Checkpoint Charlies

The surreal state of the Brexit negotiations via the medium of the mainstream media becomes more mind boggling by the day.

Compared to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership the Brexit negotiations are pure custard pie slapstick.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The content of the drafts of agreement, as well as the reports on negotiation rounds, are classified from the public, an arrangement that The Independent criticised as “secretive and undemocratic”.

As noted above, elected representatives may only view the texts in a secure “reading room” in Brussels, to avoid any further leaks of information about TTIP negotiations into the public domain.

For example:

In the midst of the negotiations party another custard pie has been launched.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar wants clear guarantees that Britain’s departure from the EU will not result in border controls between his country and Northern Ireland. – 17 Nov, 2017

The four-leaf clover is a rare variation of the common three-leaf clover.

However, the trajectory of this Brexit Custard Pie makes it difficult to determine the targetting.

On the first leaf of the clover, the Irish government might be demanding “clear guarantees” from Brussels that there will be no “border controls” between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

On the second leaf of the clover, the Irish government might be demanding “clear guarantees” from Westminster that there will be no “border controls” between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

On the third leaf of the clover, the Irish government might be demanding “clear guarantees” from itself that there will be no “border controls” between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

On the fourth leaf of the clover the Irish government might just enjoy throwing custard pies.

After all, when it comes to “border controls” it take two to tango.

A border checkpoint is a place, generally between two countries, where travelers or goods are inspected.

This surreal slapstick involves impossible Catch 22 logic.

How exactly can there be “clear guarantees” regarding “border controls” until there is an agreement on “future relations and trade” which may [or may not] involve identity checks, good inspections and tariffs?

Varadkar said on Friday that he would not permit Brexit talks to move beyond phase one into future relations and trade until he was assured there will be no barriers between the two states, AP reports. – 17 Nov, 2017

Checkpoints generally serve two purposes:

To prevent entrance of individuals who are either undesirable (e.g., criminals or others who pose threats) or are simply unauthorized to enter.

To prevent entrance of goods that are illegal or subject to restriction, or to collect tariffs.

Personally, I think all these comedians should be hurling custard pies at each other behind locked doors.

Whether those doors are subsequently unlocked is very debatable.

In British English the noun Charlie is used in polite society to identify a silly person.

He’s a right Charlie
Mr Sheen is the latest celebrity to confuse fact and fiction

The Guardian – Marina Hyde – 25 March 2006

However, the origins of this mild mannered put down aren’t quite so gentlemanly.

Word origin of ‘charlie’
shortened from Charlie Hunt, rhyming slang for cunt;

Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

As they say: You learn something new everyday.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Economics, History. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Checkpoint Charlies

  1. Oh dear, I am guilty of a lexical malapropism when I use the phrase “The Two Charlies, Lyell and Darwin”. Well, well, well, apart from being three holes in the ground, it has an additional meaning !

  2. oldbrew says:

    Nobody wants to admit that restricting immigration requires border controls.

  3. Thx1138 says:

    Warning! The next war will be fought with custard gas!

  4. cadxx says:

    Je suis Charlie

  5. A C Osborn says:

    £40Billion more of Tax Payers money going down the EU drain.
    You couldn’t make it up, but the politicians have.

  6. malagabay says:

    The only vaguely positive progress in the Brexit negotiations is the acknowledgement that the Irish “border controls” issue is a truly tripartite problem with many possibilities.

    Here, the expectation is of a border in the Irish Sea, with controls on goods passing between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

    But, if that is not to be, then the Irish Republic will be in the frame.

    To prevent the land border being a “back door” into the Single Market, the other Member States will have to apply controls on goods exported from Ireland to the rest of the EU.

    Since this hasn’t been mentioned recently – out in the open, at any rate – one wonders if Varadkar is fully aware of what could be in store for him.

    Essentially, he will have to make the choice of dumping the UK and setting up a hard border to check goods coming over from Northern Ireland, or the EU will dump Ireland, setting up border controls on its exports. – Brexit: Media Noise
    Richard North – 7 Dec 2017

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