Beware Brits bearing gifts and border Trojan Horses

Posted By: August 23, 2017


Distributed by Irish National Caucus
“This is a very important article for Members of Congress to read. Brian Feeney exposes the disingenuousness he sees in the official  British Government paper on Brexit and The Border in Ireland.”—Fr. Sean Mc Manus

Brian Feeney. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, August 23, 2017

“Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes,” as they don’t say in the DUP. Beware of the Greeks even when they’re bearing gifts.

It refers to the Trojan horse which enabled the Greeks to get inside the impregnable walls of Troy and overwhelm the garrison from within.

Britain’s paper on the Border last week is their government’s attempt to create a Trojan horse.

Theresa May’s sweetness-and-light article she gave this paper alone is such an obvious trick it deserves to be unwrapped carefully to discover her real intention.

First, it was only published in this paper because it is mainly read by nationalists and the British know that 89 per cent of nationalists who voted Remain.

May set out to convince nationalists that the British totally support the Good Friday Agreement, which the official paper says was signed up to by eight parties in The North but ignores the fact that their partners in government, the DUP, didn’t sign up.

Well, the British support the Good Friday Agreement up to a point.

If you read the document, and hardly anyone has, you’ll see that in paragraph 6 the British say the Agreement, endorsed by referendums North and South, confirms that “Northern Ireland’s constitutional status is a matter for the people of Northern Ireland alone to determine”.

Naughty, naughty – no it’s not. The Good Friday Agreement actually says in Constitutional Issues paragraph (ii) “it is for the people of the island of Ireland alone by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment to exercise their right of self-determination”.

The British paper reasserts their false reinterpretation again in paragraph 53 of their document.

Maybe no-one in Sinn Féin read the document or, if they did, didn’t understand the significance of the change – which is vitally important – or maybe they are asleep at the wheel again.

Twenty-four years ago, the IRA army council had to be convinced that the British recognized the Irish people’s right to self-determination.

It was enshrined in a carefully worded paragraph in the 1993 Downing Street Declaration which was shown beforehand to the IRA to gain their acquiescence.

Now the British government – which Theresa May claims puts the Good Friday Agreement “at the heart” of its Brexit negotiations – has cavalierly cast aside that bedrock position.

Laughably, they then go on to threaten Brussels that if they oppose the British proposals, they are undermining the peace process by making Britain breach the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Now let’s have a look at how absurd this position is.

The Agreement is backed by an all-Ireland referendum and lodged as an international treaty which binds Britain legally to support and respect it. They can’t breach it.

It is the action of the British government which threatens the Good Friday Agreement, not Brussels’, which is not bound by the obligations of an international treaty.

Essentially, the duplicitous British position claims that it is the big bad EU which is bullying the Irish government into imposing a hard Border but kindly John Bull is doing his best to protect Ireland’s interests.

Yet, the truth is, in her contempt for the plight of northern Nationalists, no northern party – no, not even their bought-and-paid-for DUP suckers – was consulted about the paper on the Border.

To add insult to injury, May’s speechwriters altered a critical clause in the Good Friday Agreement, they are supposed to be the joint guarantors of,  to enhance the position of Unionists.

So much for an Agreement, they’re legally obliged to uphold.

Luckily, Irish government officials can read and will be pointing out to Michel Barnier this particular flaw in the British paper.

Luckily too, Barnier will tell the British their suggestions about the Border are impossible but not before he dismisses David Davis’s transparent attempt to bounce Brussels into abandoning their negotiating position that no matters of trade can be discussed until progress on the first three items that Davis – don’t forget – has already agreed to deal with.

They are: the rights of EU citizens (that’s you); the divorce bill; and, wait for it, the Irish border at a political level, not the mechanics of trade, which is really all the British are interested in.

Only a fool would fail to recognize May’s Trojan horse.