A radical (explosive?) answer to Brexit and the future of Great Britain

The most vexing problem with Brexit is Northern Ireland and its open border with the Republic of Ireland to its south.

Northern Ireland was always an anomaly.  It has been a pain the neck since Cromwell imported a bunch of extreme Protestant settlers from Scotland into Ireland centuries ago.  If it were not for these  stubborn  Protestants, who are becoming a minority in their own baileywick, by the way, the island of Ireland would be united.  In the not-so-old days the Catholic Church ran the south, but does so no longer.  The religious Protestants have increasingly less to worry about.  Northerners have been moving  and trading  easily and increasingly over the border,  coming and going constantly while the whole island is part of the EU.  Meanwhile, Northern Ireland costs the English a small fortune, but contributes little to Britain economically.

The whole Brexit fiasco could be resolved by the prime Minister announcing that she is proposing a vote in Northern Ireland on a merger between  North and South. The vote would be predicated on the termination of English subsidies, and the promise by the government in London to facilitate the move of those who strongly object to unification to England, together with financial help for them to find homes and jobs.

Doing this, with the cooperation of Dublin, of course, ( I am assuming that unification would be popular with the vast majority of Irish people, even most Norterners) would remove the need for a backstop as England leaves the EU and recognises the fact that Northerners voted strongly to remain in the EU (yes!).

I acknowledge that the corollary of this idea raises the immediate question of the future of Scotland in the union.  Scotland also voted strongly to remain (yes!) So let them go if they vote to do so, with the understanding that there would be a hard border between Scotland and England.  Being a canny lot they would apply to rejoin the EU.  They might or might not vote for independence, but in any case  this is the side effect of the manoeuvering of the Leave faction, that is, the breakup of the “United” Kingdom.  “Leave” leaders have a lot to answer for.  It’s just that they take responsibilty for nothing.

Why is this anything to do with Epicureanism?  Because in Britain friends are unfriending friends, neighbours aren’t speaking to one another, the public discourse is extreme and almost violent and families are divided.  I personally favour a new referendum, but it isn’t clear that that would achieve a resolution.  If this goes on much longer the country will not only be an economic basket case but will remain bitterly divided.  Better to have a moderate resolution.  The above idea would aggrieve a small number of northern Ireland Protestants. That  is regrettable but preferable to continuing with a situation that benefits only Vladimir Putin.






One Comment

  1. Post- script: What I failed to mention is that the Tory party is propped up by the Northern Irish DUP party, who are extreme right-wingers. So no Tory party is going to entertain my suggestion. Thus, the UK would need a general election and a new government, hopefully having shed some of its more extreme Tory MPs. I accept that a Labour government, led as it is, is unlikely to adopt the above proposal – but with a new leader? Hope dwells eternal…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.