The EU summit’s declaration on a united Ireland exposes British isolation


EU prepares for post-Brexit united Ireland membership

Summit endorsement would raise fears over fragmentation of UK

The Financial Times  is getting  excited about today’s  EU summit endorsing special treatment for Ireland  in the Brexit negotiations and raises “ fears for the fragmentation of the UK “

The Irish Times political editor Stephen Collins is equally excited that a declaration on Ireland gives Enda Kenny the dignified farewell he’s been seeking.

What does it amount to? The Irish Times gives a wordy explanation of the position  that if Northern Ireland  were to vote for  Irish unification, a united Ireland would inherit the present Republic’s membership. No doubt harmonisation of the tax base and membership of the euro would be  required.

The position will not form part of the guidelines for the exit negotiations between the EU and UK but would be outlined in a separate declaration. However, it will also reiterate the EU support for the Belfast Agreement (already outlined in the draft guidelines).

The Irish Times report is careful to add:

The reference in support for Irish unity by the EU-27 leaders based around the terms of the 1998 peace accord in Northern Ireland is not guaranteed given the potential for it to encourage talk of independence in Scotland from the UK and Catalonia from Spain.

British officials are said to be relaxed about a declaration given that it would be a factual statement involving EU leaders supporting the 1998 Northern Irish peace accord post-Brexit and would be based on the German precedent and international law.

The EU declaration makes unity a little more attractive by eliminating the possibility of a renegotiation of EU membership. In the Brexit negotiations it isn’t  relevant to refer to  an independent Scotland . The SNP position is not represented at the Brexit negotiations whereas the interests of all Ireland most certainly are. And presumably the EU does not want actively to antagonise the British by going out on a limb for the SNP. Nevertheless that won‘t stop  the SNP and their supporters regarding the Irish declaration as some sort of precedent.

It’s no more than a statement of the obvious that the British government is on its own when it comes to defending Theresa May’s “ precious, precious Union. “  Under different circumstances the EU would have been more circumspect about the prospect of Irish unity due to the EU principle of actively defending the territorial integrity of member states. But now that the UK is leaving the EU that principle no longer applies with the same force, provided consent for Irish unity is given.

While the EU is not saying they actively support Irish unity post Brexit, their declaration leaves the UK more isolated and it could make unionists more reluctant to cooperate with the south on a practical basis.

The EU’s Irish declaration for today’s summit figured prominently in other paper’s coverage after the FT broke the story last night. The Times (£) stayed with concentrating on Angela Merkel’s warning to the British not to have any illusions and Theresa May’s response. If this marks out their territories throughout , it is hard to see how a Tory landslide in the election would make any impression on the Germans .

In unusually blunt language, Angela Merkel said that British politicians were living under the “illusion” that the UK would retain most of its rights and privileges after leaving the EU.

She added that trying to even negotiate from such a position was a “waste of time” and that there was a limit to how much energy the bloc was prepared to expend on Brexit negotiations.

“Countries with a third-country status — and that’s what Great Britain will be — cannot and will not have the same or even more rights as a member of the European Union,” she said in a speech to German MPs. “This is self-evident. But I have to put this so clearly because I get the impression that some in Great Britain still have illusions about this, and that is a waste of time.” She added that “all 27 member states and the European institutions agree on this”.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Katyusha

    Protestant resistance to a UI is not economic.

    John, it’s not, but the prospect of losing the land that your family has held since plantation times – longer than the UK has existed – may change that. A real economic shock can have that effect.

    Who are the planters, once they’ve been dispossessed? What is the motivation for holding onto Fermanagh and Armagh, when you’ve been banished to the cities to work for someone else?

  • WiseJeffrey

    The DUP should be making the case for joint authority now and DEMAND £6Bn a year from Dublin, plus say an extra £1Bn for deprived working class loyalist areas.

    It is about time Dublin started contributing to this part of Ireland.

  • Seamus McScowler

    Unionists should know that they are swimming against the political tide & an Ireland goverened solely by the people of this island is an axiom. Personally I think this reality will be delivered by the people of Scotland in their quest independence. England & Wales will then seek to scrape off the ‘wee’ North as they scramble to find relavance in their new isolated status.

  • WiseJeffrey

    “I already am the subject of the levity, isn’t British rule already administered in the north? ”

    Yes, by Sinn Fein

  • Fear Éireannach

    It is about time this part of Ireland started contributing to Ireland.

  • eamoncorbett

    I’ve been arguing that one for a long time now as I don’t believe unity is a runner , but I also believe that Britain cannot now administer NI without Dublin , Sinn Fein has seen to that . Stormont could function under such an arrangement and prosper as the constitutional question would disappear as a disruptive influence, and it could have the beneficial effect of dislodging the big 2 from their lofty perches. The Alliance party should be the ones peddling this idea but alas they are happy to play a minor role in the circus that passes for government in NI.

  • Peggy kelly

    There have been posts on here about health and education etc. with barely a comment. But as soon as the words ‘united ireland’ appear, the keyboard fingers go bananas. Lord help us all. Anyway, if the people of this country decide they would prefer to live in a united Ireland, then that’s how it will be. If they don’t, it won’t. Europe or no Europe the people remain sovereign. So shall it be.

  • WiseJeffrey

    Good comment !

    The one thing that DOES sicken me is SF attending several events to commemorate IRA terrorists yet DEMANDING respect from everyone else.

    Imagine the uproar if Theresa May attended a funeral of a U.V.F. Volunteer involved in the Dublin and Monaghan operations.

  • Katyusha

    She may well have attended commemorations of the armed forces and security “services”, some of whom were involved in the Dublin and Monaghan “operations”.

    Ultimately, Ms O’Neill attending a commemoration for those killed in a military attack at Loughgall is no different from Ms May attending a commemoration for the paratroop regiment.

  • WiseJeffrey

    So you recognise the U.V.F. as a legitimate Army ?

    And you have to admit the Dublin and Monaghan operations, despite the unfortunate casualties as happens in any war, was a brave operation carried out deep behind enemy lines.

  • WiseJeffrey

    1 Million loyalists should sicken the fcuk out of Dublin

    Legal aid, disability, random discrimination cases, motability, tripping over kerbs

    The potential is endless to bankrupt the fcukers, never mind the civil unrest that sees all the big corporations leave.

    I honestly look forward to it.

    PS who will pay for loyalist civil liberties ?

  • Macca

    I look forward to you calling for a carved-off slice of British territory for the UK’s Muslims to have as their own “country”. Only a mean-spirited and shallow soul would deprive them of this, after all. You’re a good fellow.

  • Katyusha

    No. But you know as well as I know, and both the British and Irish states know, that it wasn’t just the UVF involved in Dublin and Monaghan.

    And you have to admit the Dublin and Monaghan operations, despite the unfortunate casualties as happens in any war, was a brave operation carried out deep behind enemy lines

    Nonsense. It was a terrorist attack against defenceless innocent civilians in two cities in peacetime. The UVF never had the intelligence, the bravery or the sophistication to mount actual military attacks. Murdering innocent Catholics was as far as their “strategy” got.

  • Macca

    She represents a government that was involved in those bombings and sits on information about those bombings.

  • Peggy kelly

    1 million loyalists? Really? Are u Planning importation?

  • james

    “Who are the planters, once they’ve been dispossessed? What is the motivation for holding onto Fermanagh and Armagh, when you’ve been banished to the cities”

    What is this perpetual Irish Republican fetish for the ethnic cleansing of people who don’t agree with you (in this case all non-Republicans) all about anyway?

  • james

    Not to mention criminally stupid and shortsighted. There really is no realistic prospect of anything but NI remaining in the UK for at least another generation.

  • james

    If I may interject, I find it quite pitiful that “the descendants of the woodkerne” seem to have little ambition in life beyond the wish to “reduce the descendants of (his) forefathers to the same level as them”.

    Doesn’t say much for what SF has to offer.

  • james

    “The Normans, fml that’s harking back a bit – the 12th century.”

    You seem to find the 17th century a reasonable period to ‘hark back’ to.

  • Katyusha

    I’ve no fetish for ethnic cleansing; on the contrary, I’m utterly abhorred by the concept.

    The thought that the farms around the locality where I was raised (and the majority of them are unionist, for I grew up in a rural unionist enclave) are struggling to break even, even now, breaks my heart. Those guys are my neighbours, james. I’d be utterly distraught to see them fall into hardship, but Brexit is the iceberg we can’t avoid. Many of our farms are borderline viable as it is. I assure you, the prospect of small farmers being bankrupted by the withdrawal of EU subsidies is no illusion. The hard edge of capitalism cares not for ethnicity or religion.

  • james

    I don’t think Republicans like it when you bring up the contemporary sport of hurling a hail of rubble, bottles, bricks and petrol bombs at 18, 19, 20- year old soldiers.

    kinda messes up the unthinking primary colours narrative the SF press office has lovingly crafted.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Plantation perhaps.

  • james

    “However, though it may be asking the impossible to expect soldiers to behave properly every single time that is their job. It may seem to some unfair but that is the reality.”

    Fair points. Also important to remember that the overwheming majority of such cases, the soldiers were professional and restrained. Much, much better if we could say ‘on every single occasion’ – sadly we cannot – but we must always remember the context.

    And indeed not forget the role of groups like Sinn Fein in carefully, deliberately setting up such flashpoints in the first place.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I wouldn’t take that post of mine too seriously irrespective of how pitiful you feel.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Did someone else suggest you put the ‘wise’ in front of the ‘jeffrey’ or did you decide that yourself?

  • james

    You can’t read?

  • The worm!

    Well even leaving aside the pretty obvious “whataboutery” in your post I have to say that parading is not really my thing, but I know many people in the LO and also have quite a close circle of friends heavily involved with lambeg drumming and fifing.

    “Gloating” has absolutely nothing to do with why they do what they do.

    You by contrast are just hoping for the day when you can do just that quite unashamedly!

    You are plainly a very bitter person, but thankfully also destined to remain so for many years to come.

  • runnymede

    A whole field of straw men marching in this article.

    The EU comments on a hypothetical united Ireland in the EU are a cheap and uninteresting attempt at sh*t stirring, no more.

    Merkel’s comments are also weird. No-one on the Brexiter side is talking about anything more on the free trade side than the kind of deal that Canada and Korea already have. There are suggested add-ons in aviation (very likely) and financial services (more questionable, but not essential). That’s it.

  • SouthernMan

    “British officials are said to be relaxed…”, of course they are, this fits very nicely with the Brexiters plan to jettison NI from the UK.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I’m afraid you’ve lost me completely. I think everyone here can read. It’s the writing which seems to cause difficulty.

  • Max

    A million loyalists? Very funny. You do realise there is no where even close to a million protestants never mind loyalists. Also the prodestant community is dying out at an alarming rate. Loyalists cant act up or start any troubles. They are sitting ducks highly concentrated in larne carrick etc. Massively outnumbered. It would completley destroy any acceptance of their identity to be in ireland.

    The games up, loyalists true to thicko form just dont realise it yet.

  • Max

    The big loyalist baby boom. Perhaps this is the graduated response we have all been waiting on.

  • james

    I wrote “I find it quite pitiful that “the descendants of the woodkerne” seem to have little ambition in life beyond the wish to “reduce the descendants of (his) forefathers to the same level as them”. ”

    You’ve written “irrespective of how pitiful you feel”

    It does indeed seem to be your comprehension of the written word that has derailed us.

  • The Living End

    You would rather people simply cow down in front of an invading force? We have a right and a duty to resist

  • The Living End

    What’s the purpose of the orange order again?

  • NotNowJohnny

    You’ve still lost me completely.

  • john millar

    “You would rather people simply cow down in front of an invading force? We have a right and a duty to resist

    When was the invasion I must ha missed that

  • john millar

    ‘Are they aggressors looting and displacing the resident population ?’

    “Not currently, but within living memory, yes.”

    The only major “event” within “living memory” is the “displacing” of 17000 odd prods from the city side in Derry and the “transfer” of most of their business to other hands

  • john millar

    “They shouldn’t of been introduced. The RUC were getting their ar5e5 kicked, and for good reason. That should have been enough cause for reform within the north, without the British sending foreign troops over.

    Er– no “foreign troops involved NI in UK UK troops involved.

  • john millar

    “Remember, they were the ones who opted for a six county rather than a four county Northern Ireland, dragging as many Catholics as they felt they could dominate out of the nascent Free State and into this sectarian cockpit.”

    Hardly -the “ROI” declined to participate in the£” Boundary Commission” and the intention was to protect as many protestants as possible from the discrimination and murder in the “ROI”. Of course the old “Rome Rule” threat ( which was dismissed by the republican murder gangs as a myth) appeared in full

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1922/jul/18/murders-altnaveigh

    And continues today

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/march-to-protest-over-ownership-of-new-maternity-hospital-448986.html

  • Obelisk

    Yes, we know Unionists had a fully formed vision in their minds of the horror that would await them in a 32 county Ireland.

    We know this because they were able to replicate their darkest nightmares in the regime they inflicted upon my ancestors.

    As for the Boundary commission, it failed because the chairperson was a South African who believed his job wasn’t to redraw the boundaries in line with the wishes of the majority in each locality (which had been the assumed function of the commission and would have left Northern Ireland non-viable…not enough Protestants on enough territory) but as a tidying up exercise. He deliberately went out of his way to ensure Northern Ireland was ‘viable’, ignoring the wishes of the inhabitants.

  • Ray Lawlor

    Wow… this is the best rewriting of history I’ve ever witnessed around these parts, and that’s saying something..

  • john millar

    Repeats

    Ballymurphy ? was there a riot was there a gun battle ?
    Who encouraged /allowed children out on the streets to participate? Do republicans not dismiss civilians as “collateral” damage ? or better still deny that they committed them (Kingsmill Claudy)?

  • john millar

    By the way, the British Army used the nationalist population as human shields as well, which is why they situated an Army barracks literally directly next to the Catholic grammar school I attended. In my mum’s case, they went even further, occupying their school building, instead having the schoolgirls take their classes in mobile classrooms on the perimeter of the ground.

    Honourable tactics, all in all.”

    Where do you suggest the Barracks should have been situated?

  • Katyusha

    Hint, John. Probably not beside a school, or inside a school, if they cared a whit about civilian casualties, in particular the lives of catholic schoolchildren. There’s plenty of empty space in both localities that a barracks could have been located if space was all that was required. In both instances the British Army used Catholic schoolchildren as their first line of defence.

    Next you’ll be telling me that taking over part of Crossmaglen GAA club was an act of necessity as well. The BA knew exactly how antagonistic their actions were and indeed planned them as such.

  • john millar

    “We know this because they were able to replicate their darkest nightmares in the regime they inflicted upon my ancestors.”

    Yes inflicting all that NHS Social services -Funding a separate education system where they could ensure that no protestant could be employed.

    Pushing prods down the housing queue –

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/discrimination/gudgin99.htm

    and then complaining about it.

  • Obelisk

    I am not going to debate some revisionist version of Northern Ireland’s history where the state was some kind of munificent benefactor cruelly thwarted by a minority that didn’t want to play ball. If you want to pretend that is how it happened, fine, but I have no intention of indulging you over it.

  • john millar

    To celebrate the survival of the protestant religion in Roman Catholic Itreland

  • john millar

    “John, it’s not, but the prospect of losing the land that your family has held since plantation times – longer than the UK has existed – may change that. A real economic shock can have that effect.”

    How will they “lose the land” ?

  • john millar

    There’s plenty of empty space in both localities that a barracks could have been located if space was all that was required”

    Where was this empty space ?

  • john millar

    ” I am not going to debate some revisionist version of Northern Ireland’s history where the state was some kind of munificent benefactor cruelly thwarted by a minority that didn’t want to play ball. If you want to pretend that is how it happened, fine, but I have no intention of indulging you over it.”
    Painted you into a corner have I ?

    Was their universal franchise?
    Did every citizen have access to health and social services?
    Did the points system and larger Roman Catholic families push protestants down the housing queue?
    Was a separate schooling system for Roman Catholics set up which precluded the employment of protestants?

  • Katyusha

    By having to sell it to make ends meet, John. As my own family had to do in the past; especially when land has been used as collateral on loans, et cetera. There is also the question of the viability of farms once they lose not only the SFP, but also their cross-border markets. It’s hard enough to break even as it is. Farmers don’t need merely assets, they need an income in order to keep their business afloat.

  • Katyusha

    Without getting into the specific geography of the areas I grew up in, it wasn’t exactly in the city. You’d have to be a fool not to find space in the countryside.
    I suppose there was no empty space around XMG either, right?

  • john millar

    Farming is no different to any other business– in spite of the attachment to land endemic in Ireland . Consolidate into bigger acreage and/or get a second income

  • Katyusha

    Well, my own family already diversified into second and third incomes long ago. But I’m not the one having to explain to the Brethren how Brexit is good for the union and how their sons moving to Belfast to work in a call-centre while they sell their acreage to the local bigwig they hated all their lives is good for them and good for the union.

    I look forward to your public relations tour, Mr Millar. I’m sure it will go down a storm on the OO doorsteps. You had asked how people would lose their land. I answered you. No you’ve moved in to try and argue that it is a good and/or natural thing. Don’t tell it to me. Tell it to the DUP voters you’re relying on to save the union.

  • John Collins

    Just look at his second last contribution.