• Christian Armbruester

Borders



Why there is no solution for an amicable dissolution.


Never mind how we got here. From the very beginning, we all knew it would come down to this. How to split the EU and UK without imposing a hard border on the island of Ireland. Politicians squabbled over it for years and then decided to ring-fence the open questions, lest there were more than 40,000 other laws to rewrite. So, we have a fudge in the name of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Something that allowed both sides to shake hands, with the consequences pushed down the road, and most likely to be dealt with by another administration.


The agreement is deliberately vaguely written, so as not to box the negotiating parties into a corner. Either side can pull out if they feel hard done by the actions of the other and cue the threats of walking away which seem to be happening on a weekly basis. In other words, there is nothing that was agreed that cannot be undone. Which leaves us right where we were and whilst legislators may have all the time in the world, the reality on the ground is a really big female dog.


How are businesses supposed to respond? Serving one master is hard enough, but two, and without plans in place for how exactly this is going to work, has literally put the hurt into a lot of people. Yup, not only do we have to find a solution for the unsolvable, but we are also hovering above one of the biggest fault lines in the western world. Not surprisingly, there were troubles, and the question is whether the Good Friday Agreement will hold.


The thing is, we can’t have it both ways. One way or another, there cannot be no border to the UK whilst at the same time leaving the doors wide open to the EU. So, what to do? Well, when you can’t put a round peg into a square hole, you need to drill a new hole. What we don’t know is how we are going to get there. Maybe there will be a united Ireland, maybe technology will find a way, or maybe Greenland will invade to unite the tribes of Europe once more. The only question I have is, did we really have to go here, again?


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