If the already unlikely prospect of a united Ireland was all but extinguished by the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent ever-spiraling legitimacy crisis, might these same phenomena be laying the basis for Irish reunification – albeit back within a U.K. context?
Consider the Republic’s current trajectory in the Europe envisioned by its dominant actor, Angela Merkel:
“We need more Europe, we need not only a monetary union, but we also need a so-called fiscal union, in other words more joint budget policy,” Merkel said. “And we need most of all a political union, that means we need to gradually give competencies to Europe and give Europe control.”
Much commentary mistakenly focuses on what such integration could mean. What’s palpably clear however is what we know such integration will not mean: a union where Germany has less rather than more power.
The giving of “competencies” is assumed in Germany to be peripheral countries, at least, doing the giving while “Europe” – i.e. a Europe dominated by the ascendant European Council and, therein, a dominating Germany – does the taking.
Put another way, if you’ve any doubt about the intentions of Germany vis-à-vis the give-and-take involved in this ‘more deeply integrated Europe’, ask yourself whether Merkel imagines any scenarios where German leaders or the German public would accept being overruled by a majority of non-German Europeans on major questions of governance.
Awful as the financial crisis remains, the pending political crisis will be much worse.
For the people of the Republic of Ireland and other formerly sovereign European states, this post-democratic arrangement will prove intolerable, detestable and unsustainable.
With a bankrupt exchequer and morally bankrupt, illegitimate political arrangements, how long until the answer to the question ‘Boston or Brussels?’ becomes: ‘Easy, London!’?
Doubt the Republic would ditch decades of hard won ‘independence’ from the U.K.? Just watch how recklessly Germany continues to ditch decades of unbelievably hard-won, post-WWII freedom from suspicion and hatred in calamitous pursuit of a reconquered continent.
The rules, written and unwritten, are all about to change.