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  1. Apart from a few years in the early 1900s, and a two season experiment in the 1960s, rugby league used something closer to a conference system until the 1970s. There was a Lancashire League and Yorkshire League and clubs only played a handful of games against teams in the other league to make up the main league table. Before the formation of BARLA, the top tier of amateur rugby league tended to be things like the Warrington and District League, or the Halifax and Huddersfield League. Even in football the non-league pyramid took a long time to form. There was little promotion and relegation between leagues, and until leagues started to merge in the 1960s there were a lot of local leagues below the Football League, with only the Southern League being at a particularly high standard, and none of them having promotion and relegation between them
  2. Yes but I don’t see EU nationals doing that so we could theoretically end free movement and keep an open border (for what it’s worth I would keep free movement if we could get a Norway deal)
  3. I don’t see why no FOM would be a barrier to having no border. Noone’s arguing for a visa requirement to visit the U.K. The situation would be no different to a Brazilian student in Ireland being able to physically reach the U.K. If the EU have ruled out all possible alternatives to a Customs Union then by definition they’re requiring one, surely? PS I wish you were right on this one, it would make things a lot easier for the UK
  4. The EU have said Northern Ireland has to stay in the Customs Union so that rules put a Norway deal. We could presumably have Great Britain having a Norway deal, and Northern Ireland being non voting EU members screwed over when exporting outside the EU. However, splitting the country like that wouldn’t be politically viable Suggesting we can stay in the Single Market and Customs Union is very different from suggesting we can have a Norwegian or Swiss model In fact the point Barnier makes in the link that we can only avoid an internal border if we stay in both the Single Market and the Customs Union proves my point and disproves yours
  5. That’s not remotely the same thing at all as a Norway deal as it would involve staying in the Customs Union. What he’s proposing is EU membership without voting rights and with permanent higher tariffs on exports outside the EU I explicitly stated this was an option earlier
  6. Schengen’s not a requirement for a Norway or Switzerland deal, they’ve chosen to join to avoid passport controls with Sweden, and allow commuters in more easily respectively. The EU’s insistence on Northern Ireland staying in the Customs Union makes a Norway or Switzerland deal impossible
  7. Yes but it’s not on the table even if we wanted it
  8. The EU has removed all of those from the table though. Barnier has been very explicit that the only options we’re allowed for a deal are: 1. Staying in the SM and CU, which is the most pointless thing ever 2. Putting a border down the middle of the country and having a basic free trade deal in goods
  9. The EU have arranged a wide variety of deals with third countries that aren’t on the table for the U.K. though. The Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine and Canada models have all been ruled out by the EU
  10. Ukraine aren’t a candidate or even potential candidate for EU membership. The deals the EU has with them, Moldova and Georgia are stand alone deals. The western Balkan states have similar deals as a step towards EU membership
  11. The Chequers agreement is almost identical to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement in content though so it’s not a case of the EU having to apply its own rules (the Customs part is missing from the Ukraine deal though). Also if they can break the rules for Northern Ireland then that suggests it’s a political and not a legal decision to freeze Great Britain out of a back stop. Expecting a country to put a border in the middle of its country just to obtain a basic goods only FTA really is vindictive. The EU never tried to split off the French speaking part of Switzerland even though it heavily backed EU membership
  12. No one could have predicted just how incompetent the government would be or just how vindictive the EU would be, given they came to sensible arrangements with Norway and Switzerland after their referenda
  13. Not great, but I can tell you for nothing the government haven’t and won’t accept an Irish Sea border
  14. Well without a deal the EU wouldn’t respect the UK’s GIs anyway
  15. Basically if we are going to get a deal then respecting geographical indicators is a small price to pay. If we don’t get a deal then there’s really no point respecting them
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