrangements to ensure there wasn’t a great loophole in the way people could get into the UK to leave us in just as bad a position as we are in.
There would be our ability, as we had during the Troubles, to have people inspected. It’s not a border that everyone has to go through every day. But of course for security reasons during the Troubles we kept a very close eye on the border to try stop gun running and things like that.
It’s not inconsistent to have a border that people pass through that you’re keeping an eye on. (Jacob Rees Mogg)
We have left “the Troubles” behind us, through the sincere efforts of many, and we intend on keeping it that way. (Simon Coveney, Deputy Leader Fine Gael)
It does seem that Brexit is going to bring nothing but trouble to Ireland, hard border or not. One solution, of course, would be that the Brits got out of a province where, in some quarters, it is believed that they should have scampered a long time ago. As Frank Spencer, a bungling but oh so very loveable character in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, would have said,
Goodbye little fairies, I must leave on the double, I would like to stay for one more day but I’m in a spot of trouble.(Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em)
But the solution to the problem of the Irish border may come from an unexpected source. Whereas 15 and 16-year-olds could not vote in the 2016 EU referendum, these may be the very people who will save Mister Johnson’s bacon. Such is their dexterity with online gaming that if anybody can work a virtual border, these guys and girls can. I mean, have you seen what they can do with a couple of buttons and a joystick? Whilst I was desperately trying to avoid walking backwards, into a brick wall, or both, my fourteen-year-old had already captured enough munition to wipe out his opponents, had built a fortress before I had time to figure out where the L2 switch was, and had left himself enough time to carry out an emote dance. For those of you who haven’t a clue what I’m going on about, I’m referring to Fortnite – a PS4 game that has conquered the world.
So why not come up with a PS4 game that would recreate an Irish border in the safety of cyberspace. Gamers could spot a Romanian lorry from the comfort of their own beds, search it whilst it was still moving, and send it back home if need be.
Why on earth did we bother asking parliament how to solve the problem of the Irish border, when we should have asked help from the kids. It’s their future, after all.