Brexit vote puts Union in doubt

Posted By: June 27, 2016


Distributed by Irish National Caucus


Irish News (Belfast). Editorial.  Monday,  June 27,  2016

As we assess the full consequences of the disastrous outcome of the referendum which has dictated a UK withdrawal from the EU, there is little point in denying that we are staring at the likelihood of a dark economic and political future which could stretch out for decades to come.

Voters in England and Wales, who were plainly unduly influenced by emotional but largely illogical claims over immigration, were fully entitled to make their own choices, but they must have known that they were pushing Scotland irrevocably towards a separate identity and leaving Northern Ireland in a virtual state of limbo.

We have to carefully examine the ramifications of their decision and accept that ordinary people on both sides of the Irish border have been reluctantly placed in new and very different circumstances.

It goes without saying that there must be total commitment across the board to peaceful and constitutional measures which respect the views of all sections of our divided society.

However, we have a responsibility to investigate every option which could at least reduce the damage ahead and to particularly explore the role of the Scottish and Stormont assemblies.

There may well also be opportunities presented by the forthcoming upheaval at Westminster, where David Cameron has already been forced to resign as prime minister for mishandling the referendum and Jeremy Corbyn fully deserves to lose his job as leader of the opposition for his inept contribution to the campaign.

An early UK general election certainly cannot be ruled out, and a new government of any description would completely entitled to comprehensively review all the issues arising from the Brexit crisis.

Key negotiations will have to follow in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, London and Brussels in any event and the possibility of a revised referendum proposal should not be excluded.

Whatever happens, the Union between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has plainly been thrown into the melting pot.