Bordering on the break-up?

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Brexit supporters now suspect the hard-headed men of Brussels are not only trying to bully Britain over the decision to quit the EU, but in doing so are deliberately putting the frighteners on any other member state which is tempted to follow suit.

Now with the ‘divorce bill’ possibly on the verge of being settled, the next problem appears: the sticky question of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And although the EU just might cast a blind eye to the free movement of people to and fro across the border, the same could not apply to goods and services with the UK outside the single market and the customs union.

Brussels have implied the entire negotiations could be in jeopardy if a way cannot be found to get Dublin to agree with whatever the UK proposes. But does this really have to be such a difficult problem as some anti-Brexiteers are claiming? Surely a ‘bespoke’ arrangement could be formulated to deal with this particular problem. It is ironic that all those years ago, the UK had to fight like tigresses to get into the old Common Market and now we are having to fight harder to get out.

What terrifies Brussels more than anything else is that the UK’s lead might encourage other member states that they would like to break loose, too...

- Is the Labour Party about to abandon its proud boast as ‘the broad church’ of British politics? The expression is to indicate that the party would accept anyone to the left of centre, whether a hard-line left winger like John McDonnell, shadow chancellor, or ultra-moderates, like Frank Field.

Now Momentum, a hard-line band of activists, seem hell-bent on deselecting Labour MPs or councillors who are not left-wing enough for their tastes. Some 30 years ago, ‘legitimate’ Labour destroyed Militant, who were adopting the same tactic. But Momentum seem more deeply embedded. Now moderates are warning traditional Labour values could die a slow death, unless ruthless action is taken, but they fear nothing will be done with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm. The party is riding high at the moment. They don’t want to lose all that by allowing dogma to take over.