Current Affairs Politics

Remainer Or Leaver, Ireland Has No True Allies In The UK Brexit War

By now it must be clear to even the most optimistic or obdurate Remain-supporter in the United Kingdom that sooner or later their nation is going to leave the European Union. It’s no longer a question of “if” but “when” Brexit happens. What needs to be agreed is the initial framework for the UK’s formal withdrawal process before it can move on to the next phase of negotiations with the EU. Theresa May achieved that objective twice during her short and turbulent tenure as Prime Minister, agreeing a draft exit deal with Europe in late 2017 only to have the Democratic Unionist Party and its allies in the governing Conservative Party rip it to shreds before the year was out, and then again in 2018 with a revised version of the joint proposals, which was similarly eviscerated in the Westminster bear-pit.

Now Boris Johnson is back with an updated Withdrawal Agreement that undeniably owes more to Theresa May’s original 2017 document than any other British counter-proposal. And arguably goes much further, replacing the peace-protecting backstop protocol with an all-island frontstop one, establishing an Irish Sea regulatory border in all but name, while laying the groundwork for a possible post-Brexit relationship between the UK and EU that is much closer to the hardline Empire 2.0 aspirations of the Brexiteer bloc in the House of Commons and beyond. In other words a win-win outcome for London, Dublin and Brussels, despite undoubted and still uncertain compromises and fudging on all sides.

Unfortunately, and as with the previous exit deals, supporting a difficult but fair compromise means very little to those waging a bitter ideological war in Westminster, as Remainers and Leavers struggle for mastery, breaking all the parliamentary and party political norms that once held sway in the House of Commons. Suddenly we have anti-Brexit leaders and journalists joining with the DUP in their vituperative opposition to Johnson’s would-be treaty; and not just joining but sympathising with a heretofore pariah grouping on the fringes of mainstream British politics. Here is Jonathon Powell in the FT, explaining loyalist loathing of the new EU-UK agreement:

At root the DUP fear is that this is the beginning of a slippery slope to a united Ireland which they cannot stop if the principle of the cross-community agreement is undermined.

That is why we have heard threats from the UVF and Arlene Foster meeting the UDA.

Isn’t it extraordinary how some commentators in Britain can normalise British terrorism when they want to? How the reported meeting of the leader of a minority political party in the United Kingdom, a party in a de facto coalition government with the ruling Conservative Party for the last three years, with the leaders of an illegal terrorist organisation can be treated as just another piece of political commentary in the ongoing Brexit debate?

But what are the proposals of the anti-agreement camp in Britain beyond a re-run of the 2016 referendum? What alternative plans are they suggesting instead of a settlement that satisfies most of the key demands of Dublin, Brussels and London, protecting the Irish-British peace process and the integrity of the European Customs Union and Single Market? So far there has been little beyond increasingly stale rhetoric. For those of us observing events from this side of the Irish Sea, it seems that Remainers or Leavers in our troublesome neighbour to the east have no real interest in Ireland beyond using it as disposable pawn in their own domestic political games. They are champions for Irish concerns, for peace and democracy, on a Wednesday, and British nationalists, defenders of the “union” and the legacy of British colonialism in north-east Ulster, on a Thursday.

Both groups should take note of this important article by Cathal Ó Gabhann in the New European, who reflects on his own complex personal history, born in Ireland, raised in Britain, with a British Army career officer for a grandfather who was also an active supporter of the Irish Republican Army from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The great success of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was in removing the checkpoints, watch towers, helicopters, machine guns and, of course, the IEDs. Communities separated for decades by a border hardened by British army-cratered and barricaded roads, could once again return to a peaceful rural life.

For the past 20 years, farmers in Fermanagh have been able to tend their fields in Monaghan, and parishioners in Monaghan to reach their churches in Fermanagh, using hedgerow-bound roads no different from those in rural Northumberland. Mundane tranquillity has returned as the security apparatus has faded into memory. It is as if the border has ceased to exist.

But exist it still does. The GFA may have removed the border from the topography, but it remains a cartographical reality. For many local inhabitants, the GFA transformed the border from a practical aggravation to a political anomaly; unjust but eventually surmountable, with the momentum of history on the Republicans’ side; a stop-gap solution on the road to Irish unity.

It is natural that the people of Donegal and Derry; Cavan and Fermanagh; and Monaghan and Armagh are nervous about the future. Against the background of a rejection by Westminster of the backstop, reassurances that there will be no return to a hard border ring hollow.

39 comments on “Remainer Or Leaver, Ireland Has No True Allies In The UK Brexit War

  1. It’s possible that they may want to create a situation where there seems to be no choice other than a re-vote for Brexit. That way rather than the DUP getting its way long term, they may hope for things to more or less return to pre-referendum status quo. They may think that will happen if no deal is possible.

  2. I’m extremely surprised at Powell. He’s bound to realise – or at least he should – that rationalising for the UVF and UDA and their political representatives in the DUP is dangerous in the extreme. Yet he has done just that in order to score a couple of political points on Brexit. The double-standard is stark when one considers how, rightly in my view, he was so scornful of the Real IRA in reaction to their interview on Channel 4 last week. Similarly, I wonder how many of the journos that screeched in horror at Channel 4 giving a platform to terrorists have written we-feel-your-pain pieces this weekend on the DUP and their terrorist friends. How many are happily quoting “loyalist sources”, I wonder. I’m hoping the APNI call the remainers out on this – it would be too easily dismissed with a “they would say that” if it only comes from the SDLP and/or SF

  3. civic-critic

    “I’m extremely surprised at Powell. He’s bound to realise – or at least he should – that rationalising for the UVF and UDA and their political representatives in the DUP is dangerous in the extreme.”

    Wise up.

    • Yeah, sorry about that. I should have realised it’s all the fault of The Derry Girls and Rab C Nesbitt. 🙂

  4. “a difficult but fair compromise”- What?

    Difficult and fair for who?

    It’s not at all difficult for the disaster capitalists and racists and their propagandists in the British gutter-press, who stand to benefit.

    The ‘difficulties’ will be borne by the working class living in Britain and Ireland. By the biological environment of the UK and the seas around it.

    What’s so ‘fair’ about a Brexshit harder than any represented at the time of the referendum, now that the majority of the UK electorate are for remaining in the EU.

    I appreciate from an Irish Republican point of view the deal looks attractive superficially because of the leveraging of the North away from the rest of the UK.

    But consider this: do you really expect a government led by Boris Johnson to abide by any agreement? And it will most likely be a Boris Johnson majority government that gets an absolute majority in the the next UK election, on the back of this ‘success’.

    Further damage to the working class.

    • BoJo and the UK might not abide by a deal with Ireland. But they’d think twice about doing the same to the EU.

      • I’m not at all convinced of that. One likely path after the election of a Tory majority and a hard anti-worker, anti-environment Brexit as envisioned by BJ’s deal, is that Ireland has a neighbour that has gone down a hyper-neolib nationalist path and is in economic decline if not chaos.

        A kind of Hungary after 1990 with Orbán in power, but with nuclear weapons and a large and influential military. What do you think they will take as a military project to ‘unite the nation’, whether counter-insurgency in the North of a fishing war.

        Contrary to the fantasies of some ‘EU Army’ obsessives, there is no EU military force that would intervene on Ireland’s side.

        I’d like to see movement towards a united Ireland, but if it is done at the expense of workers in Ireland and Britain, and in the context of an unstable and dangerous neighbour, it is likely to fail.

    • Maybe. Since the UK, seems determined to do this, the deal or lack of is not going to change that.

      Unless the North gets handed over to the ROI-still a longshot for the immediate future, some sort of deal that prevents a hard border is going to be necessary.

      • That’s a great post ASF. GW I agree with you re the British working class and Brexit more broadly but … from the perspective of the ROI and this island if Remainers couldn’t achieve critical mass or if structurally they environment wasn’t such that even a soft Brexit could emerge as a feasible compromise then the only option is to work with what is actually there at state level. So neither the EUnor the ROI could engage with Remain in any functional sense. It is possible pro Remain sentiment is a majority but that has no political expression at state level. Interestingly Jonathan Freedland on the Guardian podcast has some pessimistic thoughts on this today I think.

  5. Worker’s rights and environmental standards alignment with the EU were taken out of the mandatory Withdrawal Agreement and put in the voluntary Political Agreement, by this ‘difficult and fair compromise’.

    I have no ‘difficulty’ in imagining that the disaster capitalists are ‘fairly’ pleased with the result.

    • What the UK does to the UK after Brexit is the UK’s concern. A self-made political and economic pariah on the edge of the EU won’t have much of a future. Singapore-on-the-Thames is a pipedream.

      • The problem is that if the UK gets violent enough, there is a risk it could spill over into the ROI or to lesser extent other EU countries, or even Commonwealth Realm nations like Canada or Australia if it gets bad enough. This may be true with or without The Troubles coming back.

        I was speaking to a Liverpudlian that I know, he seems to believe that Brexit could go down the road of serious violence, but when I asked him “How widespread do you think it could get?” he didn’t quite answer. Rather talked of simmering hatreds against immigrants about Brexiteers and bitter resentments among the Remainers.

        One strange thing. I don’t know if this is typical. Somehow the topic of “tyrants” came up. I referred to Cromwell as an early example. He described “mixed” attitudes to Cromwell. Acknowledging the bad stuff for sure, but saw him as fighting the absolutism of the Monarchy at that time. He is of Irish origin (common in Liverpool, I understand).

        I learned recently that some English people-even rather liberal people-still view Cromwell in a positive light (Churchill for all his Imperialism actually didn’t). Is it shocking that somebody of Irish origins is positive enough on Oliver Cromwell to have a “mixed opinion” rather than seeing the man as a horrible tyrant?

        For me it was culture shock to find out that there are actually English people who view Cromwell as a hero….my understanding was always that while Cromwell committed his worst atrocities in Ireland, that he was a military dictator, ISIS/Taliban like fanatic, and horrific tyrant in England. Am I wrong to be shocked at either of those things?

        • I’m echoing Graces concerns here and saying that what happens in Britain has inevitably a major effect on Ireland. There’s no way we can shut ourselves off.

          The project of a united Ireland is much more likely to stick and occur with minimal violence if Britain is closely aligned or in the EU, through a stage of dual sovereignty than if the UK is in post Brexit chaos and looking for a distracting fight.

          • There’s no way to make the Irish sea wider in the foreseeable future, I’m afraid. Sad reality is that while Ireland can become independent and maybe even united, Britain (maybe a Scottish or even English Republic sometime?) remains nearby.

        • Yeah that is my view too, on whatever level it is Britain’s concern. It is going to be ugly and worse but the ROI and Ireland can’t do the heavy lifting only British people can do. Best outcome? Five ten years from now the UK rejoins EEA/EFTA anc the SM and CU.

          • One other $64,000 question. Will Britain (or maybe a Republic of England someday?) rejoin the EU eventually?

            It is true that Ireland simply cannot do Britain’s heavy lifted, that shouldn’t even be a question really. Problem is, that the English may be very, very ill prepared to do it, even though they obviously must. While Britain is as well educated as any other developed country, I’m getting the sense that history, culture, and socialization have left them rather unprepared for anything like this.

            • I suspect that the UK’s – or England’s – antipathy to the EU will keep it out of Europe’s ambit for many, many years to come. I think closer cooperation with Europe will become a bitter debating point in UK politics for decades to come. And a badge of identity depending on which side of the debate one falls. The US analogy of culture war divisions, however facile and missing the deeper underlying conditions giving rise to political bifurcation, is probably apt.

              • It’s hard to know the what the next 10 years will look like for the UK until we know the results of the next election. Not saying the pessimism is misplaced, but I’d rather wait until the Tories are re-elected to yield to it.

                Any Brexit that warrants such pessimism is going to create majorities for a UI and an independent Scotland. As they leave and join the EU, Wales will eye them and will unshackle themselves from a sinking Brexit England, vote for independence and rejoin the EU.

                Is that even the UK anymore? Where do they keep their nuclear submarines? Today their navy is barely a handful of frigates, what will it be under the reduced financial constraints a pessimistic Brexit brings? Does such a reduced England merit a Security Council seat? Will the EU/BRIC wear that for long? Would they permit England another Suez in Ireland, anywhere?

                Even if the Tories are re-elected they will be negotiating with the EU for years, not really going to invade an EU member during that process. And c’mon, the EU is not going to stand for it ever, it would be the end of it.

                Moving my prediction for England to somewhere between Claire North’s 84k and Richard Morgan’s Market Forces.

              • Couldn’t the Henry VIII-Elizabeth I roadmap do a little better. That England has “said itself out of Europe” before but inevitably a next generation will want back in. (Reminds me of my dog when her door has to be closed in extreme weather!).

                I doubt the US “cultural wars” is apt as 75% of that can be chalked up to regional rivalry-most of the “conservative” side of cultural wars speaks with a Southern drawl it tries to mask but always reveals under pressure. I’m not sure England’s regional divides are remotely as much of a factor. It seems that the English divide is very generational-which goes with the Henry VIII “they’ll want back in sooner than you think” theory.

              • What the UK does over the next decade will have huge impacts.

                By their Brexit, if it happens, this will accelerated the conditions for a United Ireland. It will also I suspect give rise finally to an independent Scotland.

                But already in the lead up to this the negative economic headwinds are being felt whereby in Scotland, the absolutely huge whisky industry exporting £4.65 billion a year is under attack from the US where a 25% tariff has been levied to compensate for UK subsidy given to Airbus. With this anticipated to occasion a 4.4% reduction in total of all Scotch production within twelve months one can see how every type of job from growing grain, distilling, bottling, labeling, packaging, transportation, advertising and more can be impacted.

                Or what of the cross border finishing work where maybe Swedish vodka comes to Scotland for bottling and re-export. Could that be impacted too by being out of, and hostile to Europe. Or what either of Irish whiskey of which there is a distiller in NI.

                But it’s not just drink. What of food produce. Beef, lamb, pork, salmon, seafood et al. All foods that are currently produced in Scotland. With a great reputation Scottish branding sells. However, in recent months some of the major supermarkets, or at least a couple of them who have over the years been resistant to Scottish Independence have been indulging in an orgy of emblazoning fresh meat, be it beef, lamb, pork, chicken in Union Jack livery.

                And it’s not just fresh meat either as they ditch identifying Scottish produce.

                No doubt all part of Johnson’s recently declared plan to cover Scotland in Union Jacks where ever their is a UK interest, and incidentally to disbar Scotland’s First Minister from attendance at an international climate change conference in Glasgow, such actions seem predicated on the desire to destroy and submerge Scotland the brand. How this will all play out in the court of public opinion remains to be seen because in Scotland there is little love of Union Jackery.

                But in the meantime, Scottish industry is under threat from a hostile UK Government and one does not need to be reminded how not so long ago with the BSE crisis, British beef’s reputation, and its farmers, were in absolute tatters.

                If it’s got a Jack put it back someone recently said to me in a supermarket. But I digress save to say Scottish branding is currently under threat – at least from two of the big supermarkets who incidentally are not performing too well, with one up for sale.

                So maybe a couple of examples of where Brexit or pre Brexit is impacting on Scotland and potential drivers for an independent Scotland.

                The economy and jobs are key crucials – and a huge influencer of people and their politics.

                Austerity and a decade of stagnant if not declining living standards, has I believe, played a huge part in encouraging the lumpen to rally round their failed Britannic Empire brand – and it will all end in tears in s race to the bottom.

                But to conclude, when I was a child I recall my mother saying of a cheap poor quality generic brand of clothing. And it’s name ………….Empire Brand!

                Too young to remember if it had a Union Jack.

  6. civic-critic

    The referendum was called by the British ruling class, it is they who have done this. You can think that was a mistake, that’s what the narrative tells us to think. Or you could think this was done deliberately.

    The British ruling class understand contingency. Contingency is when you reject principle and choose a path based not on an intellectual aesthetic (principle) that you feel obliged to, locked into, but rather choose to suit yourself regardless of whether it goes against what everyone is telling you is the trend of history that you should be following.

    In other words your choice of contingency over principle may look like a step backwards, not in tune with ‘the inevitability of progress’.

    The awake and the wilful choose contingency, empires choose contingency. The subject, the guilty choose principle, to avoid the reproach of a bad conscience.

    In other words contingency is cynicism and worldliness.

    The British ruling class have chosen contingency. This has upset many people who are confused by it and their confusion is leading to all sorts of rationalisations and interpretations.

    The bottom line is that the British ruling class have chosen this path and this is increasingly dangerous to us on this island, as it has been for centuries.

    • I don’t doubt that the British public school crowd did all you say. However, a working class lower income voter who voted for this and the remainders who didn’t bother (presume some had extenuating circumstances) to vote shouldn’t get a free pass. They are still responsible for the decision they made.

      • civic-critic

        Well I was speaking objectively rather than morally. The British ruling class decided when to have the referendum and they decided the question that was asked. Everyone else just had to turn up and give a tick as to their opinion. Who then is really controlling this?

        • If enough Leave voters changed their minds or non-voting remainders had gotten their lazy butts to the poll, a different outcome is 100% possible!!!

  7. Introducing barriers, removing the frictionless movement of goods and services, will without doubt hurt industry of every hue from farming to tech..The supply chain of parts, part manufactured parts, and produce for finish is more developed than folks realise. A vodka distilled in Sweden could be bottled, labeled and packaged in Scotland.

    Similarly car parts undoubtedly cross the border many times before the cars maybe do. What then for the Nissan, Toyota, Honda, JLR et al. Will being out of Europe assist. Or of the aeroplane bits manufactured in NI.

    Or what of NI Trade across the water. Some 56% of NI Trade ( or £18.1 bn ) passes between NI and GB whereas only 16% trade between NI and ROI. What now as a customs border between NI and GB emerges. Certainly won’t help trade although it will maybe, just maybe, cause the flag waving unionists to wonder what is going on. Or vice versa the republican movement to think.

    So what drives Brexit. Will it cause less economic cake but a greater percentage more for the minority elites. The Brits after all kept Ireland poor whilst the elites prospered. Could history repeat as the UK recreates it’s own twenty first century peasants. Maybe this is the true driver of Brexit and all supported by a lumpen English electorate who hate foreigners of all hues.

    Separated from the EU one has to wonder if the lumpen have ever truly considered what their supremacist Britannic desires will actually deliver. A race to the bottom with low wages, reduced worker protection, and reduced investment in a sweat shop UK run by elites – or a restored Britannia once again ruling the waves.

    I know what I think and it would be Interesting if ASF could maybe do a commentary on how It sees the economies of NI, the ROI and indeed the rUK developing in the future.

    After all, when you look past the important issues of national identity, mutual respect and fairness – it’s all about jobs and the economy.!

    So how do you ASF see things from an economic perspective?

    • civic-critic

      If the British working class are by far the majority then why would they tolerate being exploited in this extreme way that everyone seems to think is about to happen with Brexit? Do people think the British working class – simultaneously advanced and backward – are going to be fooled in the 21st century by Edwardian pretensions and aristocratic propaganda?

      Perhaps they will be. Or perhaps not. They will have the opportunity not to be at least.

      This talk about the car industry and the damage the Brexiters are allegedly doing to themselves – the car industry over the next 20-30 years is probably going to be transformed so that it will no longer exist as it currently does. Or will have a large chunk of it distributed, decentralised.

      Cars can be 3d printed in modular form using local manufacturing. Micro-smelting will allow even the raw materials to be smelted, alloyed and prepared in a decentralised manner free from the massive structural and capital requirements which currently dominate. There is an industrial revolution going on that is only beginning in its transformative aspects and most people don’t seem to have taken that on. Perhaps the British ruling class have.

      • Civic-critic. The British working class are neither simultaneously advanced nor backward. Rather many, but not all are lumpen and to a substantial part born of the misplaced arrogance of the legacy of an imperial past. It is an arrogance, an iignorance not altogether unknown in certain communities in Ireland.

        But the economy, and the security of jobs matter. These are important issues and are key crucial in most communities. Analysis of the economic impact is something therefore that I’d like to see debated. Jobs are as important, if not more important, than naked political considerations.

        It’s a subject that cannot, and should not be dismissed with comments that 3D printers will in a decentralised manner allow localised smelting in 20 to 30 years.

        56% ( or £ 18.1 bn ) of NI trade is with GB and 16% is with the ROI. So what are the impacts of change, how are they to be managed, mitigated or optimised. It’s a key question and something that affects us al – and it’s something I’d like to see ASF comment on.

        • civic-critic

          “It’s a subject that cannot..be dismissed …I’d like to see…”

          I’m not dismissing anything, I’m telling you what’s going to happen. Just as over 10 years ago on a number of websites I said what was going to happen in terms of what we’re seeing now. The response then too was ‘NO, NO, NO…’

          3d printing will not do the smelting, the micro-smelting will be done using phononic manipulation via nanotechnology. Then almost anything will be able to be constructed via 3d printing, sintering, ultrasonic welding or injection moulding via local manufacturing.

          It is a testament to the utter uselessness of the upper middle class trash running Ireland and elsewhere that these technologies are not being explored and adopted at 10x or 100x the pace they currently are. The FG and FF cockroaches are too interested in land and property enrichment. This of course will be their undoing as just like the aristocracy of old during the time of the French Revolution, their social utility has been surpassed by social, economic and technological development and they will go down, mewling and fighting, to a superior way of doing things that is currently gathering pace.

          • Fair enough civic critic. Change and deployment over the next 20 to 30 years could be immense. Maybe in 30 years machines will be in charge. Maybe the machines will have gotten rid of humans and FF and FG will be no more. What a utopian future, no Ireland, no Scotland and best of all no British Empire, or at least no humans who cause so much trouble and environmental chaos.

            But we live in the here and now and need to be dealing with that. Our economies and the prosperity of our people are under threat with changes underway. The UK under austerity has seen the living standards of the majority reduced over recent years, and Brexit is now another string to make that worse, whilst the elites prosper.

            What do we see as the ways to reverse these negative issues and maximise opportunities.

            Or what of working conditions. The EU introduced extensive worker protections, the Aquired Rights Directive ( or TUPE) , the Working Time Directive, Maternity Leave Rights, the right to appeal to the ECJ. What now in the immediate future for NI if Westminster passes it’s Great Reform Bill to reverse these protections.

            All considerations that require just that – consideration and debate in the immediate here and now.

            ASF provides some sharp commentary on the politics, as do many of the commentators. So how do we all see the economy playing out in the immediate to longer future. And Civic Critic, do you think we could get robots to replace FF and FG?

            • civic-critic

              We must go to direct democracy. That is the long and the short of it. All this worrying about ‘the economy’ and discussion about GDPs and all the rest of it – how much of that has anything to do with anyone’s life in terms of what they actually have to say about it? What any of us have to say by way of input? It’s mostly a load of diversionary waffle peddled by the class that rules to make people think they have some effect on politics and the economy, which the vast majority of us don’t. It’s a fantasy peddled by the papers and the TV news, indulged in across a million breakfast tables and pub discussions, seminars and lectures. It amounts to nothing, a pure distraction for the masses.

              Direct democracy and local manufacturing, including genuine ownership of the finance system, if one is needed, by the people. Everything else is waffle and illusion peddled by the bourgeoisie and their party political talking shops.

              There comes a time when you must put aside politics – party politics that is – and understand it was all a game and a time-wasting illusion designed to extract your time and your labour while keeping you fooled. That game is now becoming more deadly, in terms of working conditions and the drive to war and can no longer be indulged.

  8. On the multiplicity of identity, by the Northern Irish writer, Jan Carson, who is from a Protestant and unionist background.

    “… I think the complex set of identities is an almost perfect metaphor for the Northern Ireland I’ve experienced post-Good Friday Agreement. The space afforded by the agreement has allowed me to construct my own idea of what it means to be Northern Irish. I can have both a British and Irish passport. I can be British and also immensely proud to be counted as an Irish writer. I can try to contribute something worthwhile to both the British and Irish cultural cannon and also endeavour to have a voice within the wider, international conversation. I can find similarities and points of empathy with the experiences of those who’ve been raised differently from me, yet still retain a unique sense of my own cultural identity. I am not less because I am a multiplicity of different things. I honestly believe I am more.”

    • civic-critic

      Middle class waffle. The material basis for this sentimental indulgence was the partition of Ireland and the requirement, as unionists lose their majority, for some waffling rationalising for the purposes of saying ‘don’t do anything, don’t cause any trouble’. The damage to the ability of Ireland as a nation to proceed and develop – a damage renewed every day and massive in its destruction over a century and now renewing the destabilisation of the island all over again – appears no-where in this middle-class sentimental indulgence.

      British geostrategic imperatives will drive over her holding-pattern waffle as and when required.

      • Yeah maybe she’s a writer on The Derry Girls or Rab C Nesbitt, I should have checked. Or, who knows, she could even be a product of 3d printing, micro-smelting, phononic manipulation or nanotechnology. I’m far too trusting. It’s always been a fault of mine. I should read more si-fi.

  9. On the contrary, it should be obvious to remainers that the State and its tools are endeavouring not to leave the EU. Bojo etc are part of that said State. What Johnston is pushing now is for leavers to finally accept Terry Mays previously rejected deal which was a fake brexit. Conditioning them towards the notion that ‘all will be lost’ if they don’t run with Johnstons deal is part of game.

    • civic-critic

      I suspect what the British are doing is negotiating from a position of strength within the EU for as long as they can. Their position appears to be that they have decided to put themselves in a position to assert greater independence at some coming stage but not yet. They are putting themselves in a position to be in a position to leave.

      Because they are realigning with the US as strains in the NATO reltaionship appear and as the issue of trans-Atlantic trade and military allies takes on a more critical form. They are choosing the English-speaking world.

      That was a decision by the British ruling class not the people, the people were merely allowed to rubber-stamp it. That’s my suspicion anyway.

      The elevation of the DUP to hold the balance of power at the only moment in 100 years they were relevant – during negotiations over Ireland and Britain’s future strategic posture vis-a-vis Ireland and Europe – by the slimmest of majorities and just ‘by chance’ – at just this moment – seems a piece of credulousness too far. Apparently I am alone on this, everyone else seems to have swallowed this highly suspicious occurrence without comment. That’s because people are not thinking strategically and are thinking and repeating the analyses they read in the newspapers and on TV, which aren’t going to say a singly word about the strategic aspects of the current situation.

      The British have re-activated the issue of partition 5 years before it was going to appear and have done so as a spring, a trap in fact, giving them the appearance of operating democratically while silently calculating strategically and cynically destabilising our island in advance of most people’s readiness for it.

      In other words, straight out of the playbook of Irish history.

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