Tom Hayes and I have just published a document entitled: NI Special Economic Zone Proposal outlining our ‘modest proposal’ for how the U.K. government can still avoid having its pursual of the worst possible Brexit policy causing a return of the border across Ireland.
To be clear, this proposal is not our preferred outcome. We would far prefer to see the U.K. remain fully in the EU and continue to be a strong partner and ally of Ireland as part of the EU-28.
We would prefer to see the U.K. remain within both the Single Market and Customs Union and minismise the disruption and damage that exiting the institutions of the EU that Brexit will bring.
But we see that the leadership and vision required to see these preferred options brought to fruitition in sadly lacking at the top of the two main U.K. parties, though we applaud those in the Tory and Labour partys who still strive for a sensible outcome, as well as those in the Lib Dems and SNP who have been consistent in opposing Brexit.
Our proposal is our best least worst option. It is partly born out of a column I wrote on Broadsheet.ie last week:
Conan Doyle crafted intricately complex scenarios and then allowed his hero the time required to think and analyse the situation logically. He called it Holmes’s iron rule:
“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
If only someone inside the British government could just stop and think, applying Holmes iron rule to the current Brexit conundrum, particularly as it relates to the border running across our island.
We have calmly and logically applied the Holmes Iron Rule to the situation as we see it.
The proposal we offer here is what we come up with when you eliminate all the impossble pipedreams and imaginings and put the welfare of the peoples across the island of Ireland and the protectio of the hrd won Good Friday/Belfast Agreement first and foremost.
Our proposal may seem improbable at first reading and may appear to be a less that optimal solution, but it is far more ealistic and deliverable than the talk of “automatic number plate recognition” and “trusted traveller programmes” that the pro-Brexiteers have been peddling.
We believe it can work in a Northern Ireland that did, after all, vote decisively to remain in the European Union. Indeed, could what we propose for Northern Ireland also work in other parts of the U.K.? Maybe in Scotland?
Our proposal can be downloaded as a PDF via this link: NI Special Economic Zone Proposal