Brexit Talks Get Even Stupider Than Ever

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

I haven’t followed the Brexit negotiations in detail—life is too short, right?—but I know the basics. I know, for example, that the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland has become a big issue. The problem is simple: Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain, so if Britain exits the EU then there needs to be a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, both Ireland and Northern Ireland are dead set against this. So now the negotiations between Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have come to this:

Reports suggest that May and Juncker were willing to accept a deal that would in essence have seen Northern Ireland remain within the EU’s single market and customs union, even though the rest of the United Kingdom is likely to lose such privileges.

Such a deal would prevent a hard border from reemerging between the two parts of Ireland and ensure that smooth trade relations could be maintained. But statements from the Democratic Unionist Party, or DUP, the group that May’s government now depends on to maintain a majority in Parliament, were quick to thwart that. “We will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the U.K.,” DUP leader Arlene Foster said in a news conference Monday afternoon.

….Even as the DUP threw a wrench into the talks, the governments in Scotland and Wales, as well as London Mayor Sadiq Khan, were also quick to state that if Northern Ireland got preferential treatment, they expected a similar deal.

Ireland is not willing to accept a border with Northern Ireland. Answer: leave Northern Ireland in the EU (sort of). But Northern Ireland won’t accept any kind of border with the rest of Britain. And anyway, if Northern Ireland gets to stay in the EU, then Wales, Scotland, and London all want to stay in the EU too. So we’d end up with a map like this:

I wonder how long it’s going to take before Britain just gives up and decides to cancel Brexit entirely? And if they do, will the EU even allow them to stay? Beats me. I’d probably be chuckling over the whole thing if it weren’t for the fact that my country elected as president a game-show host who is plausibly thought to have colluded with Russia in order to get elected. We don’t exactly have anything to chuckle about when it comes to national idiocy.

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate