We all have stories of choices we made that defined our lives ever after. Important points in time that had weighty consequences. That time you applied for the job that led to you getting where you are now. Or that time you didn’t apply and your friend who did is now a millionaire with a big house and a cleaner. (Appearances can be deceiving, maybe he’s miserable inside).
Northern Ireland is in this situation right now. Unlike us all those years ago, they know it. The whole world knows it. Great Britain is at breaking point because they cannot have the Brexit they want and avoid a hard border in Ireland. The two are entirely incompatible.
There is simply no way the E.U. can allow a Northern Ireland sized back door into the single market. Particularly given that Britain has signalled they intend to go down the cheap food route. The back door would lead to low quality food and products flooding the single market. Potentially destroying the single market. That’s why the back stop is so vital, it prevents a back door.
Britain is now desperate for a solution. Boris and friends would pay dearly for a way to deliver economic Hari Kari in the form of Brexit to their adoring voters. Northern Ireland could come out of this as the only winners. They could extract massive funding from London and probably Europe too. They could remain in the E.U. which would mean their goods and services would continue to be sold into the E.U. tariff free.
They could also remain in the U.K. and insist that they retain tariff free export into the rest of the U.K. This would likely be one way, meaning products from the rest of the U.K. being sold into Northern Ireland would have whatever tariff was in place with the rest of the E.U. This would have the effect of giving Northern Irish farmers and companies a serious competitive advantage. Northern Ireland’s economy would boom.
It would also have the effect of seriously reducing the prospect of a United Ireland. Northern Ireland and it’s citizens would likely be very slow to give up their unique advantage. They would have the best of both worlds. Both communities would be better off and the current post Good Friday Agreement settlement where both communities felt defacto British or Irish would continue. A no brainer you would think.
Sectarianism has eyes that cannot see. The people of Northern Ireland have sent the D.U.P. to Westminster to represent them. The D.U.P. have found themselves in a very powerful position because of a weak Tory government. They have used this power to fight against any possibility of special status for the North.
They would prefer to lord it over nationalists and indeed Ireland than grasp the once in a lifetime opportunity that now presents itself. They are leading Northern Ireland into a time of recession and unrest. They could well also be heading down a road that will lead to a United Ireland. Money talks. Northern Irish people won’t be happy if their economy falls even further behind Irelands.
The reason the D.U.P. is representing all of Northern Ireland in Westminster is because Sinn Fein M.P.’s boycott. There are longstanding valid reasons for this. The rest of the world has moved on though. Britain’s people and politicians couldn’t care less about Northern Ireland. If Nationalists elects abstentionists again in the upcoming election then they have only themselves to blame when the D.U.P. destroys their future. Northern Ireland needs it’s leaders to see the big picture soon. Like every life changing opportunity, this one won’t be here forever.
Brexit Piece Here.
Image credit here.