The post-referendum effects of the Brexit vote in the UK continue to ripple out across the European Union, lapping up on the shores of Ireland with increasing force and urgency. In the space of a few days the leaders of the two largest political parties in the country, Enda Kenny of Fine Gael and Micheál Martin of Fianna Fáil, have tentatively staked out headline-making ground on territory formerly ceded to the republican and progressive left. Though, admittedly, with a singular lack of enthusiasm. From the Irish Times:
“Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that the prospect of a future border poll on the re-unification of Ireland should be included as part of the negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom on the Britain’s departure from the bloc.
Speaking at the MacGill summer school in Glenties Co Donegal last night, Mr Kenny departed from his prepared script to raise the prospect of a border poll at some point in the future.
He compared the possibility of the North joining the Republic and immediately becoming part of the EU to the reunification of Germany in 1990. Mr Kenny said that the EU-UK negotiations should take account of the possibility.
On Sunday night at MacGill, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also raised the prospect of a future border poll…
Sinn Féin has upped its campaigning for a border poll in the wake of the British referendum, in which the North voted to remain in the EU.
Later, the Taoiseach told reporters that the coming negotiations should examine the possibility.
“In the same way as East Germany was dealt with when the wall came down, was able to be absorbed into West Germany and not to have a tortuous and long process applying for membership of the European Union.
Asked if such an eventuality could actually happen, the Taoiseach implied it was possible. “Well, people said it would be impossible that Britain would leave the European Union,” he said.”
While one can be justifiably cynical about the sudden interest of the political right and centre-right in the reunification of our country, however cautiously phrased, it is still noteworthy. It would be ironic indeed if the irreconcilable divisions within the British establishment in London had so imperilled the pampered continuity of the Irish establishment in Dublin that a reunited Ireland was actually the least worse option. Self-preservation is a wonderful thing indeed.
very true comments Seamas but let’s accept support where we find it. Fg and FF have never seemed interested in re-unification. They finally seem seem to have got their heads round the fact there’s rich pickings to be had as financial services, banks, online shops, technical and technology businesses, manufacturing etc will soon start relocating from the UK so they can continue trading in the EU with no extra problems.
they may be jumping on a bandwagon, eager to secure their place in history, seats in the dail and pocket money on side deals.
but they’re the only people in power at the moment that can act in our name.
We all hope public opinion will push them towards a place where they never, ever expected to find themselves.
We know the groundswelll of support for a re-united ireland was due to republicans/nationalists who fostered the irish republic through thick and thin, press bias and propaganda.
Let’s hope Fg, FF and all the rest of us can ride the wave of the future! Because to do this we need a united, focused people. And if we don’t do it the Republic will probably languish as a backwater with a hard EU frontier at its back and Northern catholics/republicans/Nationalsits/non-bigoted protestants will once more be penned into poverty in a reactionary Orange/English state https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/after-brexit-never-a-dull-moment/
There may be some momentum, however unintended, to it all. Though the SDLP may have let us down.
It is wonderful to see the politics of identity giving way to the politics of self-interest, and the phrase “United Ireland” appearing in the Belfast Telegraph more and more. Who would have thought it! In the old BT! We can only congratulate the lemmings in England and Wales for this opportunity. Up until now the mainstay of the mainstream ROI parties has been the stability and viability of the Irish Republic, which meant normalisation in NI and maintaining excellent relations with the UK.
Now, with the circumstances changed, we see a seismic shift in the direction of the good ship Banba, as a UI or NI ROI merger becomes part of the natural interest of stability and economic prosperity while England and Wales lurch further into crisis after crisis of their own making. Our anglo-saxon neighbours are such emotive, hysterical types, and need the fatherly guide of the Celt to guide them forward into rational, logical thinking.
An Ireland reunited by the fear of economic catastrophe. Which I suppose is better than nothing. Though we all know most of the DUP and UUP would rather live in caves in the UK than live in palaces in Ireland.
England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity.