The UK’s act of political and economic suicide means the future for Northern Ireland is incredibly bleak…

Wow, what a week in politics. Before the vote I was getting fed up hearing about Brexit. I went to bed on Thursday night safe in the view that no one would be crazy enough to vote to leave the EU. My politics are pragmatic, I detest ideologies. As someone who has been self-employed my whole life I can see the benefit of access to a free market of one-third of the world’s wealth. As our American friends would say, ‘it’s a no-brainer.’

But it seems the people believed the lies. Maybe they wanted to register a protest vote. Maybe they did want to ‘take back control’, whatever that means. I am not a sore loser; the people have spoken. As a politics fan I can watch it all unfurl like some slow motion car crash. To fully understand what an utter mess Brexit would be for the UK watch this short video from local lad Professor Michael Dougan:

Before the vote I was not optimistic about our future. We have a lot of new start-up companies doing creative and funky things. We have lots of nice new bars and restaurants. We have a people who are generally friendly and welcoming. If you are middle class in Northern Ireland, you can have a great standard of living. But yet always in the background we are haunted by the past. Old wounds still fester. We endlessly churn up the past, trapped in a Troubles groundhog day.

An aid worker once told me there is a constant background vibe or energy you can feel in conflict zones. He could feel it in Belfast just as much as he felt it in Rwanda. Before you kick off in the comments, he was not comparing the Troubles to the Rwandan Genocide. His point was you could feel this presence always in the background – the spectre at the feast. As we saw with the flag protests trouble can flare up quite quickly in Northern Ireland. The threat of violence is always there in the shadows.

So what are the repercussions of Brexit for NI?

Massive job losses for a start. It is no secret that our economy is very heavily dependent on Government and EU spending. Some facts from the BelTel:

the EU is set to spend 118 million Euros on Peace programme funding up to 2020 and its absolute dedication to peace in Northern Ireland was shown recently on the announcement of another £190m to support peace and reconciliation.

We exported £3.6bn-worth of goods to the EU in 2014. That was 61% of total goods exports. Think about that figure: 61%. Three times as much as to the United States. Meanwhile, 34% of exports from Northern Ireland go to the Republic. £2.1bn was traded freely across our shared and open border last year alone.

It is easy to sneer at our endless amounts of community workers but they do a lot of valuable work. They work to keep a lid on violence in interface areas. They are on the ground dealing with the poor and marginalised.

Our farming sector is very heavily dependent on EU subsidies. In a post Brexit world let’s see how well are farmers do going head to head with cheap South American imports. A lot of farming will become unsustainable.

Our local universities will also get hit hard as a lot of research funding comes from the EU.

With the Labour party in disarray we are looking at several more years of Conservative government. There is no way they will give the same level of handouts we are used to. If anything we can expect further cuts to benefits and grants. Taxes will go up, water charges will come in, businesses and the public sector will be further squeezed.

Increasing joblessness and benefit cuts will lead to recession. I don’t think the Troubles would ever come back, but it is feasible that we could have Troubles-lite as the poor and marginalised look to blame themun’s for their economic plight. Get a charismatic leader who can stir up the mob and we are looking at real trouble.

I love living in Belfast. I like the people; I like the lifestyle. But with my business head on me I would never invest here – it is just too uncertain. Many people will now choose to keep their capital liquid lest they need to move elsewhere. To quote an old Troubles motto, ‘We will always be watching the door.’

All this will be gradual. Each year things will get a little worse. That shop/café you once liked will no longer be in business. You will find yourself going to more leaving parties. Your nieces and nephews will go to Scotland for University never to come home.

We have nothing to offer our young people. Their future is in Edinburgh, Dublin, Boston, Sydney and elsewhere. If you have get up and go, you need to get up and go. We don’t want your energy and talent. Don’t worry, with cheap global travel you can come and visit us. We will still be here reliving the past. As the old joke goes, ‘Welcome to Belfast, please wind your watches back to 16:90’.

This post is bleak. I am not depressed, I am just reading the situation as I see it. Maybe everything will be ok. The lower pound will boost exports (not that we export much). The lower pound will boost tourism (currently 1 tenth of the level of the Republic). Maybe lots of big American companies will open shiny new offices in the Titanic Quarter and Arlene and Martin will get RSI from cutting so many ribbons.

If you can see a specific upside to Brexit please do let me know in the comments. Not the vague ‘taking back control’ stuff but specific ways that Northern Ireland will better. I will be more than delighted to be proved wrong.

I help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff. My day job is creating websites and software. My personal site is:

  • kensei

    I can’t see the offices in the Titanic Quarter. This will freeze a lot of FDI at least while uncertainty over the future persists. Even beyond that – do you want your new European HQ in Dublin, Cork or Galway in the EU or in Belfast out of it. This is going to hurt.

    I worked in a company that went through a 9 month sale process – it literally stopped everything in the company. Brexit has just done that to an entire country.

  • Granni Trixie

    O dear Brian. You have articulated my own fears at an outcome which I consider an own goal.
    But then NI has much experience to draw upon in working ourselves out of another fine mess (and I don’t just mean the outcome but British internal political party conflicts. As negotiators these impact on us too).
    I can only jolt myself into pragmatic and creative thinking by accepting ‘we are where we are’ – a looking back kind of analysis is not productive right now.
    And although it is debate for another post, may I say re negotiating the current crisis, it draws attention to the futility of SF Westminster policy where they are not in the sphere of influence to get best deal for NI.

  • Brian O’Neill

    And so it begins. Brexit blow as UK company pulls plug on £25m Belfast office scheme

  • Sharpie

    We are at the most vulnerable end of all this because of the scale of our reliance on the public sector and the EU. Th UK, which already has a very bare cupboard (has the biggest deficit in the EU) has nothing to dip into. More than anything it is the uncertainty that beats us up. Uncertainty is the slow scraping of nails on the slate blackboard – it will just go on and on and on and cannot be switched off, no matter the simple solutions people look for. The danger is that simple solutions and their pursuit is that which the public likes to engage.

    The modus operandi for the next few years – look after yourself – help isn’t coming.

  • Zorin001

    A number of big IT companies were already under heavy pressure to move their NI operations to the high skill/low wage markets in Poland and India, I worry this will now be the final nail in the coffin.

    We are in an awful position as a legacy of low investment and poor skills growth leaves us with very little in the way of high quality FDI coming our way. I fear any jobs created in the near future will simply be low skilled “Zero Hour” labour.

    Make no mistake we are on the periphery of the UK, no matter what happens going forward we are going to buffeted severely.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Could some one explain to me what exactly WILL be the deal with farming?

    When the subsidies stop what will actually replace them?

    Will it be difficult to export stuff? do we export much stuff at the moment?

  • Reader

    Brian O’Neill : I went to bed on Thursday night safe in the view that no one would be crazy enough to vote to leave the EU.
    “no one” – Who’s the crazy one?

  • Reader

    Am Ghobsmacht: When the subsidies stop what will actually replace them?
    Other subsidies. Hopefully more intelligently applied, in the interests of local farmers rather than French farmers.

  • Brian O’Neill

    OK to be precise. I thought the vote would go 44% to 56%.

  • terence patrick hewett

    “Sybill Trelawney has predicted the death of a student every year since she came to this school. None of them have died yet.”

  • mac tire

    “Other subsidies. Hopefully more intelligently applied…”

    You made a typing error. That should read “Hopefully other subsidies more intelligently applied…”

  • Sharpie

    ouch, the burn

  • Brian O’Neill

    So basically we replace one bureaucracy with another? Only this one favours English farmers over farmers in NI?

  • The Night Rider

    I wonder if Brian knows anyone whose family business has died, with two Polish ventures set up in its place in the same postcode.

  • Sharpie

    This lecture is enough to make you cry. All that – just on the single market and nothing on convention on human rights, energy policy, environment, regional development, peace funding, research, never name immigration. His demolishing the argument for the “Norway” model was particularly damning.

  • Declan Doyle

    With the Republics economy surging ahead there is no reason to believe the North is finished. Should the continued UK connection mean continued decline in the north there is one simple answer to halt that slide.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Uh? Bit niche.

  • The Night Rider

    I didn’t think you’d answer that.

  • Reader

    I can’t pretend it was a typing error. I really do write without verbs whenever I feel like it.

  • Reader

    Sharpie: ouch, the burn
    You forgot the verb.

  • Reader

    Brian, there would be lots of ways to do it. But surely since I used the word “local” you at least considered the possibility that I meant the decisions should be devolved?

  • Sharpie

    To be fair I think we are all glad he didn’t.

  • lizmcneill

    I’m sure the DUP will go along with that option without doing something as irresponsibly stupid as supporting Brexit. Oh, wait.

  • murdockp

    Too simplistic a scenario and unfair, I could argue against this statement without great difficulty but I won’t go there.

    It comes down to us believing in free trade or not believing in it.

  • Surveyor

    Did you really think the outcome was never in doubt Brian? For me when Boris Johnson threw in his cap for the leavers side I had an inkling that they might just do it. And I could sense the mood shifting to leave when the focus moved to the immigration question 10 or so days before the vote.

    The Remain Side’s campaign in my opinion was very tired and jaded and lacked cohesion. The Obama intervention for example should have happened a week before the vote to concentrate minds instead of when it actually happened. Does anyone now even remember what Obama said?

  • Reader

    Second thoughts – were you expressing doubt as to whether there would actually be a subsidy? Ok then:
    There will definitely be a comparable sum of money made available.
    It will almost certainly be devolved.
    If will possibly be ring-fenced; also it will possibly be labelled transitional.
    It may or not be spent wisely.
    I suppose your take on the above pyramid of probabilities may be different from mine. Better put your faith in Arlene then.

  • Brian O’Neill

    That is because I have no idea what the question is. Are you saying the polish companies put the local guy out of business?

  • chrisjones2

    …and if we all accept that view it will be like that. But there is another view.

    The pound has fallen. That’s a huge boost for tourism and retail. Any retailer or hotelier already not exploiting it deserves to go bust. Its a boost for manufacturing too.

    Then there is the chance for inward investment to service the UK market. But into Ireland now and you risk tariffs when you export to the UK. NI is in the bubble

    So do cheer up. The future will be what we make it. Our biggest barriers are the quality of our politicians and our civil servants …not the EU border

  • chrisjones2

    ECHR has nothing to do with the EU

    Energy policy – we will now be freed from much of the EU nonsense and over regulation

    Environment – ditto

    Peace Funding – it will have to be cut but so what> How long do we keep up the pretence?

    Research – will still be funded by the UK. Research also tends to follow intellect and ability

    Immigration – whats your problem. It will be fair. It will be controlled

    As for the Norway model and all the others there is a difference. We are a high net buyer of the EUs goods. We dont have to be. They need us ,more than we need them

  • chrisjones2

    They may have …and good luck to them.

  • chrisjones2

    Well we might try farming and selling the stuff into the UK where , if the EU insists on tariffs, we may have an advantage

  • chrisjones2

    How do you know it does?

  • chrisjones2

    Zero hour labour makes few profits here

  • chrisjones2

    “The 70,000 sq ft development could have been anywhere between six and 10 storeys tall, according to Eamonn Murphy of Murphy Chartered Surveyors, who was advising the developer.”

    So they dont know if it was to be 6 or 10 storeys or where it was to be or ……..

    This sounds like many development proposals….. that hit the financial buffers long before a site is identified or a sod turned

  • chrisjones2

    What if its you new British HQ?

    Or your new International HQ where you arent weighted down by Brussels Bureaucracy and French Employment Laws and taxes?

  • submariner

    Do you live in some sort of parallel universe.NI is already the poorest region of the UK our brightest and best are voting with their feet. Brexit will be a disaster for NI in economic terms if you believe otherwise your the Economic equivalent of Forest Gump.

  • Keith

    One of the reasons why we have a vote to leave is the kind of incredulity expressed in this post, that people would be mad enough to want to leave. Politicians, bureaucrats, and many, many people have thought that to be self-evident. That has led to a failure to address the genuine held concerns that people have about the current state and direction of travel of the EU.
    One of the supreme ironies in all this is listening to EU leaders now talking about the need to listen to people and take these emotions seriously. I’ve now heard the leaders of Germany, France, Italy, and Spain all make such statements. Too late really.

  • eamoncorbett

    I heard a Norwegian politician on the radio this morning explaining that his country has to pay for the privilege of accessing the free market and accept the free movement of EU citizens within Norway . They have to accept whatever dictat the European comission throws at them.
    If this is the model adapted by the UK then NI might get off lightly as fewer EU citizens come to NI anyway , but the guy from Norway also mentioned that they get nothing from the EU absolutely nothing , it is a one sided agreement with only one side making the rules .
    It will be up to the Tories to make up the shortfall on structural funds and single farm payments .

  • AntrimGael

    I have detected a real air of pessimism and sadness in many people since the result. They are trying not to think about the negative consequences but they know they are coming. It’s difficult to see any silver lining of the cloud of gloom that has enveloped these islands since Friday. George Osborne today announced upcoming tax rises and public spending cuts in the wake of Brexit and these will be on top of austerity that has already been worked into Stormont’s budget over the next 5 years. Add in nervous, reluctant investors, no EU money, old historical wounds and fears and who knows what the near future could bring?
    Be under no illusion, even if the Tories do recoup money on Britain’s EU contributions, does anyone on planet reality believe they will be redirected our way? Only a naive fool would think so. My biggest fear is that the xenophobic, racist bigotry and horrible incidents surfacing in the strong LEAVE areas of England will raise it’s ugly head here again. Some of the stuff on PUL websites is quite scary with talk of Loyalists following suit; ‘Little Ulster-ers’ now believing it’s a return to majority rule demanding Union and Ulster Flags fly on ALL public buildings 365 days a year; Protestant secret societies be allowed to march where they want; ALL Irish cultural symbols now be outlawed etc etc. You also have an increasingly irritated, fearful Nationalist community seeing themselves trapped in a perpetual partitionist, sectarian, Unionist, Stormont monolith with a right wing Tory nightmare in Downing Street for the foreseeable future. I can only see trouble ahead. .

  • Katyusha

    Who in their right mind would base their British HQ in Northern Ireland?

    You’re putting the Irish Sea in between yourself and your clients!

  • Obelisk

    Maybe a pedantic, but Northern Ireland has one of the highest concentrations of EU citizens who are permanent residents in the United Kingdom.

  • Obelisk

    If you accept the economic consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland, then the logic of how to fix it tends to carry you towards a certain destination. Maybe denial of the problem in the first place means you don’t have to make that ultimate mental leap.

  • lizmcneill

    Yeah, but aren’t most of them Irish citizens?

  • Obelisk

    Still EU citizens though. As I said…a bit pedantic.

  • Katyusha

    We aren’t out of the ECHR just yet; which is why it may be a good idea to pray that Theresa May doesn’t take the Tory leadership and hence become our new prime minister. One her major aims is to pull Britain out of the ECHR.

    On research; I have absolutely zero faith that the UK will be willing or able to replace EU funded research projects. There are many projects funded directly by the EU which may be moved to continental universities. Conversely, the UK government is quite notorious for its lacklustre approach to funding research. The intellect and ability will follow the money.

    But at least we are free to destroy the environment as we please! Every cloud, and all that.

  • lizmcneill

    Half the population will be Irish citizens as soon as the Post Office gets the passport forms back in, anyway 😉

  • lizmcneill

    Are the Unionists even a majority any more?

  • Brendan Heading

    You mean the place where JP Morgan and HSBC are moving their staff ?

  • Brendan Heading

    Other subsidies. Hopefully more intelligently applied, in the interests of local farmers rather than French farmers.

    I wouldn’t put it past a Tory government to cut off all the subsidies and put an end to most farming in the UK, importing everything instead. That’s what happened with UK manufacturing, steel and coal ..

  • Granni Trixie

    Plus there is also a ‘virtual’ university funded by EU to offer Masters courses, administered from Venice.
    QUB and Nottingham are the UK universities who are in the network. Students taking the courses are taught in universities in the network, including QUB.

    It is expected that once exit is triggered QUB and Nottingham will no longer be eligible to be part of the European initiative – an immediate loss of income from EU as well as networking opportunities and knowledge exchange.

    Only a relatively small example I know …but it all adds up.

  • Sharpie

    In the past two decades Northern Ireland politicians left hundreds of millions of eligible but unclaimed money in Brussels for a lot of projects that could have benefited Northern Ireland. We were focused on ERDF, ESF and SSPPR (Peace) monies and did not draw down money from Commission funds or from special funding like Life Long Learning or LIFE Environment in anything like the amounts that we could have. Some organisations were great at getting partnership monies and made great projects from them. The demise of those will directly impact hundreds of jobs. Part of the UK poor experience of the EU system was an inability to maximise it for the ordinary people – it is almost as if they would have been tainted by going there. Shame. Not something that can be rectified now.

  • chrisjones2

    Doh. Tax? Low labour costs? Low overheads?

  • DonArd

    AntrimGael, I would agree 100% with your assessment of the position. Grim.

  • Paddy Reilly

    In 1st preference terms, no: but they will normally receive sufficient transfers from Alliance etc to get their candidates and motions over the 50% mark. Unless, as in the present case, they back a loser, without 100% agreement between Unionists.

  • Katyusha

    Honestly, Chris? You’d be putting yourself at a massive strategic disadvantage by locating a UK HQ here. You’re cutting yourself off from your client base, and being close to them is the only point in having a regional HQ in the first place.
    For it’s status as a virtual island within the UK, NI doesn’t have even have good airport links. A competitor which based themselves in England would annihilate you when it came to customer relations and short supply chains.

    The opportunity cost of lost travel time is not a low overhead, by any means, and a 30% depression in wages isn’t going to make up for that, especially when one of the reasons for this is our best and brightest have left the country. We’re not an attractive place to do business by any means.

  • Msiegnaro

    Obama damaged the “remain camp” and this led me to question my decision which at this stage was to remain in the EU. I didn’t like the bully boy tactics that he was suggesting.

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    There will be plagues of locusts, fire will rain down from the skies, crops will lie withering in the fields, the seas will boil over and engulf the land, the beasts of the field will sicken and die, man will do great hurt unto man, the world will be consumed by pestilence and rage……

    ….some light showers to follow, breezy with sunny intervals and a high of 19 degrees.

    (With apologies to Monty Python)

  • Kevin Breslin

    I used to argue with a guy on this forum about the UK having its own Common Agricultural Policy, but I am beginning to see his point. He probably meant DEFRA runs the entire agricultural system centrally. If Barnett is used then I imagine Northern Ireland higher level of agriculture gets punished.

  • kensei

    Sure. I just think there’ll be less of those. Maybe we can get jobs by being a low wage economy like Eastern Europe.

  • Obelisk

    This is actually getting worse, if you can believe it.

    Seems Cameron went to yesterday’s meeting and essentially blamed the other leaders for not conceding more on freedom of movement. Then he said that if they wished to maintain a trading relationship with the UK, the UK would have to get some control of freedom of movement.

    As anyone who has been following this knows, Freedom of movement is the holy grail of the European Union, one of the principles they absolutely WILL NOT compromise on.

    It is the price of access to the single market, and access to the single market is the basis of the soft landing Norway model.

    Yet I am getting the sense that Conservative candidates for the leadership are going to place Freedom of movement reform as their overriding goal in the negotiations.

    This insanity is going to culminate in the worst possible outcome if it isn’t stopped, Britain leaving the single market to control freedom of movement. At that point, I cannot see how the economy can do anything but shrink…and shrink considerably at that. You could argue that the consequences of leaving the single market are so severe that no sane person would do it.

    Yet a week ago, we thought that the country wouldn’t vote leave because of the consequences.

    As for anyone dreaming that Britain can negotiate a deal where they control freedom of movement and have single market access…if you even suggest that as a possibility then you really aren’t taking what is happening seriously. The EU wants to trade with the UK but they aren’t going to shoot themselves in the face to do it.

  • Chingford Man

    The London Evening Standard last night had reports from pro-Remain businesses now looking forward to the opportunities that the new world might bring. That’s more useful than sitting round blogging about being doomed.

    Oh and Dougan is probably realising that Liverpool University won’t be needing a Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law for much longer. Good! Maybe he can be retrained for something more useful.

  • Obelisk

    Look, Brexit isn’t an obstacle. It’s not a one time challenge you must endure and then it is over. Brexit is not the kind of catastrophe that blows up in your face and then you can move on.

    Brexit is a disaster that will roll on from this point.

    Any day where Britain is poorer than it would have been without Brexit is the Brexit catastrophe. Day after day, week after week, year after year, how many opportunities will be lost? How much growth stifled? How many futures irrevocably limited?

    Every company that looks at the UK, ponders investment and says no, because it is not in the EU, THAT is part of the Brexit disaster, even if it happens fifteen years from now.

    Brexit is the new world, and it will be till the day we can agree that the new world is better than the one that has been sacrificed would have been.

    It will decades before that assumption can be made.

  • kensei

    For reference MCS Group sent around a survey about how businesses felt abut Brexit. Something like 90% of respondents stated they were either Concerned or Very Concerned about it.

    Self selecting and non scientific, so it needs an amount of caution. But business here seems worried.

  • Chingford Man

    Is this satire?

    If not, take heart that 11 countries outside the EU have already indicated they are interested in doing trade deals with us, and we’ve only had 4 working days since the referendum.

    Chin up, laddie.

    “There will be bumps in the road and some more unwelcome volatility, but our economic future as a self-governing, outward looking, open and generous society is as bright as it gets.”–brexit-will-make-us-rich/

  • lizmcneill

    But Alliance voters tend to not care about flegs, parades and oor culchural heritage, so the Loyalists fantasies are not going to be backed by a majority.

  • Chingford Man

    No, he’s too busy thinking about the future than moping about the past.

  • Chingford Man

    “the xenophobic, racist bigotry and horrible incidents surfacing in the strong LEAVE areas of England”

    Breitbart London disputes this:

    “A statement from the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Hate
    Crime has skewered the mainstream media and ‘Remain’ politician
    narrative that there has been a confirmed spike in hate crimes across
    the United Kingdom since the country voted to leave the European Union

    Speaking on Tuesday, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton clarified
    that while reporting of hate crimes had risen via an online form, there
    was no evidence to suggest that this was uniquely related to a Brexit
    vote, nor that the crimes have actually been committed.”

  • Obelisk

    No it’s not satire. UKIP and it’s ilk were happy to peddle lies to the electorate to get their way and now that Brexit has happened, they seem determined to pretend that the very real consequences of this decision will not cause anyone any problems.

    Severing ties with the European Union is clearly as distressing as taking a morning walk in a soft downpour.

    I think you are continuing the trends of the campaign, embracing ignorance and wishful thinking in place of sober analysis. But as Gove said, the country has had quite enough of experts. I guess that means the Leave campaign’s non-existent plans are as valid as the ramblings of people who go on and on about a half remembered England that never existed in the first place.

    Fine, who am I to break you out of your dream? Maybe you are wealthy enough and your personal circumstances secure enough that the effects of Brexit won’t touch you. Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones.

    And if you’re not, if Brexit does engulf you, I live those circumstances to shake you out of your reverie.

    But with Everyone outside the Leave campaign, with the exceptions of the far right fringe in Europe, Putin and Trump…screaming about the implications, forgive me if I choose to believe this is nothing short of a catastrophe.

  • Chingford Man

    Just for you, Gavin.

  • Obelisk

    Positive thinking was for last week when I thought the British people wouldn’t be so stupid as to give into fear.

    Realism is the order of all the days to come.

  • On the fence!

    “Any day where Britain is poorer than it would have been without Brexit is the Brexit catastrophe.”

    Well then there will be no “Brexit catastrophe” as given the volatility and uncertainty in the world, and Europe in particular, by about Monday we’d already gone beyond the stage where anyone could have sensibly and accurately predicted where we would have been in the event of a “remain” vote so comparisons between the two scenarios are no longer even valid.

    Sort of emphasizes then that the intelligent thing is to accept what happened and get on with life.

  • John Collins

    A news report on Tuesday reported a 57% increase in racist attacks and a Polish women interviewed said a Polish community centre was daubed with nasty anti Polish graffiti. It must have been some very ignorant loons who targeted Polish people in this fashion. In the Second World the courage and effectiveness of Polish Airmen surpassed even that of the British Airmen in combatting the Luftwaffe. This was well enunciated in a BBC programme shown about 12 months ago. The Polish nation lost more personnel per capita than any country in WW2 and yet both GB and the USA shamefully acceded to Stalin taking control of their country at Yalta.
    In an other instance a lady of Indian origin was told to ‘go back home’ despite the fact that her parents and grandparents had been born, and lived all their lives, in GB

  • Chingford Man


    “The National Police Chiefs’ Council told the Guardian
    that 85 incidents had been reported, compared to 54 during the earlier
    period. “It’s no coincidence this has come off the back of the EU vote,”
    a police source claimed.

    However, all of the perceived crimes were reported on the “Stop Hate Crime” website, rather than in a station or to an officer.

    It takes just minutes to report a “hate crime” online, all from the
    comfort of one’s armchair. It raises questions therefore over the
    massive social media push and how responsible online activists are for
    the “surge”. It is entirely possible that a percentage of reports are
    politically motivated. This is a tactic that was previously used by one
    “anti-Islamophobia” group in order to boost their “hate crime” numbers.
    They lost government funding after it was revealed they had artificially inflated the reports.”

  • Paddy Reilly

    Half the population are Irish citizens already. By the end of the year ALL the population will be Irish citizens, including Ian Paisley M.P. But the other half will have British passports as well.

  • John Collins

    First lesson for historians. Never take an isolated action and respond to it as if it was commonplace