There is a somewhat pessimistic belief among some Irish revolutionary republicans which can be best summed up as follows: “When it comes to Ireland the only thing the British respect or understand is the gun“. Finding justification through innumerable historical precedents, this philosophy continues to motivate those who seek a military end to the United Kingdom’s legacy colony in the north-east of the country. It is the reasoning of the so-called “Dissidents”, political activists and would-be insurgents alike, who see no other viable, short term path to freedom and unity but that gained through force of arms. The real tragedy, of course, is the casual manner in which the people of Britain so often provide fodder for this cynical reading of their attitudes to Irish affairs. From indifference to antipathy, in the eyes of many on this island-nation the inhabitants of the island-nation to the east have no regard whatsoever for the best interests of their neighbour to the west. On the contrary.
From the London Times:
People in Britain do not care about what happens to Northern Ireland after Brexit and would not strongly object to a hard border, research shows.
A study by the London School of Economics and Oxford University has found strong support among Remain and Leave voters for a hard Brexit.
Over half of Leave voters (52 per cent) said they would support full passport and customs checks after Brexit. Roughly the same amount of Remain voters supported an open border.
The report also found little difference between Remain and Leave voters on the possibility of a hard Brexit, with opinions from both groups falling within 5 percentage points on issues including UK immigration, trade barriers and the “divorce bill.”
The repeated claim by the domestic press, and by certain informed commentators, that there will be “no return to the violence or the Troubles of old“, has become something of a mantra for official Ireland. The belief that there will be no reversion to the decades-old conflict in the UK-administered Six Counties, regardless of what happens in the coming years, is the agreed narrative of the Brexit debacle. But with a possible “hard border” taking on the characteristics of a new “hard partition”, the bleak analysis by the Dissidents might find a larger – and more responsive – audience than many suspect.