This is a longer version of what was posted on LInkedIn.
The Irish Border / backstop appears to be an insoluble problem in arriving at a Brexit deal or settlement.
I find it hard to believe that the Good Friday Agreement is the main driver however much this is protested. Concerns about the resurgence of the Troubles would be worrying, but wouldn’t the Irish Republic crackdown on terrorism in the era of the war on terrorism? Would it permit weapons to cross the border?
My main concern is can a country with a land border with the EU actually check out from the EU? To some this appears the EC view of the Irish Border so that it appears to be the issue which may lead to a failure to conclude a deal. The article by David Allen Green poses some interesting questions about the process.
The question it poses is what would happen to other countries if they were to decide to leave the EU? Would the whole country be allowed to leave or would there be assertions by the European Commission that any part of the country with a contiguous border could not – which appears to be the case with Northern Ireland. Of course, the EC might be able to countenance a hard border in non Irish circumstances.
The examples in other countries produce some bizarre results.
Would this mean that Jutland would have to remain in the Customs Union if Denmark were to leave?
If France left, would the only parts which could leave be Corsica and the West Indian departmentes?
Would only Madeira in Portugal be able to leave.
Would it only be the Balearics plus the Canaries and Ceuta in Spain.
Sicily and Sardinia in Italy etc.
Would the 221,000 islands in Sweden be able to leave but not Sweden itself due to the border with Finland.
It would appear that Cyprus and Malta could leave as they are islands.
Greece would be ok as it has no land border with another EU state, but all the others would be unable to leave as a national state, with a part of their territory still under EU rules.
Was this the intention of EU treaties?
The European Commission appears to be a fan of The Eagles – “You can check out any time you like,But you can never leave!”
Other member states might want to consider whether they agree with the Hotel California interpretation of Article 50, just in case their electorates decide they want to leave the EU in the future.