Monday, 21 October 2019

Boris, Backstop and No Brexit

By Willie Drennan
Sometime in the distant future Stormont might, or might not, get to decide the flag it flies.

Boris has been a shining light amidst the dull world of the political elite. A charmer, comedian and lovable clown. But he is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and that's no joke.

Boris had opportunity to go down in history as the 21st Century Churchillian hero who led a sovereign Britain out across the seven seas to befriend the world. Instead he seems to have chosen the much easier well-trodden path of achieving glory within the confines of the European Union Project. They are just loving him now in Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin and Bantry Bay.

There are many reasons why I think this Treaty is bad for the whole of the UK but one major deception in the Boris version of the Theresa EU Treaty is the claim that the Irish Backstop is gone. It's not gone, it's there in Article 18 of the Irish Protocol section of the proposed Treaty. And worse, it is now Backstop-Plus.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The Ignored Common Travel Area

By Willie Drennan

Why is the significance of the Common Travel Area being largely ignored when it is so relevant to the current Brexit debate?

The Common Travel Area is an Agreement, an arrangement between the United Kingdom and Ireland that allows people born in Cork or Killarney to pack their belongings, hop on a boat or plane heading east, or a car or train up north; to live, work and reap the British benefits available in Bristol, Aberdeen or Coleraine.

And it even works exactly the same the other way round: from UK to Ireland. It has been in place for the benefit of British and Irish alike since shortly after the Irish Free State was formed in 1922. It has been regularly updated and improved upon.

It is the CTA that has created the situation today where there are currently more residents of Great Britain who can apply for an Irish passport than there are Irish citizens residing in the Republic of Ireland. It has recently been estimated that there are at least 6 or 7 million GB residents who can hold an Irish passport: they only need to have one grandparent who was born on the Emerald Isle.

Friday, 11 October 2019

2nd EU Referendum/Irish Border Poll

The Irish Border - during the Troubles.
By Willie Drennan.

Let's have a 2nd Referendum. Yes let's do it - at least 7 or 8 years after the UK has categorically left the EU. And Let's have an Irish Border Poll. Yes, let's do it: at least 7 or 8 years after the whole of the UK has categorically left the EU.

A 2nd EU Referendum before the result of the 2016 referendum has been fully implemented and given time to establish would be a travesty: a mockery of democracy.

An Irish Border Poll would be the exact same thing as a 2nd EU Referendum for the people of Northern Ireland. A Dublin-controlled independent United Ireland is no longer on the cards as the Republic of Ireland, like the UK, is currently under the jurisdiction of Brussels.

I do have empathy with my many friends who voted Remain: who genuinely fear for their careers and pensions when their employment is somehow connected to the EU System. This is particularly true in Northern Ireland where dependency on Public Sector employment is among the highest of any UK region: where fears of a 'hard border' were promoted in the EU's referendum campaign.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Britannia Rules Our Waves: the story of the song.

By Willie Drennan

This song is inspired by a photograph that appeared on the Twitter feed of the Fishing For Leave campaign group. The image is of a young lad at the wheel of his father's fishing boat in England. His father was genuinely concerned that if EU fishing trawlers were allowed to continue plundering UK fishing waters then there would be no fishing industry for future generations.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Liberal Politics and EU Devotees.

By Willie Drennan

John King's novel, 'The Liberal Politics of Adolf Hitler' is in classic dystopian style and imagines the evolution of the EU into the totalitarian United States of Europe. The striking thing about this book is that it was published in 2016: written before the referendum, and yet King's projections seem to be already manifesting rapidly.

Once you have read King's novel, or at least when you have read it for the second time and examined it in depth as I have done, you are continuously struck by how quickly his predictions are materialising. EU leaders now talk quite openly about federalisation, developing central authority and the formation of an EU army: the United States of Europe.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

The Independent Mind of Rabbie Burns. 1759 – 2019

By Willie Drennan

The man o' independent mind – he looks and laughs at aa that”.

The genius of Scotland's immortal bard has appealed to many folks for many different reasons. He had an exceptional ability to deeply understand humanity and to express his observations through his advanced skills in verbal and written communication. He was able to reach people from a wide range of social, political, religious and philosophical backgrounds.

Hardly surprising then that people with contrasting views and ethics seek to embrace him as one of their own. I'm afraid I'm no different. I will stick my neck out and say with absolute conviction that if Mr Burns was alive today that he would be no devotee of the EU and would have voted to escape from the control of that regime in the 2016 EU Referendum. There. I said it. And I await,in eager anticipation, an onslaught of challenge and abuse from an assortment of pro-EU Establishment academics and other non-academic EU devotees.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Leavers of Northern Ireland

The Ulster Folk is supporting the formation of Leavers groups in Northern Ireland, in conjunction with Leavers of Britain. The initial group will be called Leavers of Northern Ireland .The Ulster Folk will encourage and assist any Leave groups in Northern Ireland via social media accounts and web site.

Leavers of Britain has recently emerged from Leavers of London and is rapidly taking-off, across the UK. It facilitates the setting-up of groups for people who have voted to Leave the EU or who now wish the democratic decision of the EU Referendum to be implemented by government. It is the brainchild of the delightfully energetic Londoner, Lucy Harris, who is busy these days travelling all over Britain attending Leave gatherings and offering advice to the various groups. 

Following the referendum result many who supported Brexit across the country felt a degree of obstruction and hostility. In particular many feared for their careers as it was often the case that senior management in many sectors were strongly committed to Remaining in the EU. Leavers of Britain has provided a welcome social network for people to share experiences and support each other. They meet in public venues such as coffee houses and pubs.

Northern Ireland is no exception. In fact it might be more extreme here due to the vociferous support for the EU by those who lead Northern Ireland's large Public Sector. Those who work in Health, Education, Arts, Media or Banking sectors quite often do not feel comfortable to express their support for Brexit. In addition Project Fear had many people convinced that a hard border in Ireland would be inevitable post-Brexit.

It is the aim of the initial Leavers Of Britain members in Northern Ireland that their groups will meet up regularly and their gatherings will be open to everyone who now supports the implementation of the democratic decision to Leave. This can include citizens of the Republic of Ireland who support the growing Irexit campaign: and indeed those from any other country who have concerns about how the European Union is developing. We will also extend a warm invitation to citizens of non-EU countries who feel it is unfair that they do not have the same opportunities to live and work here as EU citizens have.

We encourage anyone who is interested to follow The Ulster Folk initially on Twitter or Facebook and to become members of Leavers of Britain. Those not on social media will receive updates via email from Leavers of Britain.

Join this expanding network straight away and don't miss out on the positive experience. It should be a lot of fun if nothing else. There are a few musicians and colourful characters already on board.

The first gathering in Northern Ireland is being planned for late February. As for the venue, we would welcome suggestions from pubs or coffee houses.

Join Leavers of Britain via their website: Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

The Ulster Folk also encourages Leavers of Northern Ireland to submit Brexit-related blogs for our blogsite:

Monday, 14 January 2019

No Deal, Theresa's Deal Or People's Vote?

By Willie Drennan
Image: courtesy of Fishing for Leave.

I was invited to participate on a panel discussion for Sky TV News this morning at 9.30am. There were four of us on the panel for a 10 minute slot. It was short and a bit frantic: probably the way TV news is meant to work, but I was disappointed that I didn't get to make some important points. So I am going to express them here instead: in bold.
In advance of the show, Sky asked me what I thought of 'No Deal, 'Withdrawal Agreement' and 'The People's Vote'.

If I had had the opportunity I would have expressed my concerns about all this terminology. 

The so-called No Deal has negative connotations and allows for some to interpret leaving the EU under WTO terms as crashing out of the EU.

No Deal however is exactly the same thing as the Leave the EU option that was on the ballot paper in the referendum: the option that the majority of the people in the United Kingdom, of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, voted for.