Monday, 30 December 2019

Ulster At The Crossroads – yet again. Part Two


 We Are Where We Are. – How did we get to the crossroads?

We need to understand our history in order to plan for our future. In the same way we need to understand how we arrived at the crossroads in order to figure out the best road to take at the crossroads.

Here are some factors not necessarily in order of importance. These are the relevant facts as I understand them.

In the 2016 EU Referendum the UK voted Leave and only 44% of Northern I Ireland voted Leave. Under the Withdrawal Agreement this now means that NI remains under EU laws and regulation while the rest of the UK endeavours to Leave. 

Due to the size of the majority Leave vote, if Northern Ireland had voted 100% to Remain, the result would be the same as above.

The Irish Border was weaponised by the EU even during the referendum campaign. Since the result the EU and Irish nationalists have constantly stated that the wishes of Northern Ireland must be respected and so must remain in the EU. Elements of the establishment in Britain now seem to accept this as well. Allowing part of the UK to remain under EU control seems to be considered by some politicos as a price worth paying.

There has been a clear strategy within Irish and Scottish nationalism to use a scenario where England would vote Leave and rest of the UK would vote Remain to initiate the break-up of the UK. At the start of the EU Referendum campaign, nationalists openly boasted about this clever strategy on social media. This is why Sinn Fein and the SNP suddenly switched from being anti-EU to being seemingly pro-EU. Their strategy to date seems to be working so far.

The only way Northern Ireland could have avoided the current situation would have been with a majority vote to Leave. This would have sent the signal that Northern Ireland preferred to be part of an independent United Kingdom as opposed to remaining under EU authority. In a sense this is now irrelevant but it is important to understand and accept this in order to figure out how to now navigate the crossroads situation.

The EU, and their agents in Northern Ireland have played on the Irish border and the traditional Orange and Green divisions. The referendum debate should have been about the pros and cons of EU membership but their divide and conquer policy has paid off perfectly for them, to date.

They have also managed to make it a party political issue as the only main party to support Brexit was the DUP. But it is worth understanding that more people voted for Brexit in Northern Ireland than have ever voted for the DUP in any election. Again this may seem irrelevant but it is also important to understand when considering how to navigate the crossroads.

44% of Northern Irish referendum voters voted to Leave in spite of the fact that the heads of virtually all work sectors and the media openly campaigned in support of the EU Establishment and to preserve the status quo. The 44% obviously belonged to some work sector.

The NI Protocol section of the Withdrawal Agreement, to me, spells out that the EU's European Court of Justice will have enough legal mechanism and wriggle room to ensure that Northern Ireland remains under EU law in perpetuity.
The Irish Sea Border, as stipulated in the NI Protocol, means that Northern Ireland is almost certain to be subject to years of uncertainty around trade and economic investment.

The recent political developments all point to the fact that Northern Ireland is destined to be economically separated from the UK while remaining under EU laws and regulations. Once the WA is ratified this will happen without the people of NI having a vote on the matter.

The 2016 referendum was about the whole of the UK Leaving or Remaining in the EU. It was not about any part of the UK separating from the UK.

See  Part One and Part Three

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