Must be a good idea if it involves barges …
… or maybe not.
Concerns have been raised in recent years about the coverage of dozens of minor harbours and landing places in the UK.
Her Majesty also has a land border, part of which runs along the Shannon–Erne Waterway, so no doubt volunteers will be needed there too. The Ulster Special Constabulary provides a possible model, notably the B Specials:
I do not know why the Irish government agreed to kick the can down the road, thereby losing its influence over the discussions.
But Britain is now but a modest-size ship on the global ocean. Having voted to leave the European Union, it is unmoored, heading to nowhere, while on deck, fire has broken out and the captain — poor Theresa May — is lashed to the mast, without the authority to decide whether to turn to port or to starboard, let alone do what one imagines she knows would be best, which is to turn around and head back to shore.
Steven Erlanger in the New York Times 4 November 2017
I have suspected for some time that Britain’s Brexiteers are actually Sinn Féiners.
After 1916 the Irish Shinners decided to leave a larger economic and political entity and to do so without any business plan or any realistic idea of how their proposed state would make a living.
After 2016 the British Shinners decided to leave a larger economic and political entity and to do so without any business plan or any realistic idea of how their proposed state would make a living.
One lot of Irish Shinners, led by the lunatic Éamon de Valera, wanted a hard Irexit and started shooting the soft Irexiteers who, happily, managed to keep control; it is to be hoped that matters don’t go that far in Britain.
It may be objected that the evidence for this contention, that Brexiteers are Shinners, is a little light, but I have now found confirmation: Boris Johnson is an enthusiast for insane canal construction projects.
The mark of the Shinner is upon him.
Several people in Ireland have imported secondhand boats from Foreign Parts, often from the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. After Brexit, importation of a boat from the UK is likely to become more difficult.
Dr Richard North, an erudite Brexiteer, has highlighted the problem today. Within the European Economic Area (which includes the European Union)
Basically, a huge range of products, before they can be placed on the market, must be approved in a manner specified in the relevant legislation. Conformity then guarantees access to the markets of the EEA members (EU members plus the three Efta/EEA members). […]
In the first instance – intra-Union trade – the responsibility for ensuring that products conform with the legislation rests with the manufacturers. And, where the legislation requires it (as it does with a wide range of goods), it must be tested by an independent third party, known as a “notified body”. And, with certain exceptions, that notified body must be established in the EU and be recognised the European Commission.
Currently, of course, the UK is able to benefit from the intra-Union trade rules but, on leaving the EU, it will no longer enjoy what amounts to a simplified procedure. It is then that the UK becomes a “third country” and the legal responsibilities accruing to those placing products on the market move from the manufacturers to the “importer“, defined as “any natural or legal person established within the Community who places a product from a third country on the Community market”. (For “Community” you can now read “Union”.)
When products from third counties arrive at EU Member State ports, it is then for the importer to satisfy the customs and any other authorities that the products comply with EU law, and have the necessary approvals or certification – including type-approvals from notified bodies, where necessary.
Currently, there are over 25 categories of goods to which the CE marking system applies, for which a Notified Body certificate may be required. These include: […] recreational craft […].
For the UK on and after Brexit day, this gets quite interesting. Where the product relies on certification from a UK notified body (approved prior to Brexit), that notified body will no longer be approved. Arguably (and it is arguable), the certificates (on which the importer will rely) will no longer be valid.
The requirements of the 2013 Recreational Craft Directive are set out here [PDF]. Section 3.6, on page 21, says:
The private importer is a concept that did not exist under the previous Directive and that was added to ensure that private individuals importing a boat, a personal watercraft, an engine or any other product covered by the Directive are granted the same level of protection and obligation as commercial importers. The private importer is defined as any natural or legal person established in the European Union who imports in the course of a non-commercial activity a product from a third country into the EU with the intention of putting it into service for his own use.
A private importer, who imports a product for his own use in European waters, must also ensure the craft, engine or components are compliant with the EU Directive.
Article 12 provides the detailed list of the private importer’s obligations. As a start, we recommend that private importers favour products for which the original manufacturer has fulfilled his responsibilities for the conformity of the product with the EU Directive. Not only will it save a lot of time and hassle for the private importer, it guarantees he/she will acquire a safe and compliant product, thereby ensuring a higher resale value in Europe.
In the event that the original manufacturer located outside of the EU has not fulfilled his responsibilities nor carried out the conformity assessment procedures, the private importer must ensure, before putting the product into service, i.e. using it, that:
• The product has been designed and manufactured in a way that meets the essential requirements of the EU Directive
• The following requirements for manufacturers have been carried out: the technical documentation has been drawn out and must be kept for 10 years; the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information in the owner’s manual in a language or languages which can be easily understood by consumers and other end users, as determined by the Member State concerned (i.e. the country of residence)
• The private importer must cooperate with the competent national authority and provide all information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the product’s conformity.
In case the technical documentation is not available from the manufacturer, the private importer will have to draw it up using the appropriate expertise. Annex V of the Directive provides the details of the postconstruction assessment (PCA). This module is the procedure to assess the equivalent conformity of a product for which the manufacturer has not assumed the responsibility but also in cases where the importer or the distributor places a product on the market under his name or trademark, or modifies a product already placed on the market in such a way that compliance with the Directive’s requirements may be affected. The private importer must ensure that the name and address of the notified body which has carried out the post-construction assessment (PCA) of the product is marked on the product itself.
For more information about the PCA see the “Special Cases” section.
I did not realise at the time that the industry was the subject of legal action by Friends of the Earth. Their objections are outlined here; there are several news reports of the progress of their case, eg here and here; this is an account, from June 2017, of the appeal court case; here is the BBC report of the decision and this is FOE’s reaction, which includes this:
Yesterday the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal ruled that the Northern Ireland government acted unlawfully by not stopping dredging for sand at one of Europe’s most important wetlands.
The only legal option now open to the government is to stop the sand dredging.
Dredging has been taking place on a huge scale at Lough Neagh without planning permission and other authorisations.
Friends of the Earth brought the legal challenge over the Northern Ireland government’s failure to stop the extraction.
Up to 2 million tons of sand is suction dredged from the bed of the lough every year. This is the biggest unauthorised development in the history of Northern Ireland. Yet this vitally important wildlife site is supposed to be protected under local and international law. In fact there is no bigger unlawful mine anywhere in Europe in a Special Protection Area.
Lough Neagh is Europe’s biggest wild eel fishery […].
I suspect that the decision will increase the DUP’s enthusiasm for Brexit.
Brian Lucey suggests that we should consider [note: not that we should definitely decide on] sealing the border with Northern Ireland. That would mean running a wall down the middle of the Woodford River section of the Shannon–Erne Waterway and would put paid to this business idea. We could of course cover it with solar panels, but I hope Prof Brian isn’t suggesting the Mexicans should pay for it.
While running trip-boats has not always been the way to wealth on Irish waterways, we must always be alert to new business opportunities arising from changing circumstances. Brexit, the impending departure of HM Realm from the European Union may offer one such opportunity for a tourism-related business on the Shannon–Erne Waterway, perhaps around Aghalane.
Here, scenic boat trips could be provided. Of course not everybody likes long boat trips, so there could be a market for short trips, perhaps from one side of the Woodford River (which here constitutes the Shannon–Erne Waterway) to the other.
Such trips could feature in package tours, including flights into Ireland, accommodation and leisure activities. But the Irish tourism board (whatever it’s called nowadays) needs to open up new markets: these tours might be attractive to our fellow-EU citizens from Eastern Europe.
There is another possibility for development here, combining economic growth with humanitarianism. Ireland could offer to open refugee camps in the area, thus sharing the burden with Calais, Greece, Italy and other places currently accommodating these unfortunates. This would not be entirely selfless: there would be a stimulus to the local economy from the construction and operation of the camps. Should demand for camps along waterways exceed supply, the re-opening of the Clones Sheugh could be considered.
I regret that the north side of the river is blank on the modern OSI map; that area is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.