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United stance needed to beat hard Brexiteers

I refer to the speech by the EU's chief negotiator, in the Dail, in which Mr Barnier said: "The UK's departure from the EU will have consequences. Customs controls are part of EU border management. They protect the single market."

In the light of such plain speaking, it is unfortunate no agreement seems forthcoming on a progressive, anti-Tory Brexit pact for the Westminster election.

Despite a majority in the Dail and NI Assembly supporting special status for the north, blinkered Tories and the DUP have tried to pretend this isn't an option.

However, there are at least 30 territories all over the world, from North and South America to the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans, that have special arrangements with the EU.

And, of course, there are special provisions for European entities, such as Cyprus, Greenland, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Mount Athos, Heligoland and the Canary, Faroe and Channel Islands.

In the crude British 'first-past-the-post' system, it is essential to overcome traditional tribalisms and vote for the candidate most likely to defeat the undemocratic imposition of a Conservative/Ukip/DUP hard Right-wing Brexit, where vital public services, like health and education, will be severely cut as a consequence of a tax-dodging race to the bottom.

The last election here showed how progressive people coming out to vote tactically put (some) humility on the likes of Arlene Foster - well, at least to the extent of her shifting from "crocodiles" to "Go raibh maith agat".


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