The Cavalier attitude to Brexit advances cause of united Ireland

Posted By: May 16, 2018


Distributed by Irish National Caucus

“The subtitle of the article from the Irish News is replete with historical irony: ‘Ireland is rarely off [British PM] Theresa May’s agenda.’ Indeed, at first glance, it sounds bizarre and outlandish because poor Ireland was never on a British Prime Minister’s agenda (except for Tony Blair, God bless him). So, what has magically transfixed PM May’s mind? The ‘magic’ of Brexit.

With apologies to Yeats’ two poems:

‘The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold…

And, ‘All changed, changed utterly.’ “

—Fr. Sean McManus.  

—Fr. Sean McManus. 

Ireland is rarely off Theresa May’s agenda.

 John Manley. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, May 16,  2018

REWIND two years and nationalism was flagging. A relatively stable Stormont, where Sinn Féin was comfortable in government with the DUP, had taken the edge off politics in The North and contributed to a degree of apathy among those who traditionally aspired to a united Ireland.

But the June 2016 EU referendum had seismic implications and nowhere more so than on this side of the Irish Sea.

The potential upheaval in north-south and east-west relations caused by the UK’s decision to sever ties with Brussels signaled nationalism’s reawakening.

The failure to map out a clear solution to The Border has only served to fuel disillusionment with the British government, and not just among trenchant republicans – wavering Nationalists and so-called moderate Unionists also began to doubt if their best interests were being served by London.

Since the Good Friday Agreement 20 years ago, Britain had tended to regard its nearest neighbor’s affairs as peripheral, but Brexit now means that Ireland – north and south – is now rarely off Theresa May’s agenda.

The confidence and supply deal with the DUP has also brought The North’s normally discrete [separate/distinct] affairs into the heart of Whitehall[the British government/adminstration].

Only last week reports emerged of a row in the Cabinet over prosecutions of British army veterans for Troubles offenses, while the prime minister’s exchange about a border poll with Jacob Rees-Mogg grabbed the headlines yesterday.

The Brexiteers are typically gung-ho in the face of criticism about the consequences of leaving the EU, but privately they must surely reflect on the unintended consequences of their actions.

It’s easy to argue that a cavalier attitude to Brexit is advancing the cause of a united Ireland far more than the IRA’s 25-year campaign of violence ever did