Big effort is needed to avoid polarising Brexit along Orange and Green lines

Yesterday Theresa May made it clear that while the devolved administrations will be consulted the decisions on Brexit will be taken by the UK government.  The triggering of Article 50  will not require parliamentary consent and it will happen probably in January or February next year. A Norway-type deal  looks ruled out  because it  entails  free movement of people. Some immigration controls are a requirement for what Downing St is calling  a “ bespoke “ solution for the UK. And there will be no second referendum. In  this stance there seems no room for  Scotland and Northern Ireland to retain anything like the association  they have with the EU today.

This is the background to today’s  visit by the arch Brexiteer David Davis the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU. In an article for the  Belfast Telegraph he made soothing noises  in advance.

We are clear we do not want a hard border – no return to the past – and no unnecessary barriers to trade. What we will do is deliver a practical solution that will work in everyone’s interests, and I look forward to opening the conversation about how that should operate with my colleagues today.

We are already working with the Irish Government and I firmly believe this process will take our relationship forwards not backwards…

As he separately  meets Arlene Foster for the DUP  and Mairtin  O Muilleoir for Sinn Fein,  (standing in for Martin McGuinness who is on leave ),  will the Executive ministers emphasise what divides them or unites them?

No doubt they will need help to make their minds up.  “Opening the conversation”  suggests  no squaring of the circle over the border just yet. But a  combination of Davis,  James Brokenshire and Boris Johnson should work very hard indeed with the Irish government  and the local parties  to avoid  overpoliticising  Brexit policy in terms of Orange and Green.

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  • Sir Rantsalot

    Orange and Green? Aren’t people in NI past this tribal way of thinking by now? Especially in such a larger European wide matter?

  • Zorin001

    Seeing as how any topic on this site nowadays seems to break down into Green/Orange at the drop of a hat I’d say probably not, no.

  • Obelisk

    Nope, because Northern Ireland by it’s very nature tends to perpetuate tribalism rather than diminish it.

    Most Unionists who voted seem to have voted leave. Most Nationalists who voted seem to have voted remain. In other words, this will become one more issue woven into the tapestry of our story of how different we are from themmuns.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well I have to agree there, Brian perhaps is annoyed that diverse ideological stances away from the narrow parameters of being both Orange and pro-Brexit exist in Northern Ireland exist and have a say in its future development.

    The reality is we know most of the population is going to be unhappy with an arrangement that will largely be what David Davies wants and not what anyone on either side of political divides will actually want. Including Orange and pro-Brexit.

    I predict if there’s going to be unity, it will be banding against the British government again, from both Leave and Remain supporters here.

  • Kevin Breslin

    A big problem is like most Brexit supporters there is no real clarity from Northern Ireland’s Brexit supporters what would be their optimal relationship with the European Union and by extension Republic of Ireland.

    This is what happens when pessimism and contrarianism is dominant in the political psyche and not affirmative positive pro-active politics.

    At least the divided Tories have in the past argued for some sort of off the shelf model as seen in Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Albania, Canada …

    There is pretty much no thought given by the DUP or TUV over what they really want … they’ve argued the negatives, they haven’t argued the affirmatives.

    There will be a free trade deal with the EU … what’s going to be the terms?
    There will be an open border … where is migration going to be checked, within Ireland or between Ireland and Great Britain?
    There will be agriculture subsidies …. how will they be funded? where’s the economic plan? would they violate trade agreements with other nations?

    There won’t be any customs … may as well be saying we’ve cured cancer by legislatively banning it, because that’s not going to happen, there’s going to be them.

    I think it’s clear there’s no pork barrel funding Brexit, there’s no corporation tax top ups, there’s no mitigation against customs, there’s no real benefit in the migration controls here, the only power Northern Ireland might actually get is the ability to make agricultural policies with a smaller budget.

    Northern Ireland is a net loser from Brexit, trying to get some trickle down benefits from English nationalists and Tory libertarians isn’t going to work.

    If Jingoism was an effective economic strategy, Twadell Avenue protesters would be rolling in money.

    The only vision I can offer is greater co-operation with the Republic of Ireland so that Northern Ireland has some sort of hedge state position between the UK and the EU, beef up the cross border and North Sea islands bodies to deal with the customs issue (bring Gibraltar into it), make the EU Special funds body stay as a cross border special funds body, and try the best to deal with the austerity that is coming down the road.

    We know what is going to happen with the DUP and Sinn Féin, more dysfunctional government, more tribalism, more brinkmanship, and more complaining about their partners and the opposition, taking absolutely no responsibility for the problems and they will mostly be problems not opportunities that are on their doorstep.

    DUP will do nothing, wait and see, demand the usual pseudo-religious Confidence based economy and attack their critics as heretics upsetting the market gods and Sinn Féin will agitate every time the UK government shackles us with austerity, barriers and clawbacks while not producing an alternative governance like the SNP do.

    I hope I’m wrong, but they would have to prove me wrong.

    I also think the Vote Leave NI should do the decent thing Farage, Hannan and other Brexiteers did and issue an apology over saying there was absolutely no chance of customs controls on the border.

    I think the UK is at risk of the same dysfunctional government, tribalism and brinkmanship that bedeviled Stormont and whatever problems Labour, the UUP, the SDLP, or other opposition parties may have giving an alternative (which could be taken up by the government as “their idea” e.g. Tories and the Living Wage), the buck stops with those in government. to deal with the problems.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well Remain supporting Unionists and Liberal Non-Affiliates have the balance of power here between DUP/TUV/UKIP wanting to get NI out of the EU, and Sinn Féin/SDLP/FF wanting to get NI out of the UK.

  • hgreen

    As per the rest of the UK Brexit was a battle between the xenophobic and those who are not frightened by the arrival of people from other countries. You can extrapolate from there.

  • lizmcneill

    The Vote Leave NI assured us that the border wouldn’t change and also we would all have a pony, and Davis’ soothing noises don’t fill me with confidence the government Brexit faction have an actual plan for how the border will work.

    It’s very depressing.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Does eating horsemeat count as we all have a pony … maybe a real pony shared between the vegetarians?

  • terence patrick hewett

    Ah! Liz! the monstrous regiment of males! The Wife of Bath had a solution!

    It is the ladies that are in charge now: Merkel and May: as Kipling so rightly said:

    “And She knows because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail, That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.”

  • Chris Spratt

    It shouldn’t but already has, though as some others have already alluded to it seems not so much Green v Orange, rather Green with a bit of Orange and maybe some White, v Orange (with some rather odd Green individuals who voted Leave to try and throw a cat among the pigeons in Nationalism). What I’m not so sure about Brian is this necessity for cozy cooperation between both sides (of the referendum) following the result that you’ve been pushing. Whilst perhaps *facing up to reality* and working together might be the best option for securing a non nightmarish outcome for NI if we do in fact ever leave, I don’t think it will ever be as easily achieved as that, the divisions which have been exposed and opened during the campaign (whilst paling a bit in comparison to our own more traditional ones) lie deep and will likely be a cause for resentment for quite some time. Events such as this cannot and won’t simply be swept under the carpet *for the sake of a brighter future*, and so you will justly have a decent chunk of people trying to undermine and derail this process.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Remember one of the most famous continentals who came over to these shores because of a pan-national sovereign debt crisis, and fears about political refugees. He had Britain and Ireland joined in a European “Union” with Hannover until the Congress of Vienna offered an alternative.

    That’s why we have an Orange, isn’t it?

  • Jollyraj

    Rather a shallow point, which lacks any real substance. The large waves of ‘Immigration’, or perhaps better to say population transfers given the political realities then and now, here from Scotland and the north of England in centuries past even today seems to generate a perpetual wave of vicious xenophobia from those who would describe themselves as ‘native’ Irish. Hardcore Irish Republicans still regard the descendants of those immigrants as interlopers and ‘foreign invaders’, as presumably they would also regard British-born folk of Jamaican or Indian heritage as ‘foreigners’ in their weird ideology.

    In NI we don’t have significant numbers of immigrants coming in, so we don’t have the same immigration experience of the mainland UK. In England, pressure on public services, schools, hospital facilities is getting to be too much. This is perceived as being exacerbated by out of control immigration – whether it really is or not is not the issue, what we are dealing with is the reaction to this perception.

    We’d be better looking to resolve the problems rather than sneering at those who are suffering from them.

  • Kevin Breslin

    In England, pressure on public services, schools, hospital facilities is getting to be too much. This is perceived as being exacerbated by out of control immigration – whether it really is or not is not the issue, what we are dealing with is the reaction to this perception.

    When the problematic migrants exist on the headlines of The Express then of course they are going to be sneered at.

    It’s the political equivalent of Paisley demagoguing to unemployed Protestants that they won’t get any jobs because the Catholics plan to take them.

  • Kevin Breslin
  • GEF

    Of a Northern Ireland population of nearly 1 million non catholic only 34 000 are members of the Orange Order. So why is this large block of non Catholic non Orange people not given recognition?

  • John Collins

    ‘Suffering from them’ ???
    Jordan and The Lebanon each have 4 million people approximately and they each have to deal with about 1 million emigrants. Now that is a REAL immigration crises.

  • eamoncorbett

    Indeed and the issues that matter were all dismissed as being inconsequential .

  • Jollyraj

    Once again, John, your point is excellent – as long as one doesn’t think about it at all.

    I didn’t use the word crisis, you have introduced it. The fact that large scale immigration into the UK puts pressure on public services is not negated by a refugee crisis elsewhere in the world, is it?

    What point are you trying to make?

  • Jollyraj

    That is, yes, largely the kind of unthinking kneejerk attitude I’m talking about. Thank you for so aptly illustrating my point.

    It’s a simple enough equation. More people requires mire public spending on more public infrastructure. If that isn’t happening, voters will be unhappt – and newly arrived immigrants, too, one imagines. Hardly demonizing them to point that out, no matter how it might suit your purposes to pretend we Protestants hate immigrants.

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    Well because, to some, if they’re not actually Orange they are closet Orangies, who, at the drop of a hat will reveal their Orange souls and start devouring little nationalist babies.

    Nuance is unknown in NI. If you’re not one thing then you’re must certainly ‘The Other’.

  • eamoncorbett

    No matter what way you look at it , Brexit was an English decision with a little help from Wales .Decisions regarding NI and Scotland will be dealt with by England with consultation (my way or the highway) . The very system of government in the UK ensures that England holds sway on all major decisions and Davis is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that Brexit will be painless . There is no veto as in Stormont when it comes to a major event like Brexit . If indeed Russia was the old Soviet Union , then England is now the United Kingdom.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t have any sympathy with people afraid of phantom foreigners because they read a newspaper headline and panic.

    Northern Ireland has some of the lowest migration rates, and there is still loads of pressures on our public services. Emigration is rising, and the causes of Emigration are rising as well, including politically motivated and orchestrated anger.

    I don’t get why the Egyptian shop owner in the town or my Bulgarian physics lecturer or even some Romanian beggar in the street has to be targeted and abused in order to appease people who genuinely believe on faith that their non-presence in our society would bring about a public windfall that would fill our financial coffers.

    I don’t have any particular avarice towards their ignorance, or to use your word “unthinking” but they’d be better taking them up with a government rather than hating the children of doctors, business people, even farm laborers who are contributing to our economy on an equal level.

    These are people who aren’t giving people a fighting chance to get into schools, or to get higher up a hospital waiting list by improving delivery and supply.

    No these are demagogues who give people a chance to fight rather than a fighting chance.

    Heck many on the upper ends of the Leave movement don’t care about making hard choices about lowering migration anyway.

    BEFORE – Scaremongering

    AFTER – Appologising.

    It’s like I said, it’s like people blaming the Catholics for the Protestants who are unemployed, or people blaming the Protestants for why the Catholics couldn’t get jobs. I’m sorry I singled out Big Ian but certainly there is mirror bitter image on the other side.

    How could you not expect mutually vile sectarianism to emerge?

    The Blame Game, while it may have honest feelings attached to it does not take responsibility for its own failings and deflects easily onto soft targets.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It truely sickens me when the refugee crisis from the Iraqi-Syrian wars is called the “European refugee crisis”.

    There are more refugees in both these border countries (nevermind the fact the vast majority are displaced in the two countries in the war) than the entirety of the European continent and by which I mean including Turkey.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The point is that migrants have been discriminated against by a manufactured and manipulative trial by media for the large part misinformed too.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the United Nations is right to be concerned about implications for the North of the British government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act.

    Speaking after the publication of a report by a United Nations Committee, Ms Anderson said;

    “The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has expressed its concern and opposition to the planned scrapping of the Human Rights Act by the British Government.

    “The Human Rights Act gives effect to the European Convention on Human Rights, gives people direct access to the European Court of Human Rights and underpins the Good Friday Agreement.

    “The Tories are on an ideological crusade to remove it.

    “Another important conclusion of the committee was their declared support for a Bill of Rights specifically for the north.

    “This Bill of Rights was to supplement the Human Rights Act and enhance human rights provision in the north of Ireland.

    “Its introduction was agreed in the Good Friday Agreement yet the British Government has not made any progress on this matter at all.

    “Given that we now face a British Government with human rights safeguards firmly in their crosshairs, it is now essential we both protect the Human Rights Act and move towards the introduction of a Bill of Rights for people in the north of Ireland.”

  • Old Mortality

    ‘In NI we don’t have significant numbers of immigrants coming in’
    Like the rest of the UK, we have localised concentrations of immigrants, particularly in mid-Ulster. For example, 75% of the 850+ pupils at St Patrick’s PS in Dungannon are what are rather euphemistically described as newcomers. At the smaller Presentation PS in Portadown it is 85%. What is different here is that immigration is into areas with little statistical evidence of labour shortage, especially if you take into account the ‘economically inactive`. It might be worthwhile asking (native) Catholic parents in these areas if they think there is any strain on the education system as a result of immigration.

  • Skibo

    Where is the crisis with immigration? The last census for the Uk show 75.7% held UK passports, 16.9% held no passports. We can assume they are UK citizens who decided it was not worth the cost. That gives 92.6% of the population are UK citizens. The spread of other nationalities is so great that there is no great problem. 3.3% are from Europe, 0.7% from Africa, 1.8% from Asia and it goes on. Have you ever thought how many citizens of the UK live in foreign countries?
    You could have ten local people in a room and two foreigners and everyone would notice the foreigners.

  • Jollyraj

    Where is the crisis? I dunno – perhaps you’d be better asking someone who said there was a crisis. Not me, guv.

  • Jollyraj

    Nope. Once again, that is a point. But it’s not the point I made.

  • Jollyraj

    Well, anybody from those areas care to comment?

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    You know nothing, Jon Snow.

  • John Collins

    I see where you are coming from, but I feel we are over blowing the adverse effects of inward immigration for a number of reasons
    (1) I am sure as far as 1066 in England or c 1610 in Ulster or the 1840s in both North America and Britain people have been whinging about emigrants taking other peoples jobs or lands or whatever. Yet in the long run these countries could be said to have benefited long term from these much maligned ‘influxes’.
    (2) You speak about pressure on public services- where would these services be without emigrants working in them
    (3) Everywhere you go in the Costas there are British retirees enjoying the climate and availing of the Health Service there- no worries about the ‘pressure’ this puts on the Spanish Exchequer
    (4) I have seen a few TV documentaries recently detailing the persecution our fellow Christians, of whatever hue, are suffering hugely in Islamic Lands and I certainly feel a special effort should be made to accommodate those people in Western Countries
    (5) All over Europe we have a declining population. Over the next say fifty years, (Yes I will be long gone), those emigrants and their children may be needed to maintain our industries and public services etc.
    (6) I would contend that the majority of people who up sticks, and at great personal risk travel half way across the World, to work for a better life are generally people who are willing to work to improve their lot and thus can only be of benefit to their host countries.
    Overall I feel our approach to this issue is far too one dimensional and we need to take a longer view.

  • John Collins

    You looked for a link on the proportion of the debt payment across European countries as paid by Ireland.
    Sorry for delay but here is one

  • Dan

    well, perhaps that’s how you may wish to look at it, whereas it was a UK decision no matter how the heartbroken remainers wish otherwise.

  • Brian Walker

    For the avoidance of doubt, I mean unionist v nationalist and even worse,Ireland v UK. The devil as they say will be in the detail.

  • Brian Walker

    Let’s be clear. Any new British Bill will be HRA plus. However this is a case where the HRA might survive in NI and Scotland and the British Bill might only apply to England and Wales. An NI Bill of Rights is deadlocked between the Assembly parties. There is a valid debate as to why it’s necessary. The controversy over a British Bill is a good reason for having it. Whatever happens though the clock will not be turned back on rights in NI. What would be the point?

  • chrisjones2

    Good. Agree it with the DUP. It’s a devolved issue and if it’s that big an issue I assume you fully dealt with in in Fresh Start

  • Sherdy

    David Davis says he is clear he doesn’t want a hard border.
    But the English voted for Brexit so they could control immigration.
    And the South of Ireland, as an EU member, allows freedom of movement.
    So EU members arriving in Dublin can board a train to Belfast without any immigration control (if we don’t have a hard border), and so there can be no hindrance to the freedom of movement!
    Is Davis missing something or am I missing something?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m a Remainer but I’m kind of glad May has come in with a bucket of cold water over the frankly ridiculous suggestions NI and Scotland might have some different relationship with the EU than the rest of the country. If we want that we need to both leave the UK; if we’re in the UK, of course we’re fully part of Brexit. The whole fuss about some other deal being possible was silly and I can’t believe people took it seriously.

    There are deals to be done over how the border with the Republic will best work post-Brexit, sure – but that’s a different issue.

  • Kevin Breslin

    You are not the British Government and the controversy over the British Bill of Rights is no guarantee of labour rights equivalence with Europe or any special privilege for good little nationalists.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’m going to predict Brexitsceptism lasts as long as Euroscepticism, enjoy the long wait until 2056.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sorry has David Davies or anyone in the UK government said we can have divergent human rights legislation from the UK without of course voting to leave it.

  • NotNowJohnny

    What you’re missing is an appreciation that most Brexiters have really no idea of what they voted for and little understanding of what Brexit actually means in practice. If you strive to look beyond the ideology and the meaningless rhetoric about ‘taking our country back’ and ‘Britain will be great again’, the Brexit cupboard is pretty much bare. Of course it wasn’t only the English who voted for Brexit. The DUP voted for Brexit as well. However on the basis of Foster’s recent letter, the DUP appears now to support the single market, the free movement of people, goods and services, access to EU Programmes for Northern Ireland, the provision of EU support to the farmimg industry and an open border with other EU member states. You couldn’t make it up if you tried. You do wonder exactly what change the DUP wanted to see in Northern Ireland as a result of Brexit if it doesn’t include any of these. It seems that the Brexiteers really do want to have their cake and eat it which is probably why they can’t seem to grasp that an open border is an open border and immigration control requires immigration controls. But then again, I guess this is what happens when you gamble your country’s political future by taking your lead from a group of people, some of whom believe that the earth is a mere 6000 years old.

  • Slater

    The immigrant population of Northern Ireland is less than 10% if rapidly accelerating. Those 100,000 people have been absorbed relatively painlessly and, amazingly, housed in little more than ten years.
    Where there is a significant concentration, there will inevitably be problems around schooling as in Tyrone and South Belfast compounded by white flight.
    However we are still in that stage of multi-cultural diversity beloved by liberals who never have any sense of danger ahead, deluded as they are by self-righteousness.
    (Middle class parents avoid having to consider white flight by having a choice over their housing).
    The Brexit vote reveals what the next stage can be. The host community has now to be taken account of again and immigration managed and reduced.
    The stage beyond that is unclear but given nearly 40% of births in England are to foreign-born mothers it is one that that will involve radical change in a generation.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Kevin, as I remember my (wasted) days on the racecourse (old Anglo-Irish habits die hard) a “pony” is £25.00.

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    No need. I’m well-hung already.

  • Oggins


    Do you have any facts on this large scale migration?

    Would anyone have stats on the migration to each EU state?

    I think its important to look at things with the right data?

  • Oggins

    So John, its almost comparable between the population of the greater belfast area, upping sticks and landing in Dundalk, or Monaghan town

  • Oggins

    So your problem is with the government not providing enough resources to those who need it?

  • Oggins

    So what the local authorities should be doing is helping these people to integrate into society, get them in a position to move to areas where there is work.

    Fyi, there is no town or village in Ireland crying out saying they cant get workers. So where do they go? It is only natural that people move to areas of commonality

  • Oggins

    Lol ????

  • Jollyraj

    To an extent, though of course the financial governance of a country is not as simple as ‘alright then – we’ll double the spend!’

    While the UK is a rich country, resources are not pulled from a bottomless well. The government is entrusted to manage those, and the inflow of people from other countries, in a way that is sustainable. Immigration of those with skills we need is a good thing, as is the granting of safe haven for refugees, but these flows have to be managed carefully.

    The feeling in the country is that control of these has been lost and that benefits nobody.

    So, yes, in a qualified way I feel the government needs to better supply/manage resources.

  • Jollyraj

    I agree. No, I don’t have reliable stats. And I am sceptical about the reliability of the figures even the government are working on.

  • Oggins

    So your making a lot of noises based on your assumptions?

  • Oggins

    Do you have any facts to back that immigration is causing a strain? I would argue if they are working, contributing, its for the benefit of people and taxes.

    Is it not fear that people feel, based.on years of bad management, under investment causing people to pick on immigration as the main issue?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    That is something i’ve always found baffling; to my mind there has always been a not inconsiderable number of people on benefits in mid Ulster.

    Why these people weren’t given ‘invitations’ to work at the local processing plants by the dole office rather than plugging the gaps with people from the Baltic and east Timor is surely a failure in common sense?

    And I say that as some one from mid Ulster who has also worked on a food processing line (before the faux indignation brigade flare up).

  • Jollyraj

    Assumptions that seem to be fairly universal. Hands up all those who believe the the IK gov is in total control of inward immigration…..anybody…..anyone at all?

  • Oggins

    As we well know, enough noise and preying on peoples fears, doesnt make it true.

    Still have not provided statistical anaylsis. My experience in my industry in which Europeans are employed is that they have a lot to give. The irish be it northern or southern, could learn a thing or two.. Or is this just like your own analysis..

    I suppose the ball is still in your court, to show this statistical analysis to back up your claims…

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    You can take a culchie to slaughter, but you can’t make him shrink-wrap product.

    They just Denny do that sort of thing.

  • Jollyraj

    While I applaud your hunger for statistical analysis (and fondness for using the prase statistical analysis – have you recently discovered it?), I’m not sure exactly what kind of staistical analysis would prove or disprove the perceptions I referred to (nor am I sure exactly how much time I have out of my day to devote to Slugger).

  • Oggins

    No jolly, like to call out the fear mongers, be it republican or unionists. As you do, you dont answer the ask..

    Any joy or jolly more to point?

    So less applause, more facts please. You have obviously enough time to form an opinion, which must be based on something other than border racism. So little time required

  • Jollyraj

    Well, I won’t trouble you for statistical analysis, but I’d like to point out where in the exchange I’ve made any racist comment whatever. If not, I’d be much obliged to have an apology for that ridiculous slur.

  • Oggins

    The racism is purely based that your blaming immigration, without actually providing statistical data.

    Your approach is that they are breaking nhs, misses the point the social services are already strained.

  • Jollyraj

    I see. So based on nothing at all other than your conviction that unionists must be racist. The point you are making is, I’m sorry to say, rather stupid. I said that public services are being put under pressure from high demand. More people coming into the system via inward migration increases that pressure further. You are saying that makes me racist. Your comment makes no sense, and makes you seem rather bitter.

  • Oggins


    Not once did I mention politics. Would not care if you were unionist or republican. So stop trying to change the discussion.

    I am calling you racist because you have provided no evidence showing this. My point on the social services were already under pressure prior to this hype on immigration. Your like a child saying, they had it last, so they must have broke it.

    My whole point is your making statements and not providing any FACTS or Statistics. Your using assumptions.

    Try coming to the table with the right person and try not to mark the man, when you are shown for what your are.

  • Jollyraj

    “I am calling you racist because you have provided no evidence showing this. My point on the social services were already under pressure prior to this hype on immigration”

    Do you think about what you write?

    We agree that public services were already under pressure even prior to large-scale immigration.

    I’ve said that immigration, increasing the numbers, will inevitably increase that pressure.

    You’re calling me racist. How bizarre.

    I voted remain myself, and I’m sorry to say that people like yourself provoked a large slice of the UK public into voting to Brexit. When the dust settles and the story behind Brexit becomes clearer it will be people like yourself who shoulder the responsibilty for galvanizing the section of the general public whom were struggling with the challenges of ever-increasing numbers of people putting pressure on limited resources and turning unease at spiralling immigration into first a general xenophobia and then outright racism.

    That is the true ‘gift’ of the so-called liberal left in the UK to this generation. Began to gather momentum in the Blair era. Shouting down any argument you don’t like with cries of ‘racism’ tends to produce that very thing even when it didn’t exist before.

    Intelligent people understand that.

    I have no expectation that you will. Indeed, I expect you to entirely fail to undetstand the point, again, and continue with your bizarre insistence that I am racist.

  • Oggins

    I am Calling you racist purely for basing the problems with our social services on immigration. I really do need to spell it out. Is that clear? Our problems with social services is to-do with bad management and lack of funding. Shut the doors to immigrants, we will still have the same issues with social services. Penny dropping?

    So where are your facts? Please educate me, because you assume I am liberal and not as smart as you. Again, marking the man and not playing the ball,but that usually happens when you put holes in arguments that are as thick as discounted toilet paper.

    When a person comes into a country, takes employment they contribute. So these resources which according to you are limited should get extra funding.

    So called self righteous people who are confident in their assumptions, and too lazy to provide the facts, or explore them. So when someone calls out and asks you to back your assumptions, do so and don’t get angry when they pick holes.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Why have your destiny dictated from afar by Brussels …
    We pool sovereignty when we become part of something bigger, don’t we. It’s not the English, it’s us.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    In Brussels there is a guaranteed seat (or seats) and much more scope for effective alliances to obtain real change – in Westminster the tory party will always get their way. And their way is disadvantaging to everyone except their own.
    (meant to be a reply to Ernekid)

  • Jollyraj

    “I am Calling you racist purely for basing the problems with our social services on immigration”

    Your inability to read what I’ve actually written is staggering.

    I’m invoking the Declan rule.

  • Oggins

    Lol, its all those foreigners fault… they are breaking social services. Can you provide evidence? Ooo no its assumptions, and I have no time to do.

    Hmm seems a bit racist. How dare you, shock horror. Well can you prove these assumptions that these foreigners as causing these issues? No but I will feign insult to the questions, and the fact that all these foreigners are causing issues is clear and I am right to assume.

    For someone who said last night, he had no time to show his evidence, he is still arguing 24hrs later, and still. No facts.

    So if its insulting that I highlight you believe that immigrants are over heating social services, with out facts as racism, then it is.
    We can only deal with pesky foreigners when we have our two weeks in the sun, ole chap, or when we are liberating them at our own call. Good stuff Jolly

  • eireanne3

    it isn’t really you know MU – once we heard
    ” the devolved administrations will be consulted the decisions on Brexit will be taken by the UK government”
    we learnt that Scotland and NI votes didn’t count and Westminster didn’t care

  • Jollyraj

    “Lol, its all those foreigners fault… they are breaking social services. Can you provide evidence?”

    Nope – because I didn’t say that.

    Give me the exact quote where I said it’s all the foreigners’ fault, please.

  • Oggins

    Thought you had no time for facts?

    Thought you invoked Declan law?

    You really just cant leave it alone

  • Jollyraj

    Yep. Declan’s law means come back with your response to what I actually said, not your reaction to what you’re pretending I said.

    But you can’t, because we both know I didn’t say anything racist, don’t we, Oggins.

  • Oggins


    You implied that immigrants are one of the reasons for pressure on social services with no factual evidence. So day 2/3. Do you want to provide any evidence for this, ordo you still have no time?

    You really dont like being challenged.

  • T.E.Lawrence

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I think you’ll find every vote counted the same, across the UK. The Leavers won – much to my horror, but it was the result.

    Regions of the EU do not get their own in and out votes, unless they become independent. Kind of a basic of public international law – the nation state has to be the unit for international treaty-making. Otherwise, it would be impossible – can you imagine a Europe in which Brittany was in but Alsace out, Berlin in but Hamburg out etc?

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I predict that arrangements are agreed between the UK and ROI that do not cause any bother for cross border activities whatsoever. I predict that Remainers will be shown to be talking a lot of hot air ????

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I don’t know. Maybe they won’t generate much mud slinging arguments!! ????

  • Kevin Breslin

    So basically instead of the EU controlling the customs relationship, Ireland is going to concede control to Westminster where it has no democratic oversight.
    Didn’t happen 1920’s-1970’s, it won’t happen now.

    Maybe if the Dáil controlled all of UK customs, such a ludicrous suggestion could be backed by Irish voters. 😀

    Which one is the hot air…
    Fact that only 2 nations in the world have complete customs and tariff free trade with the EU and ergo Ireland in the world, these are the Vatican and Monaco where EU nations in the customs union control things. It does not include bigger importers of EU goods and bigger economies than Britain such as the USA, China, Japan.

    Fact even outside the EEC the UK failed to establish customs free trade with any independent state
    Or Brexitsceptics are basing their analysis on myth while Brexit extremists have a sound argument why it can be treated as a special case without paying on taking on obligations.

    I think the last one is the hot air, it comes across as childish gimme motives, rather than some thick greul any nation in the world would find attractive.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    The figures referenced in this article (and many othwrs) describe an extra million over the government figures. 2.2 million eu migrants counting by issue of new National Insurance numbers to EU migrants.

  • Jollyraj

    Yes, I feel that increasing the number of people in a country like the UK increases the demand on scarce resources. Hard to see how this wouldn’t be the case, and hard to see what kind of ‘statistics’ you would want to convince you of that.

    Also struggling to see, since you are ar a loss to explain, how saying that makes me racist in your opinion.

  • Skibo

    SR, your post is merely an on line paper stating the government is going to issue new up-to-date figures and guesstimates the figures. I assume you have more than this? Perhaps an actual figure?