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Quite an admission… March 13, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Perhaps Noel Whelan is more open than he meant to be when in this piece he notes:

In recent times, mainstream southern politics dared not to speak of Irish unity for fear that to do so would unsettle unionism at delicate moments in the peace process or would serve to boost Sinn Féin in the Republic.

But imagine how that functions, that the fortunes of one party might outweigh the broader issue of unity?

Anyhow, Whelan argues that a functional nationalist/Republican majority may be as close as twenty years off. And he rightly points to reasons why it may be sped along by circumstance:

On this issue, as on so many others, Brexit changes everything. Northern nationalists have cause now to fear being marooned economically and politically behind a hard Border and living in a polity where greater sovereignty over their lives is restored to British institutions. There is now a real risk that protections which they enjoy under European law and under the Belfast Agreement will be lost.
Brexit could mean, for example, that implementing the outcome of any Border poll would be impeded unless the post-Brexit agreements ensure that Northern Ireland – if unified with the Republic – would automatically be admitted to the European Union. The Spanish, concerned about setting precedents which might assist separatist movements in Catalonia, are likely to oppose such a provision emerging from the Brexit negotiations.

They might not. Northern Ireland would not be joining as a separate ‘new’ entity but more like the manner in which a united Germany ‘joined’ the EU in the 1990s. I’m also taken with his point here:

The tragic thing is that Foster didn’t even realise she had done wrong. She still doesn’t. In the echo chamber of DUP politics she and her campaign strategists felt her intransience played well to her own community. They failed to appreciate the mobilising impact it had on the nationalist side.

Politics in the North isn’t single-stranded. Small wonder SF has quietly but not insignificantly being attempting a sort of out reach to unionism. Small wonder though that almost nothing similar has been seen on the DUP side (the UUP were more savvy but we’ll see if that persists into the new leadership).

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Comments»

1. Alibaba - March 13, 2017

I think there is some validity to the point: ‘Northern Ireland would not be joining as a separate ‘new’ entity but more like the manner in which a united Germany ‘joined’ the EU in the 1990s.’, notwithstanding Spain/Catalonia concerns. Those who seek entry as a new entity (or come out and seek to re-apply) go to the bottom of the application list. Those who didn’t leave or engineer a stay-in get accommodated. Perhaps this is partially behind the Scottish proposal for a second referendum on independence or maybe even a ‘fast-track Scots entry’ as suggested by GW already.

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2. Aengus Millen - March 13, 2017

Your right about the political fears. Michael was at pains this morning to say that their white paper was neither in response to SF’s rise or anything like SF’s position. One interesting thing to see is whether this locks them in to running candidates in the north at the local election in 2019 or whether they weasel out of it.

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