SDLP to feed a key NI perspective into the EU’s negotiations with the UK?

So what to make of the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland?

To get the big one out of the road first, no one is going back to war. In fact of all the parts of the UK Northern Ireland is probably the calmest and the least hysterical, and as Newton Emerson put it last night, least embarrassing.

There’s been no substantive response from the administration. The Executive has yet to meet and figure out how it will respond. Sinn Fein and the DUP may find themselves on either side of a binary divide, but this move leaves the current programme for government in tatters.

The UUP leader came out strongly in favour of Remain and along with Alliance is responsible for helping it poll a majority of the sentiment. But the fragmentation of opinion within its ranks and in its base probably accounts for the narrowness in the margin of that win.

Sinn Fein as a party decided to go on the offensive, north and south, over the question of holding a border poll. But it was a jarring contribution to a conversation south of the border more focused on the existential threat to the all-island economy and east-west trade.

Alliance played their own part along with the Greens in keeping North Down and South Belfast in particular in the Remain camp. Naomi Long, as Pete noted, has been a reality checker on some of the wilder notions emerging in the immediate aftermath of the result.

The SDLP’s response has been more measured and focused on developing “a firm determination to protect the Irish national interest”, emphasising the need to ensure that any new borders or barriers must “now be around the island of Ireland, not across it”.

Our own Derek Mooney writing for Broadsheet.ie yesterday picked up Eastwood’s rhetoric, and ran with it:

We need to recognise that despite differences in identity, that Northern Ireland has and will continue to have a great deal of economic and social common interest with the Republic.

To give expression to this common interest the Irish Government to needs to fashion an all-island EU strategy and use its seat at the Council of the European Union to champion the interests of Northern Ireland, particularly the border regions, along with the interests of the 26 counties.

The government should start reaching out now to civic society across the North to become its connection to the EU and should formalise these relationships, perhaps initially through re-establishing the Forum on Europe on an all island basis.

Derek’s party leader Micheál Martin underlined his final point: ie to begin building relationships with other smaller nations once Ireland’s erstwhile EU wingman, the UK, has withdrawn from that supra-national relationship. Chiefly, any future independent Scotland:

I and my party believe that it would be unacceptable for Scotland to be treated as a normal candidate country should it seek to remain as a member of the EU.

It currently implements all EU laws.  It manifestly would not need to be reviewed for its standards of governance and ability to implement EU laws.

It has a strong administration, a distinct legal system and an absolute commitment to European ideals,” Mr Martin told an emergency Dáil debate on the outcome of the EU referendum.

Scotland is strong enough to advocate for itself, but Ireland should be its friend and demand fair play should it seek to remain in the EU.

So can we expect relations in Ireland to begin to shift in parallel though not necessarily in concert with the shifting relations between London and the EU? Well yes, but probably nothing as sudden or as jolting as the border poll advocated by Sinn Fein.

Martin was keen to point out that what Scotland does is Scotland’s business, not Ireland’s. Yet Northern Ireland is almost certain to be a subject the Irish government will be keen to see prioritised in the EU’s bilateral negotiations with the UK government once Article 30 begins.

And the SDLP, rather more than Sinn Fein (who sit in voluble opposition both to the current minority government and Fianna Fail as the largest opposition party), will want to assert themselves as the key Northern Ireland player in feeding into the EU end of that process.

, , , , ,

  • Kevin Breslin

    Because Sinn Féin don’t show up, I am really hoping for an SDLP-Herman-Kinehan coalition at Westminster to look after the people’s interests here, rather than the national fantasies of the DUP which have largely been proven overly optomistic.
    I feel The DUP may be in disarray, this is going to put a wedge in their government relationship, this is going to drive the state of Northern Ireland into more risk and less certainty and stability, not that that is necessarily an unnatural thing. Entropy always increases, it’s a universal law.

    I am quietly optimistic that as an opposition party in two chambers the SDLP will be revitalised to examine the challenge. They’re a younger party and they need to show their strengths against this.

    They must know they were going to be rejected by the people on this position, so now they have to face a big portion of serenity.

    To make things worse for the DUP, they’ve been allied with people in Leave NI who do not realise if or when the UK leaves in 2019 all the NHS promises, the migration promises, the promises around customs posts not coming in and the impression that global investment is being kept out because an EU flag is put up instead of a Union flag were completely without any focus. It was just deluded nationalists who don’t really understand independence.

    Perhaps those who hated the European Union and are now shown to be plan-less after complaining that the European Union was trying to “tell them what to do”, are showing a complete inability to think for themselves so much so they would let the EU do that.

    The leaders of the Vote Leave campaign show the people within it it are beyond reform as they’ve shown themselves quite conservative (go figure Conservatives being conservative?), lacking initiative and ingenuity in the face of adversity, and after lying to the people about pretty much everything in their campaign has no democratic accountability. I feel they are even begging for bureaucrats at home to fix things.

    Pretty much ironically everything they accuse the EU of.

    Perhaps this old familiar quote best sums it up …

  • Gopher

    If political parties could be football teams the SDLP would be England. They believe earnestly that because they had former glory they should just turn up and win elections. But as was seen last night with England there is no direction except that look back to better days. Wash, rinse and repeat.

  • murdockp

    Watching the DUP back slapping each other on the morning of the Brekxit announcement was one of the creepiest photos I have ever seen.

    A people with such hatred for anyone who is not them that they were proud to be unleashing financial suffering on innocent people who live in NI and beyond.

    I used to think Arlene was competent, now I realise she is only there to represent DUP interests, she like Margaret Thatcher is not even giving a seconds thought to the unleashing economic hardship on working people including her own which makes her callous and cruel.

    That said, having an extreme person at the wheel, makes her and her party look ridiculous in the eyes of the world, I applaud that.

    I am still struggling to see how the DUP who fought to have ulster scots enshrined in the Northern Ireland Act 1998, have backed the English rather than the Scots on Brexit, that I will never comprehend.

  • Zorin001

    Arlene was DETI minister long enough to see just how much EU funding the province receives and how much that helped attract FDI. There is no way that the Exchequer will match that funding, they will be most likely be pumping money into the regions of England that voted leave to keep them sweet. Once again the DUP show they can do tactics but then can’t do strategy.

    For someone who is supposed to fight for the Union she’s done massive damage to it to satisfy the DUP base, I have a feeling she was trying to pull a Boris; back Leave but secretly hoping for a narrow Remain win.

  • On the fence!

    “A people with such hatred for anyone who is not them”

    Go and catch yerself on, and what do you think is behind the Scottish nationalist vote, without which there wouldn’t even be the slightest excuse to question the outcome of the referendum, other than sheer hatred of the English?

    The continued hypocrisy of “remain” is just staggering!

  • murdockp

    your hardly on the fence.
    My point is not whether Brexit is right or wrong. my point is 56% of Northern Ireland voted for remain and these guys are literally popping champagne in celebration and failing to stand up for the wishes of the NI majority, they are our government in case you had forgotten.
    This in the knowledge that our economy is weak and requires EU support across many industries just to tick over, never mind grow all these props are now going to be removed.
    They are literally blinkered lunatics. Or maybe they believe God will come to our rescue.

  • On the fence!

    Did I say I supported them??????

    No, merely pointing out yet another layer of hypocrisy in “remain”.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Nice piece. Articulate, calm and positive. The other quick point I’d make is that the remain vote here was significantly lower than was forecast at the start of the campaign. At one point NI was even ahead of Scotland in terms of pro-remain. So the leave arguments were compelling for many. And not just ‘Unionists’.

    There is no need for panic on the remain side. The UK exit will be calm and considered – unlike the EU’s reaction. The market reaction was knee-jerk, but it, also is calming today and even Sterling has rallied. I’m off to London this afternoon – but I hope to write a piece here early next week.

  • Msiegnaro

    Your point is nothing but hatred, scaremongering and general nonsense.

  • Msiegnaro

    Are you saying if Sinn Fein don’t get their way on this we will be returning to the troubles?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Good informative piece, Mick. I wonder if the relative calmness in NI is because “the integrity of the quarrel”, which as Churchill famously observed has survived apocalyptic World Wars, still cocoons NI politics to some extent from the full impact bigger national and international issues? The steaming beverage of a big outside issue is always decanted into a Northern Ireland container, with the tepid remnants of our half-finished tea in it.

  • murdockp

    I don’t think so.
    I have never taken a side in Northern Ireland in 30 years and have never voted for any party who does not represent middle ground. Calling what I observe unfolding is not hatred, I cam calling it what it is.
    There is also no Scaremongering, UK Tax revenues are going to fall significantly as it falls into recession a situation which all the economists from all leading banks are not only forecasting but building into their risk positions. The chancellor has just stated an emergency budget is required that will result in tax increases and spending cuts. Hundreds of millions of EU funds will be withdrawn from NI and probably similar amounts from Westminster, this is fact, not scaremongering.
    As for general nonsense, everything I have said and observed, is unfolding as we speak. OK my language is direct but all this and more it is happening now.

  • murdockp

    It is the hypocrisy of leave that is staggering

  • Msiegnaro

    So we are being held to ransom, a UK wide vote will not be respected and as a result we will return to violence?

  • murdockp

    Both communities are about to suffer here and the DUP instead of taking centre ground to secure the best future they can for all people in line with the democratic will for the NI people, are taking a fringe position. This is unacceptable.
    I am hoping sense prevails in Brussels and London as it is unlikely to prevail here.

  • Sharpie

    Probably related to a complacent low turn again by Nationalists.

  • Reader

    murdockp: have backed the English rather than the Scots on Brexit, that I will never comprehend.
    Are those the only two options? Then I have to assume that you backed the Scots. I wouldn’t have seen you as an Ulster-Scots supporter before now.
    Actually, the Scots didn’t decide for themselves – they backed the SDLP. However, the SDLP didn’t decide for themselves – they backed Plaid Cymru. I think Plaid Cymru tossed a coin, unless they were slavishly following Cameron.
    Or you could just assume that various parties made their own decisions in a two way split and ended up in strange company.

  • kensei

    We need to be careful about “no is going back to war”. This decision on it’s own will not lead to renewed stability. Usually it’s a succession of bad decisions that lead to instability – and not all of them seem bad at the time. We really need to be alive to how badly this could go wrong. It only takes a small number of committed individuals and a hardcore of support to create a lot of problems. And we have an awful lot of headers.

    SF basically have to call for a border poll, but for what’s worth, they should have called for (and caused, if needed) an election. The mandate that is a few months old is basically useless – everything is changed. We need strong advocates for NI meaning in Europe and we need a cross party plan in order to give us the strongest position in future negotiations. Having the Out DUP in the lead position is a disaster – even if they are still returned the largest party, and election would force them to respond to a pro EU position.

    Once that process runs it’s course, a border poll can be talked about, and there might be a few more friends for it.

  • kensei

    Sinn Fein will not be returning to the Troubles. I know in your head you think they rule Nationalist areas like Stalin’s USSR, but that’s not actually the case.
    That does not mean we can’t create situations where those who call for violence will get an ear.

  • On the fence!

    I’ve no problem with direct language but more detail as per the post above is helpful.

    “Blinkered lunatics”, the SNP are miles ahead of the DUP in this respect. They’re probably where the DUP were about 20 years ago only getting worse whereas the DUP bless them are improving, the pace may be glacial, but they’re getting there.

    Stock markets and currency markets are improving as we speak but there is still a lot of nervousness surrounding European stocks and shares as the Greek situation is due another crisis and they’re starting to look at that already. Maybe the UK can benefit a bit from our stated intention to “leave” but it may be too soon for that advantage yet, still you never know with markets.

    Osbornes deficit reduction plan was in tatters anyway, he now has the perfect scenario whereby he can tighten the screw further in the next budget and blame a campaign which he had no part in. He’s not going to run for leader so you’d assume he’ll plan on staying at 11 for a while.

    Now even you don’t agree with any of that, can you not at least see that none of us are benefiting from “remains” continued negativity. Unless you’re allied to the cause of nationalism to the degree that you want things within the UK to be as bad as possible, and that aspiration is no better that even the nastiest elements within “leave”.

  • murdockp

    I am self employed, I want stability. But let us deal in facts.
    Hundreds of millions will be withdrawn from the NI economy. We have no Economic strategy to speak of, the DUP will not publically acknowledge the Irish Republic as our most important trading neighbour. The ROI will continue to soak up the lions share of FDI,
    I am not talking this down, I am calling it how it is and trading as I am in NI, does not look good in the medium to Long term. Short term I can deal with.

  • On the fence!

    So am I!

    Europe is a basket case and it’s getting worse, few of us are going to have any betterment until the EU closet of skeletons gets opened and dealt with. Ideally, the referendum result will hasten this process. At worst, they let it continue to fester with the potentially disastrous consequences increasing monthly but with the UK gradually easing itself further from it.

    But I would prefer the former, a healthy Europe would benefit us all.

  • Declan Doyle

    Republican areas produced some of the highest remain majorities in the north with Martin o Muilleoir in particular arguing a clear and unequivocal case against Brexit. Refusing to acknowledge Sinn Fein’s role in delivering such a clear majority in favour of Remain is simply churlish and disengenuous.

    Now we have the likely hood of Scottish Independence along with border controls between the two islands rather than along the irish internal border. Both prospects dismissed by yourself only days ago with a little arrogance attached.

    The call for a border poll by SF was just as snappy as the SNP’s reaction but with very different responses from opponents. Maybe reflecting the fear of SF’s continued growth rather than any real fear that a quick poll might actually take place. The call was valid in that the option has to be on the table moving forward should the UK continue to slide and Scotland votes to leave the UK. Ignoring the potential for a sudden surge in support for Irish Unity off the back of Brexit is plain irresponsible. Had SF not have called for a border poll they would have opened themselves up to accusations of going soft on unity and would have left the goal wide open for dissidents to score.

    The SDLP will hopefully play a key role in the coming talks but be under no illusion , SF will not sit back and it’s half a million voters on this island would not wish them too either. Both nationalist parties have eggs in the race with the subtext of the SDLP’s pronouncement to date clearly one of robustly opposing forcing the North out of europe. Should nationalism awake the SDLP will not oppose calls for a border poll.

    It remains to be seen if the Brexit vote has managed to wake nationalists from their slumber. The fact that so few bothered to vote suggests their apathy might be directed towards British elections rather than against nationalist politics itself.

    A truly independent opinion poll on where people are at regarding Irish Unity might help clarify things a little. As for Brexit, nothing in the behaviour of the UK government over the last few weeks suggests that NI priorities will figure in the negotiations with Europe over the coming months and years.

    Unionism has backed the wrong horse. Like Turkeys voting for Christmas the DUP have knifed the UK mortally. Carried away and blinded by recent election successes Unionism has over egged it’s strength and abilities, and completely forgotten how the cyclical nature of political ascendency can flip fortunes suddenly. Again Unionism has helped to damage the Union.

  • chrisjones2

    “Northern Ireland has and will continue to have a great deal of economic and social common interest with the Republic.”

    Totally agree and that cuts both ways so assume we will have Ireland’ s support in a sensible post Brexit deal. And in any case Colm needs to understand that Ireland’s interest lies in the British / Irish dimension not the NI / Republic one

    As for ” I and my party believe that it would be unacceptable for Scotland to be treated as a normal candidate country should it seek to remain as a member of the EU.” that is a matter for you but Scotland first needs to run its negotiations and referendum on exit from the UK . Until then it has no locus to negotiate with the EU

  • chrisjones2

    “Now we have the likely hood of Scottish Independence along” Really? We will see if Scots vote with their hearts or their wallets

    “Maybe reflecting the fear of SF’s continued growth ”

    You seemed to have missed the last election. They are slipping back. Moribund at best in de Nurth

    “Like Turkeys voting for Christmas the DUP have knifed the UK mortally. ” What a mixed metaphor. Well we will see. The UK will emerge stronger better and independent from the EU – and NI with it.

  • chrisjones2

    Another Republican masturbatory fantasy that leads like a political tract from the Communist Party (Tooting Central Collective) circa 1957

    You could be a Corbyn speechwriter if you tried

  • chrisjones2

    Did Gerry not send for help from the West to sort out the wrong opinions? Have they slipped that far?

  • Kevin Breslin

    A sensible Brexit deal requires sensible British politicians, the only politician I see showing any sense in the UK government so far is the Prime Minister who’s quit.

  • chrisjones2

    Unionism have done. You just dont like democracy

  • chrisjones2

    Clue…. Ulster Scots was a spoof to send up Irish. You want funding then we want funding too

  • chrisjones2

    Hatred? Sure wee Nicola is being held hostage by the Ultra Nats in her own party. She wants a new referendum like a hole in the head and her fear must be that she will get one, win it and see Scotland in penury in 10 years time with her carrying the can

  • Declan Doyle

    SF vote share in the South went up by 40% with a seat bounce of 70% . If that’s slipping back then they will want to slip back even more in the future. Their position as lead Nat party in the north is solid despite falling turnout in elections. Something that brexit night actually reverse. England will indeed do well outside Europe; the region’s not so much. Scottish polling in the immediate aftermath of Brexit show a huge surge toward independence. But as you say, we’ll see.

  • submariner

    Absolute nonsense the UK has never been more divided Brexit has been a game changer. Unless some sort of deal can be cobbled together then the Scots will vote to leave the UK and leave England to wallow is the right wing racist cesspit it has become.

  • Kevin Breslin

    SDLP, Alliance, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Green Parties, Irish Labour Party, Social Democrats, the Anti-Austerity Alliance, pretty much every party with a mandate within Ireland North and South, think that Sinn Féin’s demands for a border poll are too soon.

    This isn’t a partisan cause, Sinn Féin are at risk of making it one. They need to listen to the people of the island of Ireland here.

    Sinn Féin are not even in a position like the SNP are where they have a critical say in devolved government based on their record.

    If there is an Irish unity debate, the de facto leader of that debate would have to be Enda Kenny, not Gerry Adams.

    For me, If I wanted to show the public that I could stop hard borders within Ireland, I would try to tackle the hard borders in Belfast called peace-walls.

  • chrisjones2

    Be careful …..your usual racist knickers are on show again

  • chrisjones2

    But can you remind me how much they fell back in the North – was it 7%?

  • Msiegnaro

    I’m not the person stating that the troubles will return.

  • chrisjones2

    Drool, drool, droll

  • Msiegnaro

    We’re still leaving the EU, that is what the people of the UK voted for 🙂

  • submariner

    Police have confirmed this shocking incident of racial abuse took place on a tram in Manchester early this morninghttps://t.co/DsqtAhb0dJ— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) June 28, 2016

    Indeed

  • Kevin Breslin

    The Principle of Consent has the Freedom to Dissent with it.

  • Declan Doyle

    Of course it’s too soon. But u are missing the point. SF had to come out with such a call knowing full well it would be knocked back immediately. Imagine they had said nothing? How many posts on here would be goading and taunting the party that they were rowing back on their commitment to Irish Unity?

    Irish Unity is the last thing on the agenda, the main point is that brexit has put it on the table even if people are afraid to say as much. Also, it remains to be seen exactly what the Scots do. The SNP certainly do not want to see a couple of hundred thousand angry Unionists landING on their shores due to a positive UI vote, therein destroying their own hopes for independence.

    SF will never, can never deliver irish unity alone. Any move to reunite the country would have to be supported by many of the parties you listed above. No FG leader will ever lead that charge. In the free state FG have shown themselves to be no more than tory puppets.

    In the North,the leaders of the debate will be a mix of people including the leader of SF at the time. Northern Nationalists are far more likely to listen to local talent above any D4 head.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well I said de facto leader just as David Cameron was for the Remain side. 68% of the Conservatives who voted, voted Leave.

  • lizmcneill

    Where are the signs the DUP are improving? The just supported Brexit knowing that it would threaten the stability and economy of NI, rather than work together cross-party and cross-community.

  • Declan Doyle

    I think it was 3% since the last assembly election, all of which went to PBP

  • Reader

    Declan – are you mixing up percentage points with percent in your two posts. Specifically, did you calculate your 40% the same way you calculated your 3%?

  • Skibo

    At last, a bit of honesty. May you live to regret that comment.

  • Skibo

    Here is a solution of you. Dismantle Stormont. Move to Joint authority NI benefits from being in the EU with links to ROI and outside the EU with links to the UK. Best of both worlds.
    That way Chris you can stop gargling about SF.

  • Skibo

    The problem with that is the discussions on Brexit deal will not take place in Westminster but at leaders conventions with OFMDFM, Scottish and Welsh FM, Prime Minister and the EU leaders. DUP and SF will have seats SDLP will not.

  • Skibo

    I don’t see Scotland going for a referendum until the negotiations on a Brexit deal are confirmed.

  • Skibo

    Jeffrey, the reaction will have cooled because people are starting to realise that nothing basically changes for at least two years.
    The more pressing issue is the propose investment that has now been put on hold waiting to see what sort of Brexit proposals are finally accepted by both sides.
    Issue will be for UK when she enacts Article 50, the clock starts ticking.

  • Skibo

    Interesting analysis on a call for an election rather than a border poll. SF had to call for a border poll after stating it would be needed if England voted to bring NI out against her will, in full knowledge that they did not have the power to do so.
    To have demanded a Stormont election however would have been in their power by MMG just resigning and refusing to nominate a DFM. So they have appeased the Republican and not angered the population too much by having another election.
    Should the Brexit negotiations raise issues too great for NI to accept, that is the time to resign and run the election as a second referendum to prove again where the people of NI think their best interests lay.
    It will be interesting to see where the UUP would stand in such an election.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It’s not going to work that easy, the SNP have brought in their opposition parties to formulate a United strategy … If our region’s strategy is Marlene and their 10 OFMDFM SPADs (I’m including the junior ministers) improvising in a delegation then they are in a hiding to nothing.

    We all saw what happened with Welfare Reform …

  • mickfealty

    Yes, that and the inbuilt stability of the institutions I think…

  • mickfealty

    Try this Declan…. https://goo.gl/xXNxw7

  • Declan Doyle

    Three years ago?

  • chrisjones2

    Yes then if it gets Independence that will take say 4 years and it will have to enter the EU as a supplicant

  • Katyusha

    If I was in the SNP, I’d want to bundle discussion of a referendum in with the negotiations.

    Let the British negotiate their exit deal; then hold a referendum on whether the Scotish people accept the new trade deal between Britain and the EU, or whether they want continued EU membership and Scottish independence.

    A sensible referendum with the outcome of both options known in advance. It would also have the advantage of maintaining continuity of EU membership, so Scotland don’t need to exit and re-apply again except as a formality.

  • Katyusha

    To give expression to this common interest the Irish Government to needs to fashion an all-island EU strategy and use its seat at the Council of the European Union to champion the interests of Northern Ireland, particularly the border regions, along with the interests of the 26 counties.

    This is interesting. I assume that in order to form EU-focused strategy that includes thr interests of NI, there needs to seats available to NI representatives at whatever forums currently develop this strategy in the south?

    A Northern Ireland remaining in the EU, with an Ireland bloc at EU level which represents both NI and the Republic would be a clever and sensible way to handle this.

  • MainlandUlsterman
  • Declan Doyle

    Oh that’s the one where 35% said they saw the long term future of the North in a UI. I wonder if they are thinking more short term now in the wake of Brexit.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    No, it was “30% in Northern Ireland saying they would like unity in their lifetime.”
    Number for people wanting a united Ireland in short to medium term was 13 per cent. Only a quarter of Catholics wanted it.
    Brexit may make it rise a bit but there’s a natural ceiling there due to the legacy of the IRA campaign – the united Ireland project was very, very damaged indeed by it.

    It is interesting to see the mainstream political nationalist narrative now in Northern Ireland seeking to retrospectively morally normalise Republican violence. Ordinary people in N Ireland in both communities seem to be somewhat less relaxed about political violence.

  • Declan Doyle

    Well ,however people view the troubles is a matter for them and their own conscience, in terms of Brexit and it’s aftermath it is somewhat irrelevant. Twenty years from now most of the population will have had no experience or no memory of tge troubles. A UI might be possible due to Brexit quicker than otherwise expected, or maybe not. It’s all to play for.

  • On the fence!

    When I see the footage of Arlene standing on a podium in front of City Hall shouting “never, never, never”, then I’ll concede that there’s been no progress. But honestly, I don’t think she’s that sort of girl.

  • Skibo

    Chris you need to understand that negotiations on trade will not be between the UK and ROI. IT will be between the EU and the UK. Ireland will be but one voice.

  • Skibo

    A sensible approach. We could have a vote here in the north also if MMG decides it is in our interest to do so. He merely has to step down from from DFM and refuse to appoint a DFM. An assembly election has to then be called.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I don’t think the Troubles will be “somewhat irrelevant” in Northern Ireland for many, many decades – if ever. It is relevant post-Brexit, as it always is. It’s the elephant in every political room in Northern Ireland. So when you say, “A UI might be possible due to Brexit quicker than otherwise expected, or maybe not”, the answer is ‘not’. And the Troubles are one of the big reasons why not.

  • cu chulainn

    The European Community was founded 11 years after the war between countries that had enormous casualties in that war. It is now 22 years after the IRA ceasefire and really NI would want to grow up.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Thing is, Germany 11 years after 1945 wasn’t pretending WW2 was a conflict where everyone acted equally badly and trying to wriggle out of taking the lion’s share of responsibility. I don’t think France would have worn that. A lesson for the Republican Movement after its own failed attempt to redraw the maps perhaps …

  • cu chulainn

    The Germans have a positive attitude to be sure, there are no statues to Hitler. Contrast that with Britain which has statues to those who ruled when mass murder and genocide were committed and who still gives out medals commemorating their blood stained “Empire”. Perhaps they don’t belong in the EU with normal countries after all.

  • chrisjones2

    No I dont but within the EU some decisions have to have a majority vote. Its perfectly up to the ROI to have a side deal with the UK eg on a common travel area and ask for that to be included in the protocols for dissolution

  • chrisjones2

    Then the DUP can refuse to stand too …the SOS will be forced to suspend the process until after BREXIT when the grown ups can have new elections to try and restart the process again. In the meantime we revert to UK direct rule during which time Welfare, Barnett Formula etc will all have been recast

    Bring it on Marty!

  • Skibo

    Sorry but you do. The negotiations will be with the 27. There will be no negotiations of just UK and ROI. The UK has made alot of enemies in the EU and it will only take a few of them to scupper any friendly deal with the UK. All that leads to is an increased timeline as to when a deal can be wrapped up.
    That will cause ripples through industry and take longer for the economy to recover.
    I am in no doubt that the economy will recover and probably end up in the same place. Whether it is actually worth coming out of the EU to be in no better a position and more open to the stresses of trading on the international market was not one that I thought was worth making.
    What the vote has done is put the cooperation of the North and South at risk as people will have to work hard to maintain it. That will increase the bonds across the island and make unity a more feasible solution.

  • Skibo

    CJ, There is nothing to say it would resultDirect rule will not be an option. There will always be some fraction of joint authority. If Stormont goes then the fallback will be the Anglo-Irish agreement.
    Articles two and three were revised on the strength of the GFA so that would be an issue too.
    Getting rid of Stormont would be like taking out a leg of a three legged stool. All will be unstable.
    Do you really think the politicians on both sides are prepared to give up power?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    must be frustrating that NI people haven’t moved on quite as quickly as you expected. It must be their fault.

  • Skibo

    What a nonsensical comment. Europe is not a basket case. Germany is the fourth largest economy, France is the sixth largest economy and Italy is the eighth largest economy in the world. There are areas that do not do so well just as there are areas within the UK that do not do so well.
    WE are a basket case, does that make the UK a basket case?
    The one thing that I cannot understand is how the electorate were convinced that the EU were wasting all their money when the element that the UK pays to the EU is around 1%. What about all the rest of the 99%? Is there any chance that the way the 99% is spent is actually causing all the problems?