Those Fianna Fáil proposals on a United Ireland March 14, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
And seeing as the rhetoric of reunification was mentioned this morning, there’s some stating of the obvious, one suspects, reading the FF proposals on a UI. And perhaps, and this is dealt with elsewhere here this week, a sense that FF is only just waking up to the seriousness of the issue, and how Brexit has changed matters. As noted already, SF led the way on unity issues, but FG has been very open about the matter subsequent to the Brexit vote. Ironically, or tellingly, FF whose adherence to the idea might, at least on paper, appear even more solid than FG has been remarkably quiet, all things considered.
No more. A 12 point plan is on its way – ‘within months’ no less. Though why the lack of haste? And what are some of those points?
These include maintaining the Stormont Assembly and possibly the Executive after a future reunification referendum, as well as a deal between the British and Irish governments that would see London continue to pay the block grant to Northern Ireland on a declining basis over a number of years.
Well, I think anyone close to the situation would see no other way than allowing for devolution in the North for quite some time to come in the context of an UI – and of course some sort of East/West links and those wouldn’t just be financial. I’d presume some representation at Westminster (perhaps in the HOL) for many decades subsequent to an UI deal.
And this is also fairly obvious…
Under his approach, a reunified Ireland would operate along similar lines to the current settlement, but with the roles of London and Dublin reversed. The “three-strand” process of the Belfast Agreement – with its emphasis on the east-west, North-South and cross-community relationships – would continue.
SF has been saying as much for quite a while. And therein lies a problem. FF has been tacking softly leftwards for a while. Now it’s tacking a little more republican than it’s usual SOP. Sensible, but indicative of a reactive approach. And can SF offer a harder-edge alternative already in situ?
Then there are oddities. Martin is quoted in the IT as saying:
“There would have to be a UK-Ireland agreement and it could be a reverse to where we are now. You could have a united Ireland emerging that still has a UK involvement, where you still have dual citizenship.
“Unionists still feeling they are part of the UK but it would almost be a reverse dynamic to the one you have at the moment where the emphasis is on Westminster and the Westminster government.”
If that is indeed the ‘reverse dynamic’ to the one one has at the moment can he honestly say that Republicans/Nationalists feel they are part of the ROI? That seems unlikely (and note he doesn’t say he means citizenship through holding a passport but instead uses the different description of ‘feeling they are part of the UK). And I wonder if the ‘reverse dynamic’ of the current status quo is going to quite work in relation to unionism?
Still, as noted already, the fact the rhetoric is ramping up is not uninteresting.