Leverage in Brexit talks with the European Union. That is is how senior officials in the government of the United Kingdom view the nationalist and unionist communities in the north-east of Ireland and the peace accords which have kept them relatively safe over the last two decades. The admission was made during a stormy meeting of the UK Cabinet in London, as Politico notes:
Both the Times and the Guardian tell how Attorney General Geoffrey Cox — the U.K. government’s chief legal adviser — told Cabinet yesterday the proposal would see Northern Ireland “torn out of the U.K.” and mean “the U.K. has no leverage in future talks.”
So much for Prime Minister Theresa May’s “precious, precious union”. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Donaldson of the Democratic Unionist Party, the parliamentary allies of the governing Conservative Party in the House of Commons, has made this contribution to the ongoing Brexit debate:
“…the Union is more important than anything else.”
So who’s fooling who?