Author: Paul McNamara
E-mail: paulmcnamara@hotmail.com
Institution: Technical University of Koszalin (Poland)
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1688-1709
Year of publication: 2020
Source: Show
Pages: 92-126
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2020206
PDF: ppsy/49-2/ppsy2020206.pdf

The abject failure of British Prime Minister Theresa May to get the United Kingdom’s (UK) Withdrawal Agreement from the European Union (EU) through Parliament on 15 January 2019, with MPs overwhelmingly rejecting it by 432 votes to 202, has been put down to a variety of reasons. Primary among them has been the question of the post-Brexit status of the land border between the Republic of Ireland and the UK’s province of Northern Ireland. Although an issue which was initially seen as of minor importance, the significance of the Irish border steadily grew over time until it became the main stumbling block in UKEU Brexit negotiations brought about by the decision of the British people to leave the EU in a referendum held on 23 June 2016. Indeed, the key term of the ensuing debate, namely ‘the Irish backstop’, produced such confusion among politicians, political pundits and the general public that the House of Commons, split between so-called Brexiteers and Remainers, decided to reject May’s deal out of hand. This article seeks to argue that, from June 2016 (the time of the referendum) up to January 2019 (the time of the first vote on May’s Brexit deal in Parliament), the issue of the Irish backstop was seriously underestimated before suddenly taking centre stage and ultimately sabotaging the Withdrawal Agreement from within.

REFERENCES:

  • “Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, as endorsed by leaders at a special meeting of the European Council on 25 November 2018”. (2018). Department for Exiting the European Union, HM Government, 25 November, 309–329.
  • Birrell, I. (2017). “Strengthen our hand in Europe? No, a landslide for May would weaken it”. The Guardian, 2 May.
  • Boffey, D. and Rankin, J. (2018). “Barnier dismisses Theresa May’s Brexit white paper demand”. The Guardian, 20 July.
  • Boffey, D. and Sabbagh, D. (2018). “Chequers plan is dead, says Tusk as Macron calls Brexiters liars”. The Guardian, 20 September.
  • Boffey, D. and Rankin, J. (2019). “No renegotiation, says EU after MPs back plan to replace backstop”. The Guardian, 29 January.
  • “Border plans a “step forward” but still fall short – Taoiseach’. (2018). RTE News, 8 June.
  • Boyle, D. and Maidment, J. (2017). ‘Theresa May announces snap general election on June 8 to “make a success of Brexit”’. The Daily Telegraph, 18 April.
  • “Brexit: ‘May’s government survives no-confidence vote”. (2019). BBC News, 16 January.
  • “Brexit: ‘Ministers plead with MPs to back Theresa May’s deal”. (2019). BBC News, 13 January.
  • “Brexit: Michel Barnier questions Theresa May’s “backstop plan”. (2018). BBC News, 8 June.
  • “Brexit: Second Commons defeat for May in 24 hours”. (2019). BBC News, 9 January.
  • Campbell, J. (2018). “Q&A: The Irish border Brexit backstop”. BBC News, 13 December.
  • Carrell, S. (2019). “Scottish independence: new vote depends on Brexit outcome – Sturgeon”. The Guardian, 5 February.
  • Carroll, R. (2018). “DUP deviates – when it suits – in its hatred of different regulations”. The Guardian, 24 November.
  • Coates, S., Wright, O., and Waterfield, B. (2019). “Brexit: EU dismisses May’s plea for help”. The Times, 21 January.
  • Brexit: The Draft Withdrawal Agreement, House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, No. 8269, (Parliament 2018).
  • Connelly, T. (2018). “Brexit: A brief history of the backstop”. RTE News, 20 October.
  • “Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government”. (2017). BBC News, 26 June.
  • “Consolidated version of the treaty on the functioning of the European Union, Protocol (No. 20) on the application of certain aspects of Article 26 of the treaty on the functioning of the European Union to the United Kingdom and to Ireland”. (2012). Official Journal of the European Union, 26 0ctober.
  • Daly, M. (2017). ‘Brexit and the Irish Border: Historical Context’. (Royal Irish Academy and British Academy).
  • De Mars, S., Murray, C., O’Donoghue, A., and Warwick, B. (2018). Bordering Two Unions: Northern Ireland and Brexit, Bristol University Press, Policy Press.
  • Doherty, B. et al. (2017). “Northern Ireland and Brexit: The European Economic Area Option”. European Policy Centre.
  • Doyle, J. and Connolly, E. (2017). “Brexit and the Future of Northern Ireland”. Working Paper, Brexit Insitute, Dublin City University.
  • “DUP claims Irish backstop is a “con trick””. (2019). Irish Independent, 4 January.
  • Durrant, T. and Stojanovic, A. (2018). “The Irish Border after Brexit” (Institute for Government).
  • (2018). “The Guardian view on the Brexit backstop: getting Ireland wrong again”. The Guardian, 6 December.
  • Elgot, J. (2017). “Ireland threatens to block progress of Brexit talks over border issue”. The Guardian, 17 November.
  • Elgot, , Syal, R. and Stewart, H. (2018). “Full Brexit legal advice to be published after government loses vote”. The Guardian, 4 December.
  • Emerson, N. (2019). “Irish and EU must stop ridiculing Border technology”. The Irish Times, 7 February.
  • EU referendum results. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/news/politics/eu_referendum/results.
  • “European Commission Draft Withdrawal Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community”. (2018). TF50 website, 28 February, 100.
  • Forsyth, J. (2018). “Divide and Rule: how the EU used Ireland to take control of Brexit”. The Spectator, 20 October 2018.
  • Foster, P. (2018). “What is the Brexit backstop, and why has it delayed the vote in Parliament?”. The Daily Telegraph, 31 December.
  • Freedland, J. (2018). “It’s crunch time for Labour. Empty posturing on Brexit will no longer do”. The Guardian, 7 December.
  • “General Election 2017: full results and analysis”. Retrieved from: https://researchbriefings.parliament. uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7979#fullreport.
  • Gordon, A. (2017). Brexit and the Irish Border: Legal and Political Questions (Royal Irish Academy)
  • Guelke, A. (2017). ‘Britain after Brexit: The Risk to Northern Ireland’, Journal of Democracy 28, 42–52.
  • Hain, P. and Murphy, P. (2019). “An invisible Irish border is crucial: That’s why we support the back stop”. The Guardian, 4 January.
  • House of Lords European Union Committee. (2016). “Brexit: UK-Irish relations”. HL Paper 76, 18.
  • Hughes, D. (2018). “Government Must Deliver “Proper Brexit”, May Told By Rees-Mogg”. The Huffington Post (UK edition), 20 March.
  • Hughes, L. (2017). “Gerry Adams jokes he means “no harm” to the Queen as he warns Theresa May a deal with the DUP would “breach the Good Friday Agreement””. The Daily Telegraph, 15 June.
  • Ibrahim, F. (2017). Letter to The Guardian, 5 December.
  • “Ireland post-Brexit: Put asunder”. (2016). The Economist, 2–8 July, 33.
  • “Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union”. (2017). TF50 website, 8 December, 8.
  • Kentish, B. (2018). “Labour MPs reveal they are ready to rescue Theresa May’s Brexit deal in Commons vote”. The Independent, 13 October.
  • Kirkup, J. (2018). “2018: the year that exposed the Brexit fantasies on all sides”. The Spectator, 29 December.
  • Kirkup, J. (2019). “Five Reasons Brexiteers should learn to love the backstop”. The Spectator, 2 January.
  • Leahy, P. (2019). “Former ambassador condemns Ireland’s Brexit policy”. The Irish Times, 3 April 2017.
  • McCrea, R. (2019). “Ireland’s Brexit backstop gamble may not be a wise bet”. The Irish Times, 3 January.
  • Merrick, R. (2018). “Theresa May rejects EU plan for alignment across Ireland, insisting “no UK prime minister could ever agree to it””. The Independent, 28 February.
  • Merrick, R. (2018). “Brexit vote called off by Theresa May after massive opposition from Tory rebels over EU deal”. The Independent, 10 December.
  • Murphy, M.C. (2018). “Brexit and the Irish Case”. In P. Diamond, P. Nedergaard, B. Rosamond (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Brexit. Routledge, London.
  • Murphy, M.C. (2018). Europe and Northern Ireland’s Future: Negotiating Brexit’s Unique Case. London: Agenda Publishing.
  • Murray, D. (2018). Interview on Coffee House Shots, The Spectator podcast, 14 December 2018.
  • Northern Ireland and Ireland. (2017). HM Government Position Paper Retrieved from: https://assets. publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/638135/6.3703_ DEXEU_Northern_Ireland_and_Ireland_INTERACTIVE.pdf.
  • O’Neill, B. (2016). “The strange death of left-wing Euroscepticism”. The Spectator, 16 April.
  • O’Toole, F. (2018). “Hard Brexiters have just discovered Britain is weaker than Ireland”. The Guardian, 4 December.
  • O’Donovan, D. (2018). “We learned in the bailout that “solidarity” comes at a high price”. Irish Independent, 19 September.
  • Peck, T. (2018). “May’s Brexit proposals have been two years in the making. They were killed off in just eight minutes”. The Independent, 20 July.
  • Peck, T. (2019). “We now know that John Bercow is as out of control as Brexit itself”. The Independent, 9 January.
  • Phinnemore, D. and Hayward, K. (2017). UK Withdrawal (‘Brexit’) and the Good Friday Agreement (Eu­ropean Parliament).
  • “Political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom”. (2018). Department for Exiting the European Union, HM Government, 25 November, 25.
  • Raab, D. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. (2018). “Parliamentary debates”. Hansard, 645(471), 18 July.
  • Rentoul, J. (2019). “Amid scores of Brexit amendments and chaos, there are only two votes which really matter – here’s why”. The Independent, 26 January.
  • Rogers, J. (2017). “Brexit talks: How Ireland could hold the balance of power on progress”. The Daily Express, 20 November.
  • Romei, V. (2017). “Why Northern Ireland needs to avoid a hard border”. Financial Times, 30 November.
  • Sabbagh D. and Boffey D. (2018). “Theresa May demands respect from EU as pound falls”. The Guardian, 21 September.
  • Sabbagh, D. (2019). “Corbyn: no talks with May until no-deal Brexit is off table”. The Guardian, 16 January.
  • Savage, M. (2019). “Labour faces “mass challenge” over Brexit policy”. The Guardian, 5 January 2019
  • Schiek, D. (2018). “Brexit on the island of Ireland: beyond unique circumstances”. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 69 (3), 367–395.
  • Schiek, D. (2018). “The Island of Ireland and “Brexit”: A Legal-political Critique of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement”. Retrieved from: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3150394.
  • Skoutaris, N (2017). “Territorial Differentiation in EU Law: Can Scotland and Northern Ireland Remain in the EU and/or the Single Market?”. Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies, 19, 1–24.
  • Stewart, H. (2019). “May suffers heaviest parliamentary defeat of a British PM in the democratic era”. The Guardian, 16 January.
  • Stone, J. (2018). “Brexit: EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier takes apart Theresa May’s Chequers white paper plan”. The Independent, 20 July.
  • Stone, J. (2018). “EU council president mocks Theresa May on Instagram with “cake” gag after Salzburg humiliation”. The Independent, 21 September.
  • Stone, J. (2018). “UK can cancel Brexit by unilaterally revoking Article 50, European Court of Justice rules”. The Independent, 10 December.
  • “Stormont crisis: Deadline passes for future of executive”. (2017). BBC News, 16 January.
  • “Taoiseach Varadkar gives October deadline for Brexit Irish border issue”. (2018). Belfast Telegraph, 22 March.
  • Tapsfield, J. (2018). “I am not happy with your red lines’: EU chief Donald Tusk berates May in tense Brexit talks at No. 10 as he stokes Northern Ireland row by dismissing UK’s ideas for avoiding hard border”. The Daily Mail, 28 February.
  • Tapsfield, J. (2019). ““Of course, Corbyn should be talking to May”: Tony Blair tears into Labour leader for refusing cross-party talks invitation – and says if he was PM he would have already delayed Brexit”. The Daily Mail, 17 January.
  • Tapsfield, J. (2019). “Operation Fig Leaf: EU “will offer May warm words on Irish border backstop before Commons Brexit showdown” - amid claims the PM will make MPs vote again if they block her deal”. The Daily Mail, 4 January.
  • “Technical Note: Temporary Customs Arrangement”. (2018). Cabinet Office, HM Government, 8 June 2018, 1.
  • “Theresa May “shed a tear” at election exit poll”. (2017). BBC News, 13 July.
  • “Theresa May survives confidence vote of Tory MPs”. (2018). BBC News, 12 December.
  • Tonge, J. (2017). “The Impact and Consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland”. European Parliament Think Tank, 17 March, 9.
  • Walker, P. (2019). “The meaningful vote on May’s Brexit deal – what happens next?”. The Guardian, 14 January.
  • Waterfield, B., Coyne, E., Wright, O. (2017). “EU wants to split Northern Ireland from Britain”. The Times, 11 November.
  • Watson, T. (2018). “Brexit “could reignite conflict” in Northern Ireland”. BBC News, 14 September.
  • Watts, J. (2019). “UK will refuse to enforce a hard border with EU even in “no deal” Brexit, says cabinet minister”. The Independent, 1 March.
  • Wearmouth, R. (2018). “Ian Paisley Jr Labels EU Brexit Plan A Plot to “Annex” Northern Ireland”. HuffPost UK, 28 February.

Wiadomość do:

 

 

© 2017 Adam Marszałek Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Projekt i wykonanie Pollyart