#Brexit Northern Ireland

The debate on EU membership in Northern Ireland has recently kicked off.  On Saturday Northern Ireland born Labour MP Kate Hoey laid out the Vote Leave & Labour Leave case from leaving the EU at the TUV conference at the Hilton Hotel in Templepatrick (UKIP`s Paul Nuttall addressed their conference in 2012 on the same issue).

Irish Foreign Minister @CharlieFlanagan recently addressed Queens University Belfast on implications for Northern Ireland of Brexit.  Both Labours Kate Hoey MP & UKIP`s David McNarry MLA have been particularly scathing of interference from the Republic of Ireland in the debate.  Hoey was particularly annoyed with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny`s assertion that the UK leaving the EU would see `The Troubles` re-emerge in Northern Ireland.

Whilst the Irish Minister asserted that an EU exit would see CAP money disappear (he failed to state that the UK government would have this money to spend as the UK is a net contributor to the EU), Northern Ireland Finance Minister and possible First Minister Arlene Foster said Brexit would not ruin the NI economy.

Farmers are absolutely crippled by bureaucracy coming from the EU. – NI Finance Minister, Arlene Foster

Foster also said she would like to see the Prime Minister`s so called EU renegotiations to be a little more ambitious.

In addition Sammy Wilson MP being photographed with UKIP`s Nigel Farage at a Leave EU event where he too ridiculed the PM`s renegotiations.

However despite the eurosceptic mutterings from within the DUP – and previous DUP MP`s signing up to the Better Off Out campaign (Jeffrey Donaldson MP is still on the website ) – it seems the DUP are prepared to sit on the fence and continue with their softened policy of `supporting  a renegotiation of the UK’s membership terms.`

Both David Cameron and Nigel Farage have been quoted recently stating that the likes of benefit payments & the Common Travel Area between the UK & Ireland (which dates back to 1922) will by entirely unaffected by upcoming changes or the UK leaving the EU – this rather puts paid to scare stories about passport controls along the border.

Last week Rupert Matthews of Better Off Out addressed the UKIP Northern Ireland conference

 

And the Leave EU campaign was present at the UKIP conference and had leaflets in the TUV conference pack.

 

Former Ulster Unionist Party leader and First Minister (now Tory) Lord Trimble has also backed the #Brexit campaign but it seems the UUP prefer to largely sit on the fence.

Sinn Fein continue their confused relationship with the EU having previously opposed the EEC & Gerry Adams recently quoted in An Phoblact as saying that recent events in Portugal `confirms the worst fears of people here about the direction of the EU and further exposed the anti-democratic nature of present EU project.`

Whilst Daithí McKay MLA has said leaving Europe would cause ‘economic devastation’ on the island of Ireland and cited farming and fishing. DARD Minister Michelle O`Neill has recently stated that “The European Fisheries Fund has made a significant contribution to our commercial fishing and coastal communities…”

She failed to mention that the UK has almost 70 per cent of Europe’s fishing grounds but only 13 per cent percent of its fishing quota. The Common Fisheries Policy opened up the UK’s fish to all EU member states – £130 million of fish is dumped annually under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.
This is contradicted by Sinn Féin’s Ireland South MEP Liadh Ní Riada who has met with European Commissioner Karmenu Vella to discuss

“the negative state of Irish fisheries, the existential threats to the livelihoods of native fishermen and their marginalisation by the government and the EU compared to their counterparts….I have consistently made clear the substantial contribution which Ireland makes to the EU economy in terms of the value of the fish taken by other member states from Irish waters….”

Sinn Fein have stated our agriculture industry and rural communities continue to reap the benefits of European Union membership through the Rural Development Programme. Do Sinn Fein think this is free money? This is UK taxpayers money.

The recent comments by Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan at the recent farming debate held in Cookstown are a great example of this. Mr McMullan rebuked UKIP representative Alan Love who blamed bureaucrats in the European Union for making bad decisions that affected the local economy and asked where would the subsidies come from if we left the EU.  The Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers’ Association and Farmers For Action debate  attended by UKIP, Sinn Fein, Tories, UUP & SDLP vote 60/40 to leave EU. Leaving the EU would save £55 million per day. UKIP have previously suggested a UK Single Farm Payment to replace the EU equivalent.

At the previous European election the European Free Alliance which includes the SNP & Plaid Cymru released a video which acknowledged that 70% of our laws are made by the EU.

Former DUP MEP Jim Allister QC MLA recently demolished the SDLP`s Alban Maginness on BBC NI The View  #brexit discussion which you can view here. He articulates that Northern Ireland exports in 2014 totalled £14bn – of which £8bn wet to the rest of the UK. Only half of the remaining £6bn went to the EU (of which £2bn to Republic of Ireland ) , the other £3bn went to rest of the world. He also outlined that the UK runs a £30 million trade deficit with the EU daily and that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty imposes an obligation on the EU to conclude a trade deal with any country exiting the union.

The recent sell out Times debate on this issue is worth a view. Tory MEP Dan Hannan debates Former Deputy PM Nick Clegg.

– Alan Day (aka Kilsally) is the UKIP candidate for Mid-Ulster in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

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  • Kevin Breslin

    So wait, there will be a UK single farm payment on a Brexit because UKIP has a mandate so it can order the Conservatives what to do if Britain leaves the EU?

    This is clearly a promise UKIP cannot make.

    The UK, particularly at the Conservative/Labour end has been successful in lobbying for the Common Agricultural Policy to be cut, with the UK being the fifth largest consumer of CAP resources and the largest area of EU spending on the UK.

    So any payments made to farmers in its own political culture is fairly sure to be reduced from European levels. So the UKIP alternative of over-funding farmers above European Union levels doesn’t have the mandate from Mr, Mrs and Miss British Taxpayer.

    Yes it will get the CAP money back, but there is really no proof the British taxpayer will want to pay as much as it does to Northern Irish and other farmers in GB even if it does have a little money left over. Farming contributes to 2-3% of UK GDP, it is getting much more than excess of that in UK tax take through the EU channels.

    It is only because the United Kingdom compromises with the likes of other net EU contributing countries (I’m sorry it’s not just the U.K that’s paying more in than it gets out) such as France and Germany which pay a rebate back to the United Kingdom in this area that the farmers get a much higher deal.

    There is also no guarantee than the negotiations will lead to less red tape, less bureaucracy, or greater ease of doing business when it comes to trading with the European Union, or indeed any bilateral trade arrangement with other nations.

    This is also the same party that attacking EU migration even when it was proven to have a “net benefit”. There is clearly a lot of political passion in the No case (as there would be for the Yes case), but that’s all it is passion, there really is no proof, and when there’s proof of something it doesn’t like it’s completely ignored. While this is ignored the arguments are not being made in a 20th-21st Century context in my honest opinion.

    There is a lot of proof in international markets that multinational trade blocks like the European Union do work, it’s primarily one of the reasons why the United Kingdom joined, a large section of the United Kingdom see this and will continue to see this whether the UK is in the EU or not.

    The United Kingdom position before it joined the European Economic Community with very little influence from the outside is something that is quickly forgotten by the passion of Euroskeptics.

    Why is this level of “independence” is not something the Leave lobby likes to evangelize about?

    Surely it would show a level of intelligence to draw in the post war period between the decline of the British Empire and the joining of the European Economic Community to show the advantages of being Out, what levels of British influence was really lost from being In, not simply what Euroskeptic groups “feel” to be true.

    It is a proven experience, just like everything you said about the Common Travel Zone. I think there is a fair chance that the U.K and the Republic will maintain an “open border” with one another in as much as Sweden and Norway do, I do not believe anything else that is being ranted out by the No side, I’m sorry to you.

    I’m fairly sure the United Kingdom will not get what it wants from a Brexit, (no country can get all that it wants from anything) it will get what it deserves from a Brexit, and I feel you and I have completely different beliefs in what it will deserve and what it would actually have to do to deserve more.

    If it sews ill relations with other countries it will reap ill relations, if it sews expectations with other countries it will reap expectations, if it wants its own way with other countries, other countries will want their own way with it.

    I think some people can’t really see what’s really going to radically “change the game”, just as the case was made about Irish independence in the Republic of Ireland, or the Scottish Nationalist movement and that is still being made today.

    Philosophically that’s the biggest issue.

  • Neil

    Fair play to any Unionist who thinks NI as it stands can easily withstand a few more good arguments for a United Ireland. The choice in that potential scenario will begin to look like: the new periphery of a periphery situation vs the old status quo. Turkeys, Christmas etc.

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah yeah. Read the Legislation and dream on if you think Unionists would be forced into a United Ireland or that the Irish would let them be

  • Hugh Brown

    A recent opinion poll for the Independent (London) shows 52 per cent are in favour of leaving the EU, this confirms the autumn trend towards Brexit in opinion polls previously carried out this year.

    Borris Johnstone recently called the British electorate to arms by arguing that Britain needs to regain control of its future and to abolish automatic entry for each and every EU citizen and for the House of Commons to be able to reject and repeal any EU directive it opposed. In other words, pick and choose what EU directives they would support on a daily basis.

    Labour is fighting hard to convince the British electorate to stay within the EU, but the media campaign for a Brexit is gaining momentum, mainly due to the right wing press.

    So, how will this effect Ireland North and South? A great deal.

    These effects issues include: the Peace Process, human rights protections, agriculture/fishing, jobs, infrastructure and energy, cross border trade and travel – Can anyone argue differently?

    David Cameron’s in-depth conversations with the EU ringleaders such as Merkel, Junker et al, have little or no interest in the plight of others, especially Ireland.

    If Cameron and Co. do get the Brexit on their terms it will be detrimental for the economy on the island of Ireland; in effect it could be Irelands largest foreign policy change in generations.

    So, if a Brexit was on the cards, should the North be allowed to stay within the EU? Obviously this is a huge issue in terms of direct investment. Again the Irish and British Government would have to make a special case for the North and would have to be backed by all sections of society.

    An Open University report (April 2015) argues that a British exit from the EU would deprive the North, a region that has the poorest regions throughout England, Scotland and Wales, of 8.4 percent of economic output that relies on direct EU funding.

    It can be argued that a British withdrawal from the EU, or if they become signatories of certain EU conditions, this would represent a setback for political and economic progress and continued democratic transformation of the North.

    The Norths political ambitions would be undermined and the ability of the South to benefit from the most positive benefits associated with EU membership, would also be damaged, which in turn could affect trade and in turn business and the economy.

    In reality, look how the EU treated Greece nor indeed how it has treated Ireland – Do we want to become a fulcrum in the axis of the sick man of Europe?

    A further report by an Irish think tank said British-Irish trade would decline by 20 percent, with towns on either side of the border with the North hit hardest.

    The DUP would dispute this and have referred to the above as “scaremongering”, but would Eurosecptics say anything else?

    The DUP seem to be waiting on Camerons negotiations before committing themselves to an actual position on a Brexit, but Sammy Willson would say otherwise. He recently posed with Nigel Farage and committed his support for a Brexit. Is this against party policy, or is Sammy leading the way? Is this an example or more ‘in-out’ politics from the DUP? Only they can answer that.

    The Tories have identified four broad areas where they want to see major wants to see reforms; improving competitiveness, greater “fairness” between eurozone and non-eurozone nations, sovereignty issues including an exemption from the aspiration of ever-closer union and making it harder for migrants to claim benefits. This will all be tabled in December, but David Camerons Europe Minister David Lidington has been quoted in saying not to expect too much hope for a deal at the final 2015 EU summit.

    Will Enda Kenny support any of the ideas above, and will any of the Northern parties in Westminster be listened to when push comes to shove? My reckoning is yes, Kenny will, and No, the Northern parties are toothless in Westminster, as they always have been.

    A Brexit could see the introduction of border controls, lower standards of workers’ rights, and potential disaster for our export markets – Would Unionist parties and Brexit supporters support this?

    Farming and fishing industries have that already benefited from EU membership – Would Unionist and Brexit supporters support limiting this ongoing success?

    In relation to Ireland as a whole, the Brexit debate has to be used to discuss the need to return powers that have been gifted to the EU to ensure that the Irish people have the ability to make decisions in the interests of the Irish people, both North and South.

    If we are discussing the withdrawal of Britain from the EU, why not from Ireland? Recent studies have tabled interesting facts and figures, have they not? Would Unionism ignore their pockets to hold onto the shirt tails of a Union? I suspect not, time for a border poll? But that’s an entirely different article.

  • Neil

    What on Earth are you waffling on about? In a brexit situation there would be additional arguments to be had in favour of a UI. No one’s talking about forcing anyone into anything you mope.

  • John Collins

    Being part of a bigger block does not always favour the smaller partner especially if they are in a peripheral region, The experience of the island of Ireland under GB during the period of the Act of Union gives ample evidence of this.

  • chrisjones2

    Its not MOPERY its a simple political reality – rational argument has nothing to do with it

  • Greenflag 2

    Ireland has done a lot better in the EU than it ever did in the Union . The peripheral issue in 2015 gets a lot more attention now than it did in 1800. The UK Tories are trying to ‘protect” the City of London and nothing else . They care little for workers rights . If the EU don’t agree to meet Cameron’s terms on ‘not taxing ‘ the big banks you can expect the Tories to promote a NO vote even if from the sidelines .

  • Neil

    It is MOPERY. For some reason you’ve started whining about being forced into a UI when no one mentioned forcing anyone into anything. The “simple political reality” is that if there is a brexit then the argument for a UI will change. Fairly simple, no one’s forcing anyone into anything other than a rational debate.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I think that may be an over generalization. I mean Alaska and Hawaii aren’t looking to leave the U.S. and they are on the periphery. Of course the European Union is nowhere near a political union like the U.S.A. yet you can see areas such as Turkey benefiting highly from a Custom’s Union with the European Union. Irish independence had forced the Free State/Republic have to scope out a new friendship on its own terms with the United Kingdom and vice versa. Initially this was Actual wars and then Trade wars, the latter being the very worst case scenario a Brexit might probably offer and that is based on leaving on very bad and hostile terms.

    Free from literal “war, famine and pestilence” the problems between Ireland and Great Britain aren’t really a good, the push factors from wanting to leave the European Union pale in comparison. The European Union is certainly a lot more moderate than either the British Empire or the Irish nationalist struggle ever were.

    I did make the point previously though that the architect of the Act of Union Lord Castlereagh/Marquess of Londonderry and indeed Irish & British man Robert Stewart was the founder of the predecessors of the European Union like the Congress of Vienna.

    The United Kingdom has always found a common purpose with its friends on the continent e.g. Angevin Alliance to the Crusades to the Allied Powers and NATO etc. The EU is not much different. It is these relationships that are part of its outer face than simply its inner mind. That is a mind that can speak to the EU and take in what it says back. The same logic does apply to the Republic of Ireland in a different scope.

    In my opinion there are both Irish and British machinations of what the European Union really is, it has been for the better or worse of things inspired by both identities, and the Continentals have so often changed both. I personally think having like-minded countries with the U.K. on many issues, being a net contributor (not the highest net contributor), having one eighth of the EU population, the U.K does have a lot of power within the European Union. It keeps a stronger connection than Switzerland or Norway, but maintains its distance on many issues unlike Germany and France.

    The Republic of Ireland a much smaller population has found ways to work its situation to its advantage. The Republic of Ireland for example is the Eurozone pivot nation, fairly half way between Merkel and Tsprias. It’s become a hotbed for science and technology by adopting a transcontinental network of cluster groups and , Europe gives the Republic of Ireland an identity beyond simply the internal matters of churches, Gaelic culture, the wars and the history .

  • barnshee

    If there is Brexit there are two options

    1 Ireland stays in
    2 Ireland goes out with the UK

    Option 1 (a) A fudge which produces effective NI /ROI consolidation /unity The border is now basically the Irish Sea suck it up
    OR (b) a hard border NI /ROI

    Option 2 Ireland returns to the 1930s– population returns to emigration as an economic strategy

    My money would be on 1(a)

  • Kevin Breslin

    But the EU did reject the Tobin tax on banks, thanks to the Tories and their like minded allies inside Europe.

    What the Conservatives want they will probably get a lot of what he wants in fiscal terms because Europe at the moment is mostly right wing/liberal center. It is because the EU has shifted to the right (France and Greece aside) in these difficult times in terms of the people’s elections of national governments and their MEPs.

    Things that might seem to be used to discriminate against fellow EU citizens such as the benefits issue and freedom of movement will be tougher to pull through.

  • Neil

    If there is a brexit there are a million options, not least of them: NI and the UK leave, things don’t turn out as well as the UKIP fantasists think, the debate on a UI continues (as it will do in any situation) and the people of NI effectively have the get out of jail free card the Brits don’t have: leaving the EU could be irreversible for Britain, but it won’t be for us because at any time we can vote for a UI and rejoin the EU via the back door.

    At the very least it gives pro UI folks a different angle to work from, i.e. a UI becomes an argument about whether or not we should join the EU, which in the absence of a crystal ball may well be a more attractive option than the current option of leaving the UK. Both options obviously involve leaving the UK however in this imagined future the leaving the UK option could be described as the joining the EU option.

    My point being for a Unionist to think that leaving the EU is in any way likely to make the Union more secure is laughable. Scotland have consistently indicated that the UK out of the EU means most people would vote for independence (and a referendum will be called in that scenario). That in itself is a threat to the Union. Add to that the land border between ourselves and Ireland, and the fact that we’re as remote from London as it’s possible to be, one would think that brexit will make the Union less secure than it is now.

  • Greenflag 2

    Yes they did but that was then .That issue is not dead yet as I understand it . German Chancellor Merkel has views on the issue which indicate that whereas the Tobin tax was rejected other policies are being considered . Merkel holds the view that trying to play catch up with the markets is never going to work for governments and another way must be found to ensure fiscal stability throughout the zone .

  • John Collins

    Right from the get go as shown in Colley’s ‘the formation of Britain’ the establishment in GB has to a greater or lesser extant put too much of their eggs in one basket, namely London ant the Home Counties. With regard to the Tories they are the chief leaders in this policy. Colley also highlights the fact that Ireland was never accepted as a constituent part of GB in the same way as the other parts of the country were.

  • John Collins

    Kevin. In fairness I did say ‘not always’

  • Greenflag 2

    The Irish were always revolting unlike the Welsh , Scots or Northern English . Also they were predominantly Catholic which the British only really accepted as ‘legitimate ‘ around the end of the 18th century and it took until 1829 for Catholic Emancipation to be passed as law . England came close to a mass revolution in the 1830’s and the last Scots attempt was 1745 -the Welsh sometime in the 14th century iirc .

    But in todays world things are very different from what they were at the height of Empire . And while in the past the regions could expect some crumbs coming down from the London table in today’s world much of the City of London is ‘internationally owned’ and its allegiance is to whichever part of the world pays the best investment returns and has the lowest cost of labour and highest profits and least government oversight and taxation . In that world Belfast and Scunthorpe and Grimsby never mind Hull or the North West or North East will be lucky to hold on to their NHS . Meanwhile the rising Chinese middle class beckons
    and those Saudis with their oil wealth need more weapons .

  • chrisjones2

    How are Human Rights affected by Brexit?

  • chrisjones2

    No it wont change at all from a Unionist perspective. And if the Unionists vote to stay with the UK what do you do?

  • chrisjones2

    “At the very least it gives pro UI folks a different angle to work from,”

    I agree

    And will harden the Unionist resolve – so it will be destabilising

  • Kevin Breslin

    In fairness I did just say “may”

  • TruthToPower

    I doubt Cameron will care a fig about a Brexit upon NI.

    If Brexit happens and the effects are as bad as they are, unionists should seriously consider forming a union with Scotland which will definitely vote for independence. It will still be a United Kingdom under the crown albeit without England. Perhaps the Nirish are the last truly British people left. When I visit England especially its cities , it feels increasingly foreign. England is given to fashion fad and folly. Scots and Ulsterfolk are canny, level headed and grounded. Even ROI could join such a union. We’d be all equal partners without the lopsidedness of the current UK of 85% English. I’d support a UI only as long as we form a union with Scotland.

  • Oriel27

    Complete rubbish, never happen. Who is the say the Unionists will be in charge in ten years??? No way can the unionists dictate like they did for 50 years.

    There is a now a very real possibility of a National First Minister soon. In election terms, the nationalist will have the upper hand in about 10 years
    electorally.

    4 of the 11 councils are now nationalist controlled. Belfast in 10 years will have an overall nationalist council. Then it will be 5/11.

    Armagh, Bannbridge and Craigavon will be nationalist in 20 years time. It will then be 6/11 councils nationalist.

    Not that it really matters anymore, but there is now equal number of protestants and Catholics. Catholics are now in the clear majority for children under 16.

    The unionists have had their day, their reason to be, is inevitability
    disintegrating. There is now more equal rights between both sections of the
    community (more to happen e.g. Irish Language act, less & less marching,
    less Fleg flying, equal display of cultural expressions) .

    What you call NI, to me most of NI feels more Irish that the south.

    Anywhere west of the Bann, feels overwhelmingly irish (plenty places east of the band also)

    For Unionists, the game is over.

    Unionists interest are best served south. Its clear Westminster wants to pull away.

    Ive no interest in politics, i dont support any party, im from and live in the South but work in the North everyday (my natural hinterland). Im just telling it the way i see it.

    Having no border at present, has been the best thing for both communities.

    Now focus now on improving the economy and integrating it more with the Republic.

  • TruthToPower

    Your lack of interest in politics is quite obvious. I bet you’re enjoying the lower taxes of the U.K. which is perfectly understandable. As a unionist, I have simply no affinity or emotional connect with RoI. It’s as foreign to me as Spain. It’s grubby, dirty, corruption prone, given to the gombeen worship of the local ‘big fella’ and a pervasive sneaking regard to avoiding the law as obeying the law is seen as something British.

    It’s a foreign country to me and to unionists. Perhaps not to you as you are Irish but to us, it is. You may not like hearing that but because you don’t like something it doesn’t mean it’s going to stop existing.

  • Oriel27

    No, I am very interested to hear from a Unionist prospective. In fact its very useful to hear it. I am wondering how unionists developed this mindset. In the interest of peace and prosperity, either side must understand each others perspective. But how have unionists came to this mindset you have? You are not being truthful regarding the South being as alien as Spain to you. that cannot be right. I think unionists need to acknowledge their Irish heritage more. Irish culture, heritage and language is very much part of NI. All town names, townlands, many unionist surnames are from Irish decent.
    Unionists are here about 350 years. How can you reject your Irish heritage? Can you imagine the several thousand polish people (in 100 years time) rejecting their irish heritage and claiming part of Ireland for Poland? how absurd that would be.
    Before partition, unionists were very much proud of their Irish heritage (all be it within the UK for economic reasons).

    the founder of the Unionist Party was a Cavan man and a proud Irish man. Carson was a Dub. and a proud Irish man.

    My own county, Monaghan is heavily populated with protestants. some of my best friends are protestant and proud to be irish. And their is 12 active Orange lodges in Monaghan too.

    I think you are wrong is your views of the South.

    I think its complete ignorance of unionists to not acknowledge their irish heritage.

  • Alan N/Ards

    “I think its complete ignorance of unionists to not acknowledge their irish heritage.”

    I would say that a lot of unionists would be happy to reclaim their Irish heritage. The problem (for many) is the linking of (being Irish) to a particular kind of political belief. If you adhere to the republican way of thinking (and support a UI) then you’re definitely Irish. But to be opposed to a UI and “being ruled from Dublin” ( to quote a friend of mine) then you are deemed to be not truly Irish, although you have been born on this island.

    Can a unionist be Irish but at the same time not believe in a UI? I’m very happy to be called Irish (it wasn’t always the case) but I’m happy to be an Irish unionist. Does it make me less Irish?

  • Oriel27

    yes Alan, that makes perfect sense, your point is much more reasonable, honest, understandable and acceptable than ‘TruthToPower”s dismissive,blind and somewhat arrogant point of view.
    Anotherwords be Irish in a UK ruled from London, i understand that – thats what Carson wanted.
    So its up to Republicans/Nationalists to convince you peacefully otherwise.
    I would like to think irishness in today’s sense has evolved to become more secular, multicultural, acceptance of all traditions to live on this island.

    Getting back to the original Brexit argument, i think it would destabilize the current peace we have if the UK was to leave the EU. who wants the return of border check points as what it was 20 years ago.

  • Mirrorballman

    Donegal is as foreign to you as Spain? Really?

    “It’s a foreign country to me and to unionists. Perhaps not to you as you are Irish but to us, it is.”

    I see you’re also a spokeman for all unionists. Does that include those Spanish like Orangemen of Cavan and Donegal?

  • Kevin Breslin

    On the Scottish independence referendum, I did read that the SNP were willing to let the United Kingdom effectively remain, but with two independent states just like it used to be. I assume that is the concept you were talking about.

    Bringing back Dal Riata might be interesting too, of course.

  • TruthToPower

    Most unionists have a disdain for Ireland yes. It’s an ok country but it’s like an unwashed dog of a place. Charming in parts but a little whiffy. As for Donegal, it should have been part of NIreland in the first place. Any Protestants from RoI I’ve met have lost their British identify through coercion and the stifling celticity of the state.

  • TruthToPower

    It’s like asking a WASP American to open his heart to the Sioux side of himself when it isn’t there in the first place. horses don’t become pigs just because they move into the sty. I prefer British culture as its superior. We had an empire, discovered continents, invented many wonderful things. What had Ireland achieved or indeed any small nation ? They sat on the fence during WW2. They claim to be neutral and not join NATO but are happy to hide behind Britain and America’ skirts in the sh*t hit the fan. It’s politics are worthy of subsaharan Africa. The hero worship of local rich crooks and wideboys etc.
    Nah, it truly is an horrific idea to be part of such a place. It’s like asking a Texan to become part of Guatamala or Mexico

  • Alan N/Ards

    I’m not opposed to the EU, but I do believe that it can be done so much better. Reforming it – rather than leaving it – should be the way to go.

  • Oriel27

    pure bullshit. Plenty of protestants i know in Monaghan (Drum), are proud of their British heritage and march openly in Drum. They have 4 active lodges there. They are also proud of their Irish heritage very much as well. The minister of Culture, Heather Humpreys is from the area – a lovely kind woman.
    Monaghan County Council are very fair and equal to minority groupings

    Your identity is based on anything anti-irish. Luckily the vast majority of unionists are not like you, and embrace equality.

    I get the feeling you like to stir hatred and division.

  • Oriel27

    Things change my fellow irish man, things change and be no more…. Your empire ? the Romans had one too.
    ‘We’, a little englander – a typical colonial attitude.
    You exhibit sheer desperation and fear that you will loose your british identity. I bet you have a flag hanging outside your door all year round.
    Identities can change too.
    Did you every imagine your Union flag would come down over city hall??
    The real reason for all the protest and fuss was the fear of equality & fear the inevitable.
    Did you ever think the DUP would share power with SF?
    Damn glad to do so now. Do you realize there will be a SF first minister someday?
    The day will come when you (or your kind) will be living outside of the UK. But you will receive respect and equality. Your identity will be respected.
    Equality will be the winner for all – in a fair and equal republic.