The routine abuse meted out by the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun to anyone incurring their displeasure on the subject of Britain and the EU is legion: smears of Jean-Claude Juncker, Guy Verhofstadt and more recently Michel Barnier are as frequent as they are hectoring, sustained, and just plain nasly. But now the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker have found a new bogeyman to put the boot in on.
As the Guardian has reported, “Ireland has issued a stark warning that it will block progress of the Brexit negotiations in December unless the UK gives a formal written guarantee that there will be no hard border with Northern Ireland … In sharp remarks before a breakfast meeting with Theresa May, the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said Brexit-backing politicians had not ‘thought all this through’ in the years they had been pushing for the UK to leave the EU”. A statement of the bleeding obvious.
Lewis Goodall of Sky News also noted “The Irish government has made it clear that no Brexit outcome which in any way introduces any element of a hard border on the island of Ireland is acceptable to them”, and concluded “Theresa May must feel she's playing Brexit whack a mole. Every time she beats one problem, a few more appear”.
The Taoiseach was making it clear that any kind of “hard border” between the Republic and Northern Ireland was not acceptable to the Dublin Government. It would be instantly harmful to trade, and seriously disruptive to the everyday lives of hundreds of thousands in both parts of Ireland. That, though, cut no ice with the Sun, which went in with both feet.
“Ireland’s naive young prime minister should shut his gob on Brexit and grow up … He is too busy disrespecting 17.4million voters of a country whose billions stopped Ireland going bust as recently as 2010 … Varadkar’s rookie diplomacy, puerile insults and threats to veto trade negotiations … the showboating obstinacy of Ireland’s Varadkar, a man increasingly out of his depth” rants today’s editorial, which also includes this seriously misleading claim: “We are Ireland’s biggest trading partner”. That’s not quite true, is it?
As Trading Economics has noted, for Ireland “The European Union accounts for 60 percent of total exports. Main export partners are: United States (23 percent), United Kingdom (16 percent)”. That means not only that the rest of the EU accounts for 44% of Irish exports, but that the USA accounts for more than the UK. So the Murdoch goons are not merely being needlessly abusive, they’re lying through their teeth (again).
The situation is different for imports, where the UK accounts for 34% of the total, as opposed to 26% for the rest of the EU, but it should be remembered that Ireland is running a trade surplus at present. And as it is the UK doing the most exporting of the two, it would be the UK that would suffer most in the event of a “no deal” Brexit being concluded.
Once again, the Murdoch press takes the legitimate concerns of other EU leaders, and turns them into a game of playground abuse. The Taoiseach is merely voicing concerns for the effect of the Brexit mayhem on his country’s economy, and therefore its people (contrast the Sun’s name-calling with the Irish Times coverage - HERE and HERE).
Anyone would think that the Murdochs don’t really care about who suffers over Brexit, so long as they get to lord it over everyone else, while not getting blamed for the mess.