Thursday, 4 October 2018

Glorious Opportunity: Brexit + Irexit

Road To Freedom. Image by Caroline.

  It's all the same freedom in the end.

By Willie Drennan.

Throughout history, people on the island of Ireland have battled each other over territory and the right to live in freedom within territory: in conflicts usually instigated by ruling classes; asserting their authority, conquering and dividing to solidify their power and dominance. In conflicts where people had little choice but stand and fight for their relevant freedoms. And still it goes on. No such devious scheme by the ruling classes has ever been more blatantly obvious than the current weaponisation of the Irish Border by the EU masters and their devotees.

Currently on this island many of the establishment's elite are in denial of the existence of logical solutions to any post-Brexit difficulties in Ireland.

They are the ones responsible for creating the myth that there can be no solution to the EU land border other than Northern Ireland remaining in the Single Market and therefore in the EU. It is they who are insisting that there must be either an Irish Sea border or a land border across Ireland. It is they who declare there can be 'special EU/UK status' for Northern Ireland and yet special EU status for Republic of Ireland is impossible, they say. It is they who are playing games with the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. It is they who are jeopardising the Common Travel Area. It is they who have enthusiastically supported every devious tactic to halt Brexit and annul the democratic will of the UK people. It is they who are perpetuating fresh division among the people of this island.

I have also found it very strange that the significance of the Common Travel Area has been largely overlooked in Brexit debate so far. The CTA means that Irish and British people are free to live, work, study, vote and access social welfare benefits and health care, totally unhindered, in each other's jurisdiction. It has been an excellent arrangement for all concerned since 1923. It is the reason why several million people in Great Britain today are entitled to an Irish passport.

A recent update by GOV.UK confirms that CTA will remain as is post-Brexit.
"This means that no UK or Irish nationals will be required to apply for settled status to protect their entitlements in Ireland and the UK respectively. The rights to work, study, access social security and public services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals. There will be also be full protection and maintenance of the current arrangements for journeys between the UK and Ireland. This includes movement across the land border between Northern Ireland, protecting the uninhibited movement enjoyed today." Published by GOV.UK 22 December 2017
CTA also means that millions of UK citizens should still be able to live and work freely in a part of the EU post-Brexit, and a few million Irish-born EU citizens will be able to do the same in the UK. That's provided of course common sense prevails. Seems to me the simple solution to these logistical conundrums is for the EU to give 'special status' to ROI. All this media/establishment focus on Northern Ireland is deliberate deceitful distraction. NI is only one part of the UK.

Currently, in the early 21st Century, we are in the midst of centenary commemorations of one of the most horrific time periods in the history of Ireland, and indeed in the history of Britain and Europe. In general, commemorations north and south have been respectful and conciliatory: acknowledging the stance and courage of those who sacrificed their lives in pursuit of freedom while highlighting the futility of it all. Mind you, we really only need go back a quarter of a century to fully understand sheer futility.

While we are at it, it would also be worthwhile to re-examine what 1798 and 1689 were all about as well. Those conflicts were also about defending liberty. What seems to have been not fully comprehended is that patterns repeated throughout history can easily be re-choreographed by those in power when it suits selfish agendas.

The latest tactics to try to halt Brexit include calling for a 'People's Vote' [2nd Referendum] and an Irish border poll. Both tactics are outrageous to even contemplate before the democratic result of the the 2016 EU Referendum is actually implemented. And both tactics have great potential to fuel the flames of division. 

As far as people in Northern Ireland are concerned an Irish Border Poll would be exactly the same thing as a 2nd EU Referendum. The border poll would not be about deciding if NI wanted to leave the UK to become part of a Dublin-controlled united Ireland: that's currently not possible. A 21st Century Irish Border Poll would be about deciding if NI remains in an independent UK or leaves to join a Brussels-controlled ROI.

It is totally understandable that many people will have legitimate concerns over Brexit and it is totally legitimate for anyone to campaign and canvass politicians to deliver what they envisage to be the best end-result for Brexit.  Actively trying to pervert democracy is not. The elite and the devotees of the EU/UK/Irish establishments are desperately trying to salvage the status quo and their privileged positions within the system. Fortunately the majority of the people see beyond it all and understand, now more than ever, why escaping the clutches of an increasingly authoritarian EU superpower is a good idea.

The deal between EU and UK for post-Brexit should have been sorted long ago. The obvious end-result of negotiations should be a mutually-beneficial tariff-free trade arrangement between the two. A deal such as that recently struck between Canada and the EU should be the logical basis for this new unique arrangement. The reason why this hasn't already been agreed Is due to a combination of weak negotiating and the fact that the global establishment doesn't want Brexit to actually happen.

It is of course very possible that no deal will be struck by March 2019 and the UK will initially operate under World Trade Organisation rules. Regardless, March 29th 2019, is the date where the UK government is bound to deliver the democratic wish of the people and completely leave the EU.

So, once that's all sorted it will be time for all of us to move on and examine the potential glorious opportunities out there in the great wide world.. In particular on the island of Ireland, as we continue centenary commemorations, it is time to grasp the glorious opportunity for a potential positive pivotal moment in the history of our wee island.

The most likely short term scenario for Ireland, assuming Brexit is fully implemented and all hell hasn't broken loose, is that a sensible UK/EU deal will permit uninterrupted trade and movement between GB,NI,and ROI/EU. This deal, or even Brexit under WTO rules, should mean very little short term change for Ireland: but would mean ROI is still subservient to control from Brussels and restricted as to how it can work with the rest of the world.

So, as centenaries of Irish Home Rule and Irish Civil War approach, enter Irexit on to the stage. A new political party has been formed to achieve an Irish exit from the EU. Also check out @IrexitFreedom on Twitter.

Many reading this will automatically laugh out loud and scorn the idea of Irexit being possible. People who live in bubbles: in controlled comfort zones, usually do scorn innovative alternatives to their reality.

On the surface it seems like Irexit could be more difficult to pull-off than Brexit: UK had UKIP campaigning for years for an EU Referendum and the UK, unlike ROI, is not part of the Euro. On the other hand ROI is not part of the EU's Schengen Area, is part of the Common Travel Area with UK, would have opportunity to tap into the UK's new global trade deals and could tap into a broader Euroscepticism that is rapidly increasing right across Europe.

The main thrust for Irexit however will be the notion of regaining sovereignty. Proponents of Irexit will argue that gaining independence from one foreign power only to throw it all away to another foreign power constitutes being highly disrespectful to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for Irish sovereignty. 

Those opposed to Irexit will contest that in such a scenario Ireland would simply once again succumb to rule from London and Irexit would not solve the issue of the island's two separate constitutions. I would argue that ROI has the political experience, expertise and strength of character to assert itself as a powerful independent state that could operate confidently with its closest neighbouring independent state. The Common Travel Area already facilitates this. As for the constitutional link between NI and ROI, again, the genesis for a solution to that logistical difficulty can be found in the Common Travel Area.

This glorious opportunity can come to fruition if we can respect our differing constitutional aspirations and the fact that our respective forebears fought for essentially the same freedom.

                        It's All The Same Freedom In The End

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