( A three-minute read)
IT IS APPARENT TO ANYONE THAT DOES NOT HAVE SAWDUST BETWEEN THEIR EARS THAT OUT OF THE CUSTOM UNION MEANS A HARD BORDER BETWEEN IRELAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND.
“Let’s make a deal first, and we can figure out the details later.” Is bull shit.
British negotiators refusal to tackle and solve the question of the border during these talks is tragic.
Failing to address issues surrounding the border question can have ugly and unforeseen long-term consequences.
Had the British government taken direct responsibility for drawing the border in 1921 and sought to respect the wishes of local communities regarding which state they wanted to join, it is quite possible that the Troubles would never have broken out.
Instead of taking the Good Friday Agreement and the opportunity to remove the root cause of the Northern Irish conflict they paid the DUP billions to support a minority government.
In order for the UK to enact its post-Brexit immigration policies and leave the single market, it must be able to control its borders.
This said it is impossible to overstate the horror with which such a wall between the north and south would be greeted.
The arbitrary line of partition London imposed on the Free State in 1920 helped to spark the Troubles and is still a lingering grievance.
The Good Friday Agreement was seen as answering the question of whether the island of Ireland could be reunited once and for all, establishing as it did that Northern Ireland would only rejoin the South if a majority of citizens voted in a referendum or plebiscite for the option. With nationalists being demographically subordinate in Stormont, the simple mathematics meant it would never happen.
But here’s a sentence I never thought I’d utter: for the first time in my lifetime, a united Ireland is now credible – and perhaps inevitable.
Whether you believe that England is going to somehow negotiate a deal better than the remaining countries already have it is turning a blind eye to politics in Northern Ireland.
This was epitomized in the Brexit campaign, during which Northern Ireland was scarcely mentioned despite being the only part of the UK which shares a land border with another EU country. The Leave campaign also appeared to have no knowledge of or interest in what would happen to the border between North and South of Ireland.
Northern Ireland receives millions in funding from the EU for cross-community peace projects between Catholic and Protestant communities, but the loss of this money, or where replacement funding might come from, doesn’t appear to have been calculated into the Leave campaign’s financial deliberations over the cost of Brexit.
Northern Ireland voted to remain, but, like Scotland, is now finding it will be dragged out of it anyway thanks to Welsh and English voters.
Almost a year on from the EU referendum, we’re no wiser as to the future of the Northern Irish border.
May has continuously obfuscated as to how, where or why a border will be erected between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Despite the British Government’s insistence on batting away the question, it must be urgently addressed.
In order for the UK to enact post-Brexit immigration policies and leave the single market, it must be able to control its borders; a physical fence or wall is the only realistic option.
In effect, a border will fence off Northern Ireland, making its own tiny country, with one million residents penned in together with no option of traveling, working or visiting the other three-quarters of the island as easily as they are accustomed.
With Sinn Fein just one seat short of being the largest party at Stormont, reunification is by no means imminent.
The next election is likely to see them returned as the largest party, barring major events to stop their momentum.
A united Ireland is no longer hypothetical or absurd, but a credible option that must be considered seriously by both the Irish and British governments.
For the first time in my lifetime, the Irish question is no longer a question of if, but of when. Unfortunately, the DUP would never agree such a deal and they have the power to bring down the minority UK government.
There is more at stake than just the border in the north.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chunked in the bin.