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Ripping the bonds of the UK apart… September 19, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Anyone see the following:

The Ulster Unionist leader, Robin Swann, said that the meeting between Mr Johnson and Mr Juncker “did not give cause for optimism”.
“There should be more genuine, intensive engagement underway about a replacement for the backstop as the clock counts down towards the 31st October,” he said, “otherwise the inevitable outcome could be a repackaged backstop under another name which would rip apart the Belfast Agreement.
“It would loosen the bonds which tie the United Kingdom together and this is totally unacceptable to any unionist.”

But what are those bonds? A good overview by Oliver Callan in the IT on the divergences between Britain and Northern Ireland – some, like Safefood which is based in Cork, make the idea of regulatory alignment seem if not minimal, then arguably irrelevant. And those are very much a product of the GFA/BA. In a way it’s odd to see how much of what is described – the same railway gauge for example – as a function of the previous unity of the island under British rule. But other distinctions point to divergence between Britain and Northern Ireland despite political union – for example, number plates on cars. Then there’s the NI Civil Service.

Or what of the efforts for NI to have a different corporation tax rate (one which would match that of the ROI).

But all this is in a sense beside the point. The reality is that Northern Ireland is different from Britain, it always has been and there’s little surprise at that. It also has striking differences from the South. What is so telling is that rather than accepting this reality the DUP and other parts of political union have attempted to pretend that it is otherwise. I do wonder about that approach by them because it is so blatantly incorrect that it actually undermines the case they make.


1. Daire O'Criodain - September 19, 2019

Correct and assessment of OC article fair. Normally his stuff for IT relies heavily on flippancy and generalisation, but not this time.


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