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Not so complacent July 4, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

There, as noted this morning, was Newton Emerson the other day dismissing the very idea. But hold on, there’s Billy Hutchinson the other day warning…

PUP’s leader, who is a Belfast city councillor, said the minority government, led by Fine Gael, was telling loyalists one thing in private while publicly “talking up” the prospect of Brexit delivering Irish unity.
He added: “I have a problem personally around the Brexit thing because I voted to remain [in the EU] but the reality is that I have to accept now that there was a UK-wide vote in all the British regions to go. So what we need to do now is to make the best of it and meet the challenges. But we can’t keep going on and crying into our beer that we lost.
“It’s a dangerous game if the Irish government are saying things like Brexit could lead to a united Ireland, or a border poll. That is sending a poor message to unionists and I think Irish governments have worked hard over the years to build a good relationship up with the unionist community.
“Yet the difficulty for unionists here in Northern Ireland is that any government in London, even a Tory one, acts as honest broker between unionism and nationalism, whereas all Irish governments act as guarantors for nationalists. So Dublin needs to remember that unionists still feel they are on their own.”
The PUP leader said that while he understood that the Irish government was trying to “outflank” Sinn Féin on Brexit by appearing to take a more hardline nationalist stance, others in the loyalist community might think Dublin had shifted its official policy towards pan-nationalism.

Of course the overall situation is destabilising. Anything that alters such a complex situation is almost inevitably going to be destabilising. And in difficult and unpredictable ways.

Two years ago none of this was an issue. Everything was parked. One could argue that there was real scope for non-national/constitutional issues to come to the fore, not least due to the contradictions intrinsic to the GFA/BA and heightened by the Stormont administration having to administer. But now, all changed utterly.

Hutchinson is actually pretty measured. But his views are a symptom of the instabilities on foot of Brexit.


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