Brexit will strengthen the Union

Brexit will strengthen the Union, not weaken it. The vast majority of Scottish & Ulster trade is far and away with the rest of the UK. Scottish trade with the EU is down 20% in the last year with the USA being Scotland’s single biggest export country. The Republic of Ireland accounts for only just over 4% of Northern Ireland sales (which is more than Northern Ireland sales to the rest of the EU put together)

A report from Barclays concludes: “In that environment, Scottish voters could be even less inclined to leave the relative safety of the UK for an increasingly uncertain EU.”

The combined Nationalist vote in Northern Ireland has dropped consecutively in the last 3 election to 36%.

Both Scotland & NI run huge deficits.

Both are subsidised through the barnett formula giving much higher spending per head of population than England.

The price of oil is rock bottom which leaves a huge black hole in the SNP independence referendum numbers.

An “independent” Scotland within the EU is an oxymoron. Scotland would have to vote for independence and then give away powers to the EU and join the Euro.

We now have a Welshman (David Davis) in charge of Brexit & a Scotsman (Dr Liam Fox) as the first UK trade Minister in 40 years which is a prime example that cultural, economic & political ties throughout the UK are much stronger than anything in the undemocratic EU.

Former SNP Deputy Leader Jim Fairlie has stated If the 2IndyRef includes the SNP devotion to the EU, it will split the Nationalist movement

Despite Nationalist politicians being in Brexit denial, the referendum question was “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or Leave the European Union?”. When they put their x in the box, that is the question they were answering – it did not reference constituent parts or regions of the UK.

EU Ballot

Rather than border polls & all-island Brexit forums we should be using existing bodies such as the North-South Ministerial Council, The British-Irish Council and the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly all of which have already held discussions about Brexit.

The latter two include representatives from around the various legislative bodies across the British Isles and as such would provide a much better setting for Unionist engagement in such discussions and avoid duplication as many of the issues affect other parts of the UK.

Indeed their is scope to further enhance these East-West bodies and also strengthen the Common Travel Area and Commonwealth ties.  Indeed Royal Commonwealth Society polling shows strong support for a visa free travel/work bloc between the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. and free trade deals.

There is also scope for genuine much needed constitutional reform in the UK post devolution and recently we have seen Westminister report calling for a new Act of Union, effectively a federal UK.  The Deputy leader of UKIP has previously released a similar plan that would see the House of Lords becoming the UK Parliament.

I have previously written about both a federal UK and a border poll.

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  • Kevin Breslin

    Tell you what, next time you accuse someone of being brainwashed ask yourself …

    “What have I done to be the change I want to see in the world?”

    Perhaps if you took responsibility for own deficiencies as a patriot, maybe you wouldn’t need to insult so many people with a different opinion from yourself for why you are not getting what you want out of life.

    If you are so much of an optimist, if you really believe all this stuff that Brexit is going to do … then live it out.

    Is it not reasonable to assume that the only reason you hate Brexitsceptics so much is the non-delivery of the Leave politicians and the non-delivery of confidence alone to end hardships and anxieties?

    If you trust them give them time, like it or not though, other people don’t trust them, and that’s their prerogative.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    “Making its own decisions” is the reason for the UK to leave the EU in the first place !! 🙂

    By the way, if an independent Scotland wanted to join the EU, it would no longer be making its own decisions! It would also have to accept the dying Euro and get dragged down with the southern European countries. It would also have to accept the waves of Jihadi immigrants being imported into the EU to destroy western society. But if you don’t mind being attacked by an axe wielding immigrant on the train while he shouts “Allahu Akbar” then go for it !

    Germany train axe attack: Live updates as 18 injured after teenage refugee shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and hacked passengers

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’m sorry, but that’s what’s arguments are for. Arguments are a valid form of conversation.

  • Obelisk

    Do you mind if I ask the following questions? IF Scotland leaves the United Kingdom (leaving us at the edge of the union) and IF the polls began suggesting a United Ireland was very likely then what would you like to see in that United Ireland?

    Would you like Stormont preserved? A Federal model for Ireland? What role would you envision England have in a United Ireland?

    The Anglo-Irish agreement ensured that the Republic would be consulted on matters pertaining to Northern Ireland after all…surely it would be fair for Unionists in a hypothetical Ulster region of a UI to expect that England (or why England? Why not Scotland with whom I believe Unionists have a greater kinship?) would have a similar role.
    Would the introduction of the Euro and the introduction of a complete metric system be too off-putting?

    I am genuinely curious to ask these question of someone from a Unionist background whose immediate answer is not ‘it’s not going to happen ever’ as Ian Paisely jnr did earlier this week.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I’d wager that being from a unionist background Bittergreenthumb is well used to our very own localised ‘project fear’, if he can see throughout traditional unionist doom-mongering then he’s probably well equipped to be objective about Brexit.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I’m not meaning it as an insult. I’m just trying to help those people that are tricked my MSM propaganda.

    Bitter, Sorry if you are offended. But I’m just trying to encourage you to turn to more truthful sources for information to avoid being ‘scared’ and manipulated by trickery.

    Kev, “What have I done to be the change I want to see in the world?”

    Seems a bit of a weird question when discussing sources for information. But, I think encouraging people away from MSM propaganda is what I’m doing to help change.

    ” then live it out”

    How can I live out? I’ve no idea what you mean. Seems kinda deeeep maaan 🙂

    “the only reason you hate Brexitsceptics”
    I didn’t say this. Using a strawman really lowers someone’s credibility.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Yep. Plenty tribal fear used in NI.

  • kensei

    The weakest argument is “Scotland and Northern Ireland run huge deficits’

    The UK is running a monumental deficit at the moment and May has signalled she’s willing to worsen it.

  • Kevin Breslin

    SO Brexitsceptism doesn’t bother you, okay well pardon my prejudice. I’ll just carry on regardless.

    I think I can be critical over whatever is out there in the mainstream media … which would undoubtedly include The Express, Sky News and mainstream political leaflets or indeed advertising on the side of buses.

    The best route to extrapolate information is to ask questions.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Apology accepted 🙂

  • Kevin Breslin

    Of course the deficit brings in other issues about national freedom. I’m sure a bi-national debt repayment deal could theoretically be agreed.
    You do have a point that it is more about Political Will than Debt reliance, as if the latter mattered above all else, then a country like Ukraine would rejoin the Russian Federation.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Brexitsceptism doesn’t bother me, but the hype from MSM does. Especially when it is designed to trick the public.
    The avoidance of calling the current mass terrorism ‘Islamic’ or ‘Muslim’ terrorism is a well known example.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Being born and raised in NI I feel Northern Irish. I also believe that power should administered at the lowest possible level. So if/when there is a united Ireland my initial preference would be for Northern Ireland to continue to exist and have some kind of devolved or federal relationship with ROI. Having said that I’d
    be open to discussions about what a New Ireland would look like. Perhaps a UI would involve a new constitution, flag, anthem etc a brand new state and not just NI being grafted on to the existing ROI.

    I wouldn’t imagine England/rUK having any official role or power in the new Irish set up.

  • Obelisk

    What are your feelings on a devolved nine county UIster within a federal state? It wouldn’t be a six country devolution but it would mean a place like Donegal would have more of a say on their future.

    As for a new flag and constitution I am open to this. I personally like the flag of St.Patrick, as I think Saltire’s look very elegant and it would have a commonality with what would be our closest friends in the world, Scotland.

    A lot of scandinavian countries use the same theme for their flags.

    That’s why I am opposed to the flag of St.Patrick being use for Northern Ireland. i suspect that a flag both sides CAN rally too right now would be immediately tarnished in the eyes of too many if it were.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    My change in attitude towards the union since the referendum has little to do with fear of a post-Brexit economy. It was partly about the hypothetical scenario
    of Scotland leaving. If Scotland leave then the UK I was born and raised in no
    longer exists. As well as this the fear mongering and anti-immigrant propaganda fired out by the pro-Brexit campaign was very off putting. That people in England and Wales seemed to buy into this made me feel that if Scotland left I’d just feel less of a connection to the rUK and more of a connection to the rest of Ireland.

    Regarding the “project fear” stuff I think both sides of the Brexit debate were guilty of hyperbole and outright lies (£350m?). But like yourself I sought information from wider sources than the mainstream media before making my decision. When having strong disagreements with others it’s very easy to assume that they are stupid or uniformed. I’m guilty of that myself.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Some kind of devolution or federal system for each of the provinces sounds good to me. Ditto the Flag of St Patrick. I’m pretty open minded about the whole thing. I’ve heard arguments against a federal Ireland because it adds an extra layer of government and therefore cost. A public debate about all this sort of thing would have to be had in advance of any referendum so that people knew exactly what they were voting for and the pros and cons of each option. My worry would be that any debate would go the way the EU ref went and just end up appealing to sectarian/tribal/nationalistic fears.

  • Obelisk

    The harsh truth is that it would be. There are sections of the Unionist electorate who will never be persuaded by the case for unity…and conversely sections of the Nationalist electorate who cannot reconcile themselves to the status quo.

    Inevitably, such a debate will turn sour due to the participation of such individuals. Hopefully though we can restrict how bad it gets.

    However, just because the debate itself maybe unpleasant, it must be had when the time comes and it cannot be ducked.

    As for the federal system, I hear you. My own objection is the same, seems like another layer of government for a small country. I would personally prefer robust county/districts councils with a unitary government in Dublin but I acknowledge some devolutionary settlement maybe required.

    I would prefer an all ireland approach to that settlement though rather than just maintaining Stormont as it is.

  • Simian Droog

    I’m born a “nationalist” but that’s a very fluid definition for me and I’d be more than happy to have a new flag, Anthem, even national colour. I’m tired of the “paddywhackery” associated with it as much as I’m tired of the sectarianism associated with northern flags and emblems. I actually think unification would solve more issues than it would raise, if only we could convince the minority who oppose everything because it would be seen as losing a fight.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I don’t think it strengthens the union at all. Alan makes some good points here about intra-UK trade and the massive importance to NI of markets within the British Isles compared to our other markets. But the union is strong when we are a country we feel happy with, that is regionally strong and that is attractive to people all over the UK. Making the country a less European place, one increasingly ill-at-ease with its own multi-cultural reality, and becoming more Anglo-centric (Brexiteers are by far strongest in England) is not strengthening it.

  • Thomas Barber

    “The avoidance of calling the current mass terrorism ‘Islamic’ or ‘Muslim’ terrorism is a well known example”

    Thats a bit like all those state agents in this part of the world who were allowed to murder and bomb at will but when the s…. hit the fan the puppet master blames the puppet.

    You should check out all those alternative news sources you talk about Im sure you will find more than enough evidence that proves the hidden hand behind the likes of ISIS and the majority of those so called Muslim terror groups are Western governments like Britain and America.

  • OneNI

    Good to see Colum Eastwood has started the back down on the Border Poll. There was a real danger that Michael Martin and Enda Kenny would misled people into thinking this was an idea that was going anywhere!
    A bit like last week and the idea that Scotland or NI had a veto on Brexit!

  • OneNI

    Just because you reject the undemocratic and economic basket case that is the EU doesn’t make the UK ‘less European’. Given that the UK (and the Republic’s) main single export market is the USA I would say becoming more Anglo centric and more rest-of-the-world (ie the growing bit) centric.

    A strong economy will boost the Union- it is also helpful that the idea that we get any money from the EU has been stripped anyway.

    SDLP spokesperson said ‘”90% for farmers income comes from the EU” LOL in reality 90% of farmers income comes from the UK Treasury via Brussels. These deceptions need to end

    Nationalists must also stop the nonsense that “once the EU money stops coming from the EU we wont get it from the Tories/English in London”

    This is basically subliminal racism

  • OneNI

    Yeah but the Scots voted two years ago not to leave and (according to polls Don’t – even after Brexit vote – want a second referendum.
    Any second referendum will likely be after Brexit concluded will Scots Nats vote to leave UK and the EU. No they wont.
    also many Scots Nats see the ludicrious nonsense of even suggesting ‘Indepedence’ is leaving the UK and joining the EU!

  • OneNI

    If you desire a United Ireland work for the Republic rejoining the UK outside the EU. The Republic would have much more influence inside a Independent UK than it will ever have in the EU

  • OneNI

    I think one devolved govt in Dublin would suffice witht the flag of St Patrick replacing the tricolour. Both saltaires are of course part of the Union Flag. Lets remember there are over 650,000 Irish people leaving in GB and several hundred thousand British living in the 26 counties. Also 10% of GB population have at least one Irish grand parent.
    The main trading partner of both UK and Republic is the USA a Reunited outforward facing UK with free trade arrangements with Canada, NZ and Australia would never look back at EU

  • Cagey Feck

    That’s funny! Distrust of Tories = subliminal racism. New one on me!

  • submariner

    Its more like Flegger logic

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t know the person you are attacking but 26% of a farmer’s income come from EU subsidy grants … any other money it gets from the EU come in the form of selling exports to the EU.

    You mentioned the United States, that may be the main export market for goods but it is not the main export market for agri-food products. Forget the trade deals, it is easier for SME farm sellers to enter markets in EU & EFTA nations than anywhere else. Moy Park is sellling stuff in Brazil and China and other places under WTO terms.

    And given the fact that 1% of UK GDP is agricultural, and 2% of NI GDP is agricultural … imposing an English funding scheme onto Northern Irish farmers would be massively inappropriate.

    As for the Anglo(sphere)-centric (which I believe to be xenophobic only associating with English speakers tsk).

    One of the reasons why people voted to leave the EU was because of things like TTIP and CETA which would have taken in food and agricultural products.

    However, trade cannot go one way … if Brits want to sell to an America, they need to open their market to Americans on the same terms or No Deal. Like wise with Canada.

    Pretty much, there is North American resistance for trade deals with Europe and the United Kingdom, and there is resistance the other way. Because these regions are democratic, doing trade deals that are politically okay both ways are extremely difficult and can take years.

    The North Americans subsidize their agriculture too, and they want to see a mutual payoff or fair competition before they sign off on anything with the EU or UK.

    Pretty much take any developed or highly developed nation, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, India … they don’t give away trade deals without strings attached.

    Trade deals are at the end of the day treaties that two nations share their sovereign national markets with one another after all.

  • Kevin Breslin

    So the 26 counties would get vetoes over some matters?

    If that’s the case why are people complaining about Scotland saying it has one over the EU?

    The fact is that the Republic has influence within the UK through private sector investment and private entrepreneurship … sure the Brits go here and they go there. Look at how many London properties were on the NAMA Loan book.

    The Republic has connections in London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff and several places throughout Britain.

    Private sector debt between the UK and the Republic of Ireland and vice versa is virtually identical in terms of a raw figure.

    The Republic of Ireland doesn’t need a Political Union to do these things.

  • John Collins

    Sadly OneNI there are serious concerns people in the ROI would have with re-joining the UK such as
    (1) From 1801 to 1922 we were a fully fledged part of the UK under the Act of Union. It was not a great liaison from our viewpoint, our population, as in that of what is now the ROI, dropped by about 30%, while that of mainland GB increased by 170% aprox.
    (2) At the moment a majority of NI and Scottish have quoted by substantial majorities to stay in the EU, but there views are not just ignored, but almost treated with contempt.
    (3) England itself is utterly divided with peripheral regions voting hugely for leaving the EU and the more prosperous areas around London offering a dissenting view. It is obvious that England has neglected its peripheral regions, why would we, who would be even more remote from London, expect any better treatment.
    (4) Does anybody in their right mind think a Tory or indeed a Labour Government, who would have no elected representatives in what is now the ROI, would give any serious attention to Southern Irish issues.
    (5) It would actually be in England’s interest to keep Ireland poor. The first argument always used against Scottish, or for that matter a UI, is that it is not financially viable. If a country is kept feeling dependent, as in most abusive relationships, they feel incapable of independence. This is just another reason why England would never want us to be prosperous.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Freedom of the Press, but the British Media are hardly above scrutiny themselves, especially from rival outfits … and perhaps it all evens out in the end.

    Most Brits know that the vast majority of the Britons that live in their country have been there for generations, often come from non-Arab lands like the sub continent and Nigeria, and I think a lot of them are wise enough to know that Syrians in Europe are not all terrorists and benefit claimants.

    Here’s a Petition I found you can sign.

  • cu chulainn

    “There are sections of the Unionist electorate who will never be
    persuaded by the case for unity…and conversely sections of the
    Nationalist electorate who cannot reconcile themselves to the status quo”

    You are implying a symmetry here, a common ploy. Yo are comparing an unwillingness to believe that a colonial sectarian society is all you and your children will ever get, as against living in a normal society. Chalk and cheese.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Northern Ireland is somewhat as divided as the English vote on a constituency basis, there is that Antrim outside Belfast, East Belfast Northern Down and Armagh. North Antrim itself representing nearly 2 average constituency leave votes by itself.

    The Republic’s had loads of referendums, occasionally it may only be a Donegal or a Roscommon-South Leitrim standing in the way of some popular decisions but it can be divided over some more serious matters.

  • eireanne3

    the usual justification for the belief is “too wee, too poor, not genetically programmed . . . .”

  • eireanne3

    “Yeah but the Scots voted two years ago not to leave”
    Time marches on for us all One NI.
    Events happen and attitudes change.
    Only the DUP/Loyalist mindset is firmly stuck in 1690.
    Since the indy ref – Scots have joined the SNP in enormous numbers, voted for an extraordinary majority of SNP MPs at westminster, voted SNP in the latest Scottish parliament elections, voted Remain, maintained their anti-trident policy of bairns not bombs, put up with the affront of EVEL and the rubbishing of every suggestion their MPs made on the new Scotland Act.
    Are you getting the message yet?or is king billy still on the wall?

  • Thomas Girvan

    Sure their was no link between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland until they dug a tunnel which was commenced on August 10th 1959 when Hawaii became a state.
    It was actually dug by Irish navvies imported from London after they had just completed the Jubilee line on the London underground system.
    They were early for that and the opening had to wait until 1977, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
    Not a lot of people know that!

  • Thomas Girvan

    Did it not get smaller to the tune of six counties?
    (the occupied six counties as they are affectionately known).

  • eireanne3

    i provided an analytical view of two possible scenarios – if there is a brexit or if there isn’t one.
    nothing about dreams or dreaming on!
    What’s that you’re on?
    It ‘s sure distorting your reading ability

  • Abucs

    If Brexit helps with the economic growth of the UK then it would strengthen the union in the medium term.

    But Scotland going its own way is always a strong possibility, Brexit or not.

    If Scotland sticks around to the medium term and UK independence is good for the economy, then Scotland might re-assess the whole independence thing.

    Is Scotland more independent with a loose connection to a thriving Britain or with an overbearing, suffocating connection to the larger, stagnant EU?

    I suppose if the SNP decided to vote to leave the UK and join the EU you might get a split in the party with something like a Real SNP emerging.

  • eireanne3

    “if the SNP decided to vote to leave the UK and join the EU” – leaving aside the outcome of any eventual Indyref2, I would like to remind you that Scotland will not be joining the EU.
    Scotland is a member and has been for 40 years. The latest thinking in EU circles is that Scotland will be ” parked” for the moment.
    If Indyref2 sanctions Scotland’s independence of the UK in the 2 year time lapse from when the UK triggers Article 50, Scotland will be re-admitted as a full member of the EU.

  • Sprite

    Far to early to draw any conclusions about the impact of Brexit. The Adam Smith Institute is recommending that the UK adopts a zero percent corporation tax rate. That would be radical but freed from the constraints of the EU not impossible and it would clearly have a negative impact on the Irish economy. In fact that would cause more sleepless nights for the Irish govt than a customs post or two along the border.

    Other economic commentaries I’m reading are advocating a unilateral tariff-free policy for the UK, regardless of what the EU does. It’s argued that would give the economy a potentially massive boost.

    I think we all just have to wait and see for a while. Remember that Scotland’s largest export market is the USA not the EU.

  • John Collins

    The suggestion that a zero tax rate could be introduced is fine but how would the tax paying GB public put up with that. Their is noise enough from some politicians about the 12.5% CTR here, I cannot even start to imagine the uproar if a zero rate was suggested in any European economy. If GB is going to trade unhindered in Europe post Bretix do they really think their European neighbours would allow them easy access to European markets in competition with EU countries under these circumstances.
    Anyway the Irish Government were never stopped having a lower CTR that other EU countries. What ever stopped GB having a lower CTR while they were in the EU anyway.

  • OneNI

    Eh no yer wrong. Chances are Brexit will be done and dusted before Indyref 2. So Scotland would have to vote to leave the UK and then apply to join the EU

  • OneNI

    Yawn given up on argument and resorted to stereotyping I see

  • OneNI

    Have to sey Columb Deadwood’s talk of NI being dragged out of the EU by ‘English votes’ is offensive and borderline racist. There are huge numbers (600,000+) Irish born and One in ten people in UK has at least one Irish grandparent so if we are being ‘dragged out of the EU’ Irish votes in GB have probably had a lot to do with it

  • OneNI

    Since the return of Conservatives to Govt in 2010 The UK has seen a larger rise in employment than the rest of the EU combined.(UK Factcheck website) and growth and in recent years has had the fastest growth in the G7 A cut in Corporation Tax would be to defend that record from the short term effects of Brexit – you are right to say EU never stopped this
    However EU powers want to end Corproration Tax competition and with UK no longer blocking in the Republic will come under pressure to not just raise the rate but to reform loopholes
    If Clinton gets elected she has already said she is coming after the Republic’s inversion ploys

  • OneNI

    1. We can all select quote stats. Ireland boomed in late 1800s. The Republic was a economic disaster from creation until about 1990.
    2. The vote was a UK wide vote – all votes were equal
    3. Actually ever region in England outside London vote leave – regardless of their relative prosperity. But I say again it was a UK vote
    4. Once back in the UK Ireland, Scotland and Wales would make up 15m out of 70m pop giving the Celtic fringe strong say at Westminster. Ireland would have 60/70 MPs at Westminster. Obviously the party political system would have to re-align – it would be daft to keep the old parties of the Republic or NI (if we did we would consign ourselves to irrelevance)
    5. You are in danger of slipping into paranoid racism here – it is in England’s interest to keep Ireland’s economy strong as EVIDENCED by UK govt giving huge loans to Republic interest free

  • RolftheGanger

    They also cut world growth forecasts by a whole %age point due to Brexit uncertainty.

    This could lead to a slide triggering another world financial crisis.

  • Thomas Girvan

    No ifs, there will be a Brexit and the UK will make a success of it.
    Theresa May made it clear the other day.
    We are all Brexiters now, bring it on and let us face the exciting new era together.
    Free at last,free at last, thank God we are free at last.

  • Thomas Barber

    So anyhows, I take it the loyalist flag you assumed was the national flag of Northern Ireland is in fact, not the national flag of Northern Ireland and that Scottish folk are not in fact English ?

  • Thomas Girvan

    Absolutely, and I’m off to the chippy to ask Elvis for a fish supper!

  • John Collins

    If Ireland was booming in the late 1800s why did the population drop from over 8 million people to 4 in eighty years and fall at every census over that period. I am talking about what is now the ROI where that drop was much more significant. The late 1800s may have been good for Belfast and surrounding areas, but otherwise the Union was a disaster for the rest of the country. Read the pamphlet by Robert Ambrose MP ‘A Plea for the Industrial Regeneration of Ireland’ (1909) and you will get plenty evidence there to put the bed the absurd idea that ‘Itreland was booming in the late 1800s’ If you want to see what has happened in what is now the ROI since 1922 just compare the strides made in Limerick compared to Derry, over that period. They had an almost exact same population in 1922. Today there 27,500 third level students in Limerick, there are about 3,000 in Derry. Limerick has a massive international airport on its door step with direct flights to different major cities in the USA and Europe. The British Government had the same chance to develop an airport of a similar size in Derry, the most westerly city in the UK, yet they passed up the chance, and handed the advantage to a city, in what was then a very poor country. Now Derry has a Mikey Mouse airport with Ryan Aer operating about twenty flights a week to and from it To day Derry has no motorway servicing it, while Limerick has motorways operating to it from Dublin and Galway and One to Cork is on the pipeline.
    We would have no 12.5% CTR under GB and seeing the way GB has so patently neglected its own peripheral regions there would be no hope for any case been made for Ireland under GB Rule.
    You say the Celtic fringe countries would have 15% of the members in Westminster. From my studies of the IPP efforts to make any case for Ireland in the closing decades of GB Rule in the South, I have noted that the most vehement opposition to any help being given to Ireland came from Scottish and NI Unionist members of the house. The idea that there would be widespread co-operation between these regions does not stand up to scrutiny.
    You say Politics would align in the South after we re-joined the UK. What gave you that idea, they have had almost a hundred years to realign in NI and it has not happened.
    You state GB gave us an interest free loan. Have you a link to prove this because I understand we pay interest, at a quite good rate from GBs point of view, for that loan.
    I do not often agree with Pearse, but he was right when he said ‘Ireland unfree shall never be at peace’

  • John Collins

    Clinton may well do that do that, but if she does the multi nationals involved have to pay an estimated 30 billion Euros to the Irish Exchequer. (Some say less, others say considerably more). The lining might be very silvery indeed.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Let’s say for argument’s sake that the UK DOES prosper or from being ‘extra-EU’.
    Righto, the next question is over what time scale are we talking?

    Will there be no immediate noticeable or even perceived (very important) detriment to the way things are?

    Let’s say team UK can take it on the chin whilst adjusting to new circumstances (a more likely scenario I’d have thought) and things are a bit ropey for a while before the ship steadies:

    10 years in NI is quite a crucial time frame as it’s ten years of obituaries of elderly (and perhaps ‘stauncher’) unionists and 10 years of births & maturity for people of a non-Ulster-Protestant or unionist stock e.g. recent immigrants, the other non-EU immigrants who won’t be affected by Brexit and people born from ‘mixed’ marriages who may have little or no political allegiance.

    Now, I appreciate the galvanising effect that this seems to be having on traditional unionists, but they are soon to be no longer 50%+ of the population.

    If the rest of the population for reasons real or perceived dislike the idea of border controls or further separation from their southern families and friends then how on earth does that count as ‘strengthening’ the union?

    We’ve already had a few people of unionist background on here say that they’d consider reunification under certain circumstances.

    This to me is a more obvious sign for concern than the writing on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast.

    I’d like some proper, reasoned explanations as to how Brexit ISN’T detrimental to NI’s place within the UK.
    No deflection, no scoffing or sarcasm (Chris) and no avoiding the fact that Irish nationalism (whose recent coma has been gloatingly highlighted repeatedly) seems to have been stirred by this event regardless of whether the fears are warranted or not, could someone list 5 reasons why this won’t harm Northern Irish unionism?

    I’ll have a go first (by putting on my cynical-unionist-tinted specs and reading from the Newsletter’s letters’ page):

    1/ NHS, no one is willing to throw that away
    2/ Triplicated/quadruplicated education sector; no one else bar the UK would pay for that and its obvious waste.
    3/ Dependency on UK civil service employment
    4/ Even if the UK falls 4/5 places it’ll still be within the top 10 economies on earth.
    5/ The vast profiteering and double-claiming culture provided by the border…

    (The easy retort to all of the above is that anyone with a modicum of self respect and work ethic who is suitably vexed by Brexit and unionism could easily say “sod it, the Republic’s economy is growing but in a more controlled fashion than before and if I am willing to work hard enough then my kids will still get a decent education, a home and healthcare, if it means I just have to work a bit longer then so be it, it’ll be worth it in the end when I’m retired”)

    Plus, several of the above points only exist as long as a chancellor of the Exchequer doesn’t stumble across NI’s accounts some day and take some action…

  • John Collins

    Well if Clinton gets her way the multi nationals will have to pay the Irish Exchequer what they then owe them. Figures as diverse as 20 and 75 billion euros have been mentioned. Not bad at all

  • John Collins

    ‘Ireland boomed in late 1800s’ Nope. Almost 60,000 people emigrated on average from the island on every single year from 1886 to 1900 inclusive.The area around Belfast may have prospered in that era, but it was a disaster for the rest of the island.
    ‘The Republic was an economic disaster from creation until 1990’. Rubbish. There were marked periods of prosperity from around 1970 onwards. I was born in 1950 and lived here all my adult life so I have a fair idea when the economy was going good or bad.
    Your argument that this Celtic Fringe would be a huge success does not stand up to scrutiny. There are two main constituent parts to the population of NI, one of Scottish origin and one of Irish origin. Please do not tell anybody they get on.
    ‘The party system would have to re-align’. Really. Scotland has been part of the UK since 1707 and there is one Sottish MP from the main GB parties returned to Westminster. After 307 years there is not much re-alignment there.
    You speak of EVIDENCE that GB gave an interest free loan to the ROI. I would earnestly request a link to support your claim. It is my understanding that the British are paid a very healthy rate of interest by Ireland on that loan indeed.

  • Thomas Girvan

    15 year old “news”,
    i’ll e-mail it to the P.M. Tony Blair.

  • Jollyraj

    Bears little relation to the complex reality of the breakdown of votes across all regions of the UK – if you can manage to look outside of the primary-coloured, simplistic ‘de English stole our pot o gold!’ specs of the Irish Nationalist.

  • Jollyraj

    What’s this now? The Irish Gov want to back-tax multinationals, you say?

  • Zig70

    35k vote for a UI in the unionist telegraph. F me.

  • John Collins

    No they don’t-well apparently not- but if the US decides to act on this it appears if the loop holes for avoiding tax are shored up these companies may have to pay back vast amounts. Like you JR, I very much doubt this will ever happen however. The rich will always find ways to pay only the bare minimum.
    BTW JR, Sorry for appearing pernickety but I never said the Irish Gov wanted to back tax multi nationals. Officially they are opposed to the idea. (However I would not be sure what views are expressed in what were once described as ‘smoke filled rooms’).

  • anon

    Great article – fits well with the post-truth Brexit narrative. No doubt the £350m a week extra for the NHS will also incentivise the Scots to stay. That and the new fairytale free trade but no free movement deal with the EU. Everyone will get a free pet unicorn in the newly independent UK.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    In NI it’s local Northern Irish people who set the silly early closing licensing laws. So it’s the Irish man telling all visiting nationalities to leave!

  • john millar

    “and this may come as some surprise — there are other reasons why someone might support a particular cause apart from economics” sums up the Ulster prod methinks

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Mmmmm. Posters below don’t seem to get it. Scotland will be leaving the UK, but staying in the EU. We want to leave the UK because we have no real democratic representation in Westminster. Scot’s have not had a government which they have chosen for a very long time now. Scots wishes are continually over-ruled by the majority English vote. We just don’t want this situation to continue.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Eh no YER wrong. Sturgeon will have Indyref 2 over and done within the 2 year period, so we remain in the EU.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Within the UK Scotland does not get to make it’s own decisions, being continually over-ruled by English votes. In the EU we will actually have a bigger voice and more freedom than within the UK.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Cheap get-out.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Rubbish. Scotland has very little say in the running of the UK. We are massively outnumbered by English MP’s in Westminster and are constantly over-ruled.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    “Strong say” my @rse.

  • Reader

    Actually, a lot of power is devolved to Scotland, so Scotland has had the ability to mess up its own health service and education system. Scotland even has the option to vary its levels of taxation, but the SNP is nervous of using it because that would mean explaining it to the electorate.
    Strangely enough, the powers Scotland doesn’t have are the ones it wanted to leave with the UK after independence anyway – currency and defence. The current thinking is that those powers will be handed to the EU, isn’t it?

  • Reader

    Kevin Breslin: “What have I done to be the change I want to see in the world?”
    Bumper sticker philosophy…

  • Kevin Breslin

    At least a bumper sticker saying that would be responsible enough thing to put on a vehicle.

  • John Collins

    No, I do not think they want to back tax multinationals. However an article in the Financial Section said that they may very well be put in a position by external factors where they might be ‘obliged’ to do so, if you get my drift.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Remember the golden rule zig:

    When polls say that no one wants a UI they are good. When polls say that even unionists want a UI then they are to be ignored.

  • anon

    Em, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were both Scottish mate. 1997 – 2010.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Not to mention Cook, Darling and the ‘Caledonian Mafia’…

  • Tochais Siorai

    Ronnie O Brien, Irish underage soccer player in the 90s was on the verge of becoming the Time Magazine ‘Person of the Century’ in a 1999 online poll until they made him ineligible for some reason.

    Having voted for Ronnie, online polls have never held the same attraction for me since (although of course I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to be a pro United Ireland Unionist in the BelTel).

  • Jollyraj

    Yet again, the natives suffering outrage and oppression at the hands of the natives. Puts me right up there with Cromwell, I should think.

  • Randy McDonald

    I wonder if anyone has asked Canada, or anyone else in the Commonwealth, or any government, if we want a new passport zone with Canada.

    I would say that the attractiveness of such an arrangement has diminished with Brexit.

  • John Collins

    I accidentally deleted a reply you made on another topic. You said quite correctly that there are now five MPs from Scotland in Westminster that are not aligned to the SNP. they actually had 56 out of 59 members there at time the result was returned in the 2015. That is still a long way from 1 MP out of 71 as it was in 1970.