Could the UK quitting the EU undermine the Good Friday Agreement?

In  an Irish Times  piece subtitled  “If the UK leaves the EU, the North’s status will change, perhaps disastrously” veteran commentator  Dennis Kennedy  gets  bogged down in in his own “fantasy.” He’s right in one respect, that any bid by a Conservative- led  government  to quit the EU  by referendum would undoubtedly shake a union that is already exposed as fragile.  And  true enough, we surely know that the last thing on the minds  of Cameron and the massed ranks of his euro-sceptics is  the implications for Northern  Ireland.

Although the EU is mentioned only once in the preamble to the GFA,  Kennedy  claims that  “ the framework of EU citizenship validates its essential core: the idea that conflicting Irish and British identities can co-exist as equals within present-day Northern Ireland, pending some future resolution of the fundamental divide.”

This probably overstates; the GFA was almost immediately treated as basic law and it is unthinkable that Westminster would ever overturn or amend it against the wishes of the other parties in Belfast and Dublin. Freedom of movement might in theory be challenged if somebody started putting up tariff walls again but the reality of a porous border is likely to remain what it always was, ratified today by the common travel area which exists because the UK and Ireland are not parties to the Schengen agreement, preferring to deal with entry matters bilaterally.

As for Dennis’s  “ fantasy” of  the north uniting with the south over a joint preference to remain within the EU, he admits that neither Dublin nor the EU would stump up the necessary £9 (£10?) billion a year. So we’re back as usual to square one. Nice try Dennis. You probably didn’t know where you’d end up  when you started  but you might have guessed…

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  • Ernekid

    If the UK leaves the EU. Expect the City of London to relocate to Dublin overnight.International business use London as the English speaking entry to Europe. If London doesn’t fufill that role then Dublin would suit it nicely.

    Northern Ireland would be even more of a backwater outside of the EU and it would be devastating for the wee Province. Lowering the corporation Tax would be useless if NI can’t access the European markets.

    I still expect the DUP to campaign for an EU exit despite it totally against Northern Ireland’s interests.The idea that EU is a Papish plot still exist with that party

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    I think he’s right about the UK leaving the EU and the profound implications that would have for NI and the rest of Ireland. However, I think he’s far too glib about trying to dispense with the Irish language, as if the position of the Unionist parties represented what ordinary unionists on the ground think re Irish. The DUP/UUP are way behind their people.

  • Michael-Henry Mcivor

    Will Cameron actually leave the UK even with UKIP attached to the Tory’s in the next Government – it going to take years to sort out after the next Westminster election- maybe 4 or 5 years- just in time for the 2019 general election-

    Be interesting if each part of the UK gets a separate vote to see who wants to stay and who wants to leave-

  • Dan

    The sooner the UK is out of the EU the better……and all the better for Northern Ireland too.

  • Scots Anorak

    “As for Dennis’s “fantasy” of the north uniting with the south over a joint preference to remain within the EU, he admits that neither Dublin nor the EU would stump up the necessary £9 (£10?) billion a year. So we’re back as usual to square one.”

    I’m always amazed at the assumption that economic disparities would block Irish unity. If a majority vote for unity, it’ll happen, simple as that, and the cloth will be cut to fit. It could, of course, be the case that economic considerations would stop enough people voting for unity for it not to happen, but that’s their only practical relevance.

    I read similar things about what’s legally “doable” regarding enhanced devolution for Scotland. One argument put forward is that coalescing around Westminster benefit levels is an indispensable part of what it means to constitute a state. The fact is, however, that if the political pressure, through independence sentiment or holding the balance of power at Westminster, is sufficient, welfare will come under the remit of the Scottish Parliament.

    That’s not to say that either Irish unity or devo max for Scotland is inevitable — nothing is — but all these supposed structural arguments against them will be useless if they cannot persuade the voters. Just because something is a clincher for someone personally does not mean that it can simply be projected onto everyone else’s thinking.

  • Muskerry

    The £10 billion a year is going to be dialled down over the long term. The squeeze is already happening. Northern Ireland is going to get cheaper for whoever’s interested.
    Maybe Whitehall would consider a dowry, let’s say three years’ support (i.e. £30Billion) for whoever would take the wee country off their hands. It would be a sweet deal for England – three years upfront cost, and then money saved for ever more.

    Now who would take up the offer?

  • Robin Keogh

    I am always amazed that when anybody alludes the propect of Irish Unity under any scenario the scream goes up BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TEN BILLION !! This fiscal deficit bridge is slowly eroding and as far as London is concerned it cant be pared back quick enough. Never mind the fact that 3 billion of it goes to the defense budget and the Uk national debt which could be easily negotiated away in a settlement agreement when the time comes. Moreover, if there is a possibility of unity it would be financially benificial for London to continue a smaller subvention in the form of a grant for the first few years of new arrangements. If it saves them a couple of Billion and keeps Nesbit, Robbo et al away from downing street they will gladly pay it. They would also have the benifit of knowing that Brand Britain would no longer have to put up with the yearly embarrasment of Parades etc. Added to the fact that another couple of Billion can be saved by uniting the education and health sectors and the fact that the republic is now the fastest growing economy in Europe……its all very doable.

  • Guest

    We already know who wants to stay: everyone that’s an old pompous Englishperson hater that seems to think they control an empire.

  • RHW

    We already know who wants to stay in the UK: everyone that’s an old pompous Englishperson hater that seems to think they control an empire.

  • Michael-Henry Mcivor

    ” Englishperson hater “-

    Hate all English – what’s that when it’s at home- the nearest thing to a englishperson hater is the Crown family who wants / needs english people and others to be its subjects-not its equals-The EU does not want to be the Crowns Subjects – UKIP and it’s like should get over that fact-

  • Andrew Dunlop

    The only way the Common Travel Area can exist is because both Ireland and the UK are in the EU. If the UK was totally outside of the EU then the Irish boarder becomes an external EU boarder. The UK could come to some sort of arrangement like Norway which is not in the EU but is in Schengen but I can’t see that happening. Therefore I can’t see how we could continue with the current low key boarder arrangement in Ireland.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Added to the fact that another couple of Billion can be saved by uniting the education and health sectors

    You’re proposing taking billions of government spending out of the economy and tens of thousands of jobs. Why wait until reunfiication – we can do this right now ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    It would be a sweet deal for England – three years upfront cost, and then money saved for ever more.

    That would be a violation of the GFA. The UK cannot be seen to be going back on its international agreements.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Complete nonsense. The UK and Ireland can easily come to a separate agreement, much as they did prior to the introduction of the EU.

  • NMS

    Robin, I agree with you on a number of points – firstly the fiscal deficit is very slowly eroding, because the UK Government is cutting the subvention. If the UKNI Assembly is stupid enough to follow through with the Corporation Tax proposals, the Treasury will be able to implement even greater cuts. However UKNI will remain a net recipient for ever.

    Just to look at the education area. the main area of operational savings would be the closure of the UKNI teacher training colleges, as Ireland already produces a surfeit of both primary and secondary teachers, they would be surplus to requirements. Amalgamation of schools in border counties would produce a small level of savings in the area of capital expenditure and maintenance costs, the number of teachers would remain broadly the same as they are allocated on the basis of the number of pupils. Savings, from the amalgamation of schools (a highly problematic and politically dangerous thing) would be very small.

    There would also be savings by dismissing all the staff in the UKNI Dept of Education as they would be surplus to requirements. I am sure there would also be some small savings by restructuring the UKNI Education Boards.

    You are also correct in that UKNI is regarded as an embarrassment by the UK Government and most British people. While I don’t agree with you, that they would continue any form of subvention, I imagine they would not demand that UKNI takes its share of the UK National Debt, which of itself is a saving.

    Third Level education needs additional spending. The only way any savings in State expenditure can be made is by charging substantial fees as wells as ploughing back the savings made in the other areas described above.

    At present, I would estimate that there are hundreds of national schools in Ireland, which are not viable, perhaps up to 1,000 in total. Both Fianna Fáil & Sinn Féin policies oppose any closures. And when Ruairi Quinn tried to close some to reallocate resources into urban areas, he cam across the immovable object of Enda Kenny, TD for Mayo.

    I would suggest that you have a word with Pearse Doherty first and get him to put together a list of perhaps a hundred national schools in Donegal for closure, because primary school numbers have peaked there this year and will start to decline dramatically from 2018 onwards.

    It is not possible, because Irish people are not willing to pay for it. But my guess is that the sustainable population of UKNI within a politically united Ireland would be substantially less than the current levels, as low as perhaps a million. Everything is “doable” but whether it is desirable is a completely different matter. The nature of “unity” would be as the DDR found out, a takeover. Institutions in the subsidiary part would be closed.

    Finally, I admire your optimism!

  • Robin Keogh

    Well first off i am heartened by the fact that u only have a problem with one part of my argument. The loss of jobs can be quite easily split between voluntary redundancies and people opting for positions in Britain if they so wish and early pension opportunities that would jeep money spe t in the local economy. The savings would be nationwide and could be spread evenly across the island. As for taking money out of the economy, the long term benifits of having a much larger all island market with no currency trip wire and an island wide low corporation tax would easily plug any gap.

  • chrisjones2

    Ethnic cleansing anyone?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m with Comrade Stalin on this one – the UK has long treated its relationship with the Republic as a special case, as the only country with which we have a land border. There would almost certainly be a bilateral agreement if that proved necessary and it would be uncontroversial.

  • chrisjones2

    “the necessary £9 (£10?) billion a year”

    …and who will fund fighting / containing the civil war that is likely tofollow

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Brian’s right. Leaving the EU, while a disaster for us as a nation in many other ways, would not surely have any marked impact upon the Good Friday Agreement. The GFA really has very little to do with the EU per se and quite a lot to do with bilateral British-Irish relations, NI people’s decision over their own future being respected, parity of esteem and so on. Kennedy seems to have got his knickers in a twist over nothing.

  • barnshee

    This Irish boarder— is he the one one in the James Young joke ?
    Teacher “Where`s the Irish border”
    Pupil “in bed with me mum that`s why I was late this morning”

  • barnshee

    I think you miss the point
    If UK ends up out out and ROI remains in a “hard ” border is inevitable tho I think that hard border may will be like the one erected during the worst of the “troubles” i.e at point of entry to GB

  • Robin Keogh

    Paranoia anyone?

  • Morpheus

    Civil War? What are you waffling on about now?

  • chrisjones2

    Do you seriously think the Unionists will just say ‘Oh that’s alright then’ and wander off into a new Republic?

    I look forward to the Garda policing the Crumlin Road

  • chrisjones2

    No it will be point of entry to Ireland and funded by EU

  • Morpheus

    WTF has that got to do with Dan’s comment?

    Regardless, the overwhelming majority have already said that they will accept the democratic will of the majority:

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2013/Political_Attitudes/FUTURE1.html

    Of those who say they will find it almost impossible to accept there will of course be a minority of that minority who will not accept the democratic will of the majority but that comrade is why we have the police and courts.

  • barnshee

    I think you are forgetting that there are two sides to any “border”

  • Sergiogiorgio

    When was is unionists cornered the market in ethnic cleansing? Is it any wonder their rantings are viewed with despair and distane in equal measure on this board and elsewhere.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    The minority in the UK that still support the EU federal experiment are grasping at any straw that will keep us wedded to this busted flush. Don’t wait for the next Tory government. Give the people the vote now – in or out. It was good enough for the Scots.

  • MainlandUlsterman
  • Sergiogiorgio

    That’s poll, not a vote. As above, with this much pro EU confidence why fear a vote?

  • NMS

    Joe, The Scandinavian relationship has not suffered because of Norway & Iceland not being members of the EU. However they do implement EU rules, the so-called “membership by fax”.

    The problem will be the type of UK non membership. Will they agree, like say Norway, to accept EU rules, or will they opt to paddle their own canoe?

    May I recommend a book by the old recusant Hugo Young
    “This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair” (1998) ISBN 0-333-57992-5, which deals with the UK’s often fraught relationship with the EEC/EU.

    On a slightly less serious note, if the UK was to leave, there is also the question of whether Ireland would finally join Schengen, which certainly would bugger things up on an Ulster final day in Clones. Ah now we know why the redevelopment of Páirc Mhic Easmuinn is going ahead. They can hold the UK Gaelic Football & Hurling finals there. London can leave Connacht, Warwickshire etc can all play before coming to Dublin.

  • barnshee

    Just a thought about all those people redundant because they are surplus to requirements

    The organisations taking over will be (per census) 97% roman catholic (unless they have already employed every Protestant man woman and child in the ROI). To keep the ” fair employment” balance-not to mention the ” McBride principles” that used to be popular —this will mean wholesale redundancy /retirement/termination of employment for swathes of the Roman catholic workforce. Can`t see a vote winner here,

  • Robin Keogh

    I think something could be arranged legally to resolve this issue

  • MainlandUlsterman

    You said “the minority in the UK that still support the EU federal experiment”, but I showed it’s currently a majority.

    The vote was the one where we voted to go in.

    Why fear a vote? Well, I fear us exiting Europe but that’s not a reason not to have the vote! If a vote comes up, fine, it wouldn’t be wrong. But I agree with the Labour line that it’s a bit of a waste of time and effort and a huge upheaval for the country, with a long period of uncertainty about our future damaging the economy leading up to it. So we should only have the vote if we really think it’s absolutely necessary to do so. It shouldn’t be done lightly – there are big negative consequences to be taken into account too.

  • Robin Keogh

    Thanks for the admiration 😉
    I imagine most savings will come from the admin side of tge public sector rather than the front line

  • barnshee

    give us clue

  • Robin Keogh

    New legislation

  • barnshee
  • barnshee

    Come on– give us a clue what new legislation?

  • Robin Keogh

    Really !?? You cant figure it out. Ok, legislation that would protect the minority from discrimination …very radical i know but there yiu have it!

  • Sergiogiorgio

    With respect Mainland you provided me a poll opinion on a polled majority. Should there be a vote with the usual “electioneering” then I would personally bet against a majority in favour of staying in the EU under the current federal arrangements. What I was trying to get you to say, but you were too canny, was that the reason Labour, the Lib Dems and the usual gravy trainers won’t have a vote is that they know they would loose it. Cameron played a blinder promising an in/out referendum after the next election. In essence vote Tory and have a say or vote Labour and be told your opinion on the EU doesnt count. Along with Red Ed being being unelectable, the promised Tory EU referendum will win them the next election.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The Common Travel Area existed before the EU and has been recognized since, but even if Republic of Ireland joined Schengen and the UK didn’t, how would that really change how the GAA runs its business.

    In rugby league Catalan Dragons from a Schengen country play all their away games in a Schengen country and vice versa?

    In rugby union and don’t Italy another Schengen country send sides to non-Schengen Wales, Ireland and Scotland and vice versa?

    In cricket, the Schengen nations Netherlands and Denmark have competed in English county championships!

    Northern Ireland even send a team called the Belfast Trojans to play American football on the continent.

    What about the Champion’s League, Europa League or even the French League, Monaco’s not part of Schengen officially, yet have a club who play in France, dido San Marino in Italy?

    Where are these closed borders going to come in sport?

    Re-engage your brain here

  • Kevin Breslin

    Gee pediatric childcare patients would need to have passports and go through border controls, but at least to some the bitter flag waving might mean something.

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah And that really works doesnt it

  • Robin Keogh

    Irish style, it sure will work

  • NMS

    Kevin, sorry I won’t try humour again. I suppose my serious point is that without the UK being members of the EU, there is no reason for Ireland not to sign up to Schengen. It would make sense for Irish people to have the same free movement and not to be sent to far corners of European airports, as currently occurs. Ireland as a Schengen country, would mean a “hard” border with the UK, i.e. it would be similar to crossing from Belarus into Poland or Lithuania, which I can tell you is a nightmare.

    The queues of Tyrone supporters as their passports are checked as they enter the EU will be a sight to see. The problem will be, if the UK leaves, it is unlikely to have the status as Norway, because it does not want free movement. On that basis, it is not possible to maintain the existing bi-lateral arrangements. Therefore the UK approach will apply in reverse and all the UKs of Tyrone, Down, Armagh etc. entering the EU. I just wonder what will happen to cattle found straying!

  • NMS

    Robin, I know that the UKNI Public Service is particularly bloated, but I think the type of savings you imagine are not really there. The particular problem I see from political unity is that it would end up being a takeover. Public Sector salaries in Ireland are for the most part significantly higher than in UKNI and could not be paid to those UKNI staff retained, including teachers and Health staff.

    The only real saving I see would be on the area of the UK National Debt, which I am assuming would not be apportioned, this of itself would be a substantial saving.

    I was in the DDR a number of times in the early and mid 1980s and was back there again in 2009 & 2010. The hollowing out of many towns and cities was sobering. The West of the country took precedence in every decision.

    Let us continue the discussion!

  • Kevin Breslin

    Quit trolling here, believing the UK would have the isolational agenda of Belarus or Northern Cyprus. It’s an unaffordable loyalist pipedream even UKIP would not suggest. If there was any benefit for an economic migrant, asylum seeker or a criminal migrant to go through the Republic of Ireland, to get to Northern Ireland and then onto England is a nonsense. I need a passport to fly to England, or a ferry to Scotland, I don’t need a passport to send a boat through the Foyle or Strangford go down a road or cross a field somewhere. It’s an uninforcable, costly Pipedream for those who partition their own cities with peace walls up in Belfast.

  • NMS

    Barnshee 97% Catholic! Where do you get your figures? But to the substantive point, in many years in the Irish Civil Service I can hardly remember anyone caring the slightest about other people’s religious views or background. I have heard plenty of derogatory comments about “Northerners” full stop, tarring you all with the same brush.

    The real problem would be that most private sector jobs are not filled by open competition or even advertised. Connections and contacts remain crucial.

    All of Robin’s contributions have been open to facing down these issues, but that would not be the “Southern” view. Indeed there are deeper issues of inclusion facing Ireland. Between 20 & 25% of children born are not Irish with Polish clearly the country’s second spoken language.

    Northerners I think could fall in behind the Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Nigerians etc

  • Robin Keogh

    The admin part of the souths public service is equally bloated. Pro rata there could be greater savings coming from the south given that the whole system is decentralised around the state, its not urbancentric. I cant agree on ur German comparisons, two very different circumstances, not least the fact that one part was a progressive developed liberal state whilst the other was quite the opposite. We dont have that problem but what we do have is a highly educated intelligent youth population in the north east who have very little in the way of opportunity, unity will solve that problem.

  • barnshee

    “Barnshee 97% Catholic! Where do you get your figures? But to the substantive point, in many years in the Irish Civil Service I can hardly remember anyone caring the slightest about other people’s religious views or background.
    TRY
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism_in_Ireland

    Such a homogeneous grouping has no need to care about “other people’s religious views or background.”

    The GARDA SCHIONA for example cannot turn up a single prod in its ranks

  • barnshee

    I don`t think you have grasped the point– Its not a “the minority” problem -its a majority problem -its thousand of Roman catholics who will have to lose their jobs to allow the new organisations to achieve a suitable balance

    Example The police

    The “Guards” are effectively 100% Roman catholic–can`t find a single prod employed- the new (reduced police force) police force -with the rest of the public service-will have to reflect the new dispensation-so its the dole queue for enough Roman catholic offiicials to redress the balance

    Then we can move on the Revenue Commissioners

    Dontya jest love fair employment legislation

  • barnshee

    see below

  • Robin Keogh

    I have grasped ur point, its nonsense. New situation new arrangements.

  • barnshee

    “New situation new arrangements.”

    You keep saying that –what new arrangements?
    Surely you are not suggesting the end of Fair Employment legislation and abandonment of the McBride principles?

  • Comrade Stalin

    If the City was concerned with links to the EU it would have moved to a more EU-friendly capital a long time ago. The movement to push the UK out of Europe is not without backing in the City whose agenda around deregulation of financial markets is easier to promote in London than it is in Brussels.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I picked this part of your argument because the leading party promoting Irish reunification is fighting cuts and redundancies, yet here you are saying that cuts and redundancies will be required to make reunification work economically.

    How about we don’t have reunification and all those people keep their jobs, wouldn’t more people be better off then ?

    We could save money right now, today, by reducing the number of large hospitals in Belfast from four to three or two. Why wait for reunification to do this ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Robin, it’s pretty obvious that you have no idea how all of this is going to actually work. If you did you’d be able to explain it.

    I don’t know how it is going to work either, but I’m not the one pushing this idea of Irish reunification casting a magic wand. At the end of the day your proposal is to slash and burn the public sector in order to accomodate your constitutional views. I am glad that you are being honest about it – I wish the republicans facing the electorate were honest about it too, then at least we might be able to get past this pretence about them trying to save jobs and protect public spending.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The savings will inevitably come from the fact that we have large parts of public sector that the rest of Ireland does not have.

    For example we have tens of thousands of public sector employees operating the Health Service in (duplicated) hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries up and down the country. What are you going to do with them all following reunification ? Privatize it all or fire them all ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    yup. It’s unlikely that either the UK or Ireland would rush to erect a border with its largest trading party – harmful to the interests of both countries. A special case would be set up in compliance with the EU.

    I cannot see Ireland entering Shengen following a UK exit, for this very reason.

    This is also part of the wider puzzle of how, following an exit, the UK would negotiate access to the EU’s markets. A point constantly being made by those of us who think that an exit is a bad idea, is that the EU would be able to simply name its price and the UK would have very little room to negotiate.

  • Robin Keogh

    No, let me type this a bit more slowly then you might understand. In a new society with a newly established employment charter, the laws and priniples you are concerned about can be continued or adapted or adjusted to suit the demographic realities pertaining to any given region.

  • Robin Keogh

    The leading party is fighting enforced cuts and redundancies which is quite different to voluntary redundancies in a unity situation. Moreover, early retirement packages can also be an option explored. In any event the economics of it go much much further than public sector adjustments. If u dont have unity those people are likely to lose their jobs anyway with enforced tory cuts and the dearth of private enterprise to plug the gap.

  • Robin Keogh

    Nobody knows how anything is going to work until plans are formed and structures designed. The idea of a blog is to post ideas that get people talking and share thoughts. I never knew i had to be an economic wizard just to have an opinion on something that seems perfectly reasonable and logical. Slash and burn is a million miles away from voluntary redundancies. Hysterical misrepresentation doesnt help anybody.

  • barnshee

    So the Roman catholics lose out to “adjust to suit the demographic realities”?

  • Robin Keogh

    Yes thats right. We sack all catholics and hire protestants to do all the work. If we dont have enuff prods we then import muslims, jews and native americans to fill the gaps. Meanwhile the unemployed catholics will be given a small patch of land each to grow spuds, hows that?

  • nilehenri

    the question of the uk quitting the eu is little more than a desperate vote gathering tactic from the tories, they’ve been threatening it for years, but for the sake of imagination and blue sky thinking we’ll entertain the idea for a moment.

    if there was a break ireland might well decide to follow suit. whether they did or not however, all outstanding debts would need to be squared. treaties would need to be replaced. laws would need to be enacted. europe would stagger and the markets would fall. irish northerners would have a legal right to redress which at the very least (i imagine) would be joint rule.

    traditionally unionism has always converged around a central flagman, be it it craig, carson or paisely. nowadays they have no-one to fill that role, all their leaders are openly criticised as the traditional bloc fragments. the usual form of maintaining conduct among the brethren (the para-military) is openly ridiculed, rife with infighting, and suffering a loss of power to others (least said about this the better). when the queen (god bless her cotton socks) shuffles off this mortal coil, i can only imagine that the link to the mainland shall be even more weakened. when we combine the facts that the majority of ‘never never nevers’ that exist in the north are at the elderly end of the time-scale with the more relaxed pluralistic younger generation, we can see where the north is heading. the garden centre types will, as always, mutter mumble and complain, but will follow the dictated status quo in the end.

    the 10 billion argument: while it is a large sum to us in the scale of things it is nothing more than a reference point. it amounts to about 30 airbus a380 planes; the london olympics cost about the same, or to put it another way, the same price as one aircraft carrier. the number is used as an argument, but macro-politics/economics are immune to such emotions, the system will shift to cope with and accomodate the change.

    re: re-unification: there is no doubt that duplication in services is a problem, but this is one area that england has already attacked with the curt message that we’re on our own. public services and benefits are no way to prop up an economy, were ireland a unified economy derry would have seen the benefits of the recent multi-billion investment in the pharmaceutical market, and we would all be enjoying the technological windfall that the south currently enjoys.

    i live for the day that i can walk the streets of dublin celebrating the twelfth, remembering ireland’s integral part in european history and the role it played in the fight for the common man, just as i will enjoy celebrations of ulster’s prime importance in the forming of the historical and cultural basis of ireland. where there’s a will there’s a way, we have the will, now all that remains is to find the way.

  • barnshee

    .” We sack all catholics and hire protestants”

    don`t need to sack them all -just enough to get the right “balance”

    Then we can move on to the NEW health service where the NORDIES expect free on demand health provision whilst the SOUTHIES pay for it ( and them selves)

    Hint when in a hole stop digging

  • barnshee

    Nobody is proposing CLOSED borders -what is being discussed are BORDERS
    Physical, Financial and Fiscal

  • Robin Keogh

    Hint when u dont know how to engage intellectually, keep shtum