Gransnet forums

News & politics

Northern Ireland and Brexit

(363 Posts)
MaizieD Sat 29-Sep-18 10:42:25

An Irishman tries yet again to explain the huge Brexit problem with NI. In response to yet another airy dismissal by Boris Johnson:


Patrick Kielty @patrickielty
And please.... please don't tell me it's "our money" or that the UK government would have done it anyway because I can't be bothered to take you by the hand, lead you to a corner and explain simple things in words of one syllable

1. Northern Ireland is made up of a majority of Unionists (as in the Conservative and Unionist Party) and, believe it or not, a rather large minority of Nationalists (as in Irish Nationalists)

2. These Irish Nationalists don’t see themselves as British but rather inconveniently as Irish (who knew?)

3. For over 30 years we killed each other because of these differences which means Northern Ireland is nothing like Camden or Westminster.

4. The Good Friday Agreement ended that violence by the following devious magic - Unionists were guaranteed that Northern Ireland would be part of the UK until the majority voted otherwise.

The Irish was border was removed and the island linked so Nationalists could pretend they were already living in a United Ireland (yes, Tony Blair did slight of hand much better than you)

5. Some of these Nationalists then accepted being part of the UK as their day to day lives were essentially Irish.

6. This cunning plan was sold to us on the basis that we were all part of the EU therefore fixation on nationality was so last World War.

7. Implementing the Good Friday Agreement was torturous (think Brexit with actual bombs, not metaphorical suicide vests) but we finally made peace. Yet 20 years later NI remains a divided society.

8. Thanks to your glorious Brexit vision Northern Ireland will become more divided as some form of economic border checks will become part of daily lives.

9. If those checks take place between NI and Ireland, the Nationalists who were once happy being part of the UK will change their mind.

10. If they take place in the Irish Sea some Unionists will be livid. However they'll still support being part of the UK (the clue is in the Unionist bit)

11. Your Brexit lies have opened a Pandora’s box for Northern Ireland. It's one reason why the majority of people in NI voted to remain in the EU (almost as if they knew more about the fragile equilibrium of their politics than you)

12. Barely mentioned before Brexit, a border poll is now inevitable thanks to your monumental ignorance.

13. When that poll is eventually held the Nationalists who were once content being part of a Northern Ireland within the UK and EU will vote to leave the UK to feel as Irish and European as they did before Brexit.

14. The poll will be much closer thanks to your Brexit folly and could easily be lost by Unionists, breaking up the UK.

15. Any break up of the Union will be your fault (a tad inconvenient as a member of the Conservative and er, Unionist party)

16. The EU is not responsible for your blundering lack of foresight. Like most people in Northern Ireland they were happy with the status quo.

17. By the time the penny drops that you can’t preserve the Union you want without the one you don’t, it will be too late.

18. You will be remembered not as the Churchillian visionary you delude yourself to be but the ignoramus who triggered the break up of the UK.

19. If there’s any justice all this will come to pass when you're Prime Minister so you can finally swim in the constitutional sewage you've created (though we all know you’ll be in Nice with your trotters up)

20. Meantime, if you’re so concerned about keeping Northern Ireland totally aligned with the rest of the UK where’s your support for our same sex marriage and women’s right to choose? Your silence is deafening.


In a nutshell, so to speak grin

MaizieD Sat 29-Sep-18 11:13:01

Watch this one sink like a stone...

aggie Sat 29-Sep-18 11:23:17

I would be "perceived " as Irish , but I was born in Scotland as were my parents and some ancestors , no way would I align myself with either lot of the nut cases who have their heads firmly in the past and are sitting on large salaries but not in our , so called , Parliament , holiday in foreign parts anyone ?. I cannot see any way out of the impasse and Patrick's resume is sadly relevant

MaizieD Sat 29-Sep-18 12:08:14


jura2 Sat 29-Sep-18 12:14:29

Brilliantly explained by Kielty- and he knows the price.

There is NO solution to the Irish border- none. No technology either- as so well explained recently by an NI politician- as technology will be attacked, and if attacked will need protection, and if protection required, they will be attacked ... and the troubles will be back, for sure.

nigglynellie Sat 29-Sep-18 12:21:36

What's wrong with reuniting the island of Ireland if that's what the majority want, and the ROI are in agreement too? It always was one country, why not again? Germany reunited, why not Ireland? People must be allowed to do what they want to do not be held against their will, same with Scotland and Wales. Goodbye and good luck if that's what they want

aggie Sat 29-Sep-18 12:26:35

who says the Republic wants to join with the six counties ? could they afford it ?

jura2 Sat 29-Sep-18 12:28:36

niggly, the majority of what? Certainly NOT NI - the Troubles are far too fresh in people's minds and hearts.
Now personally, I think it would be a good idea - but you could never make our NI relatives and friends accept that- at least not for another two generations.

aggie Sat 29-Sep-18 12:32:17

of course the simplest of ideas manage to get mangled in each camps perceived "History /Culture "

GrannyGravy13 Sat 29-Sep-18 13:04:21

Am I correct in thinking that Switzerland has no hard borders, is not in the EU but is part of Shengen.
There must be a similar solution for NI without shengen though.

Grandad1943 Sat 29-Sep-18 13:17:59

GrannyGravy13, I believe commercial vehicles crossing from the EU into or out of Switzerland are subject to checks.

Jacob Rees Mogg did state that no checks were operative on a radio phone-in, but was called out on that by a truck driver, and JRM had to concede.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 29-Sep-18 13:35:23

Grandad on further investigation Switzerland has had a 2nd resignation from its negotiating committee with the EU as they cannot come to an agreement over new trade treaties.
They have a FTA at the moment.

paddyann Sat 29-Sep-18 14:06:06

the clue is in "majority of unionists" Niggly because NI was engineered that way because it was people by Scots protestants centuries ago for precisely the reason to KEEP it protestant and unionist .That the main way they got away with their appalling treatment of the Catholic population for a very very long time .Thats the reason a vote for reunification would still be no,so these people who endured so much in the past may well have the same to face in the future.Ignorant Westminster politicians neither know nor care about them .

Grandad1943 Sat 29-Sep-18 14:31:15

GranyGravey13, apparently Switzerland's economic and trade relations with the EU are mainly governed through a series of bilateral agreements where Switzerland has agreed to take certain aspects of EU legislation in exchange for accessing part of the EU's single market in that, Switzerland pay contributions into the EU for those agreements.

The above does also does not cover all imports/exports between both parties but only certain products and services. The foregoing would obviously would not be suitable for a UK agreement with the European Union.

I believe that commercial vehicles have to stop at the border to confirm that the goods they are transporting are part of those agreements or not as the case may be.

I believe that it was the above that the truck driver was referring to in the phone in to JRM

jura2 Sat 29-Sep-18 15:03:09

Just one question to any Leaver- a simple one.

Please demonstrate a viable solution for the Irish Border. Please. The floor is all yours- and in respect of that- I shall keep stumm until tomorrow and wait in hope.

jura2 Sat 29-Sep-18 17:54:02

jura2 Sat 29-Sep-18 19:34:20

Grandad1943 Sat 29-Sep-18 19:42:20

jura2, do you remember the great recording "Silence is Golden" by the Tremeloes. It seems that is what we have here. grin

NfkDumpling Sat 29-Sep-18 20:25:48

Sorry, but I just can’t feel responsible for the inability of the Irish of whatever religion (since they seem to believe that Protestants and Catholics worship a different God) being able to get on and live together. I don’t feel responsible for something which happened 300 years ago, or whenever it was.

There are borders all over the world but they’re not all fenced along their entire length with razor tape and high fences. Only hatred, tribalism and prejudice necessitates this and that must still be there in Eire and Northern Ireland. Hidden by self delusion perhaps, but still there simmering and waiting for an excuse to break out. If it wasn’t Brexit sooner or later some other excuse would occur. Blaming the rest of the UK just doesn’t wash.

No, I don’t have a solution to the ‘Irish Problem’ because I don’t believe the Irish want one.

NfkDumpling Sat 29-Sep-18 20:30:05

Yes, I support same sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose in Northern Ireland as well as the rest of the UK. Does that help?

trisher Sat 29-Sep-18 21:28:13

NikDumpling of course the hate and the prejudice is still there. You do realise the deaths and the murders on both sides weren't that long ago. I don't know if you watched Patrick Keilty's programme about his father's death at the hands of Loyalist extremists. That he has grown up free from prejudice and bias is remarkable. He and people like him want a solution, but it seems the British government is intent on making sure they don't get one.

MaizieD Sat 29-Sep-18 23:05:25

^ I don’t feel responsible for something which happened 300 years ago, or whenever it was^.

We're not talking about something which happened 300 years ago, Nfk, we're talking about something that happened in our lifetimes. Something that lasted for 30 years of pain and horror, not only for the people of NI, but also for many on mainland Britain. Something that was halted by the Good Friday Agreement and brought peace, however uneasy, to NI.

With a continuing peace there is an opportunity for reconciliation and a growing understanding between the factions but it is a process which takes time, it doesn't happen over night. It takes many years.

However, in terms of the time it will take to heal the divisions in NI the peace has barely got going. Now the Brexit vote has put it in very real jeopardy, as Patrick Keilty points out, by the need to impose a border somewhere should Brexit go ahead. It cannot be fudged.

In which case, I think Leave voters will be very much responsible should the troubles be stirred up again.

Grandad1943 Sat 29-Sep-18 23:13:06

I fear that the real situation in Ireland will not be brought home to the hardline Brexitiers until we witness once again the dead horses and military personnel of the Household Cavalry laying in the Mail London.

Only then will the real Irish "problem" be known or remembered by them.

Grandad1943 Sat 29-Sep-18 23:17:13

So, let's have some real solutions from the Brexitiers.

paddyann Sun 30-Sep-18 00:58:28

NFK and thats the root of the problem,the vast majority of English folk aren't interested in NI ..or Scotland for thet matter .They just want us to shut up and let them run things their way ,regardless of how it affects the rest of us.Thats how its always been but times change and we wont be sidelined much longer .Ireland deserves respect and peace for its people ,Mrs May and her muppets cant promise that so they need to find a solution or walk away from Brexit.