The Old Firm Cup
10th April 2019
I heard Gary Robertson on BBC GMS this morning asking Alyn Smith MEP a question which gets asked all the time.
"If the UK doesn't want a border in Ireland, the Irish don't want one and the EU don't want one, who's going to erect one?"
It's a nice, plain question which seems to ask a genuine point, but it doesn't. So I thought this analogy might help.
Suppose Celtic and Rangers decide they need to make more money, so they agree to create a new competition called the 'Old Firm Cup'. It'll be played as one match between the two of them in the summer.
To save some cash, Celtic suggest the match be played without a referee. Rangers agree to this great idea. All the players and management teams are in favour too, and the fans forums are full of people who hate referees and so are thrilled at the thought of it.
But there's still going to have to be a referee.
Even with everyone's agreement, with the best will in the world, deep down we know the match won't get beyond the first disputed throw in, never mind the first bad tackle without having a referee.
When there are laws and rules which can be broken and therefore will need to be enforced, somebody or something has to do that enforcement. In the case of Ireland that means there will have to be some sort of harder border than now, whether anyone on either side wants it or not.☝