The UK to split if May’s hard or no-deal Brexit is pursued

British PM Theresa May’s letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, triggering Article 50. May has written to Tusk a historic six page letter to notify him of the UK’s intention to leave the EU. 29 March 2017, Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street, London.

The English Bexiteer bigots when lying and cajoling their compatriots in order to convince them to vote ‘leave’, forgot altogether that their country, the UK contains other nations too, who do not share their unfounded megalomaniac imperial cathexis. The Scotch and the Irish voted ‘remain’ in the 23 June 2016 referendum and it seems now they are determined to make it real, even if it means to divorce their English partners after 300 years of marriage.

London is terrified with what is happening in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Yesterday’s deposition by the British ambassador to Brussels of the official letter of divorce with the EU is thought to also trigger parallel internal negotiations in the UK between London, Edinburgh and Belfast. Let’s start from the north.

PM Theresa May has vetoed the second Scottish referendum to quit the UK and counts on the Protestant community of Northern Ireland to keep the UK in one piece. However, if she chooses to go for a hard or no-deal Brexit, Scotland and more so Northern Ireland would become restless, and London will find it very difficult to suppress the centrifuge pressures. There is plenty of time for those separatist tendencies to mature and become dominant. There is a growing belief both in Britain and in mainland Europe, that, the two years provided by the article 50 of the EU Treaty for the Brexit negotiations will not be enough. Extensions will be needed.

Separatists dominate

In any case, after the first year of talks, it will become clear if London is willing to take care of the special needs of Scotland and Northern Ireland after the Brexit. For one thing, both those constituent parts of the UK have imperatively raised the issue of maintaining free access to the EU single market. On top of that, for Northern Ireland it is unthinkable to accept the reinstitution of border controls or custom checks, and God forbid the imposition of tariffs on transactions with the Republic of Ireland.

Today, Northern Ireland and the Eire economically, socially and in some respects even politically, are functioning as one country. The Irish of the North, at least their mostly Catholic majority, will never forsake this right, within or without the UK. Unfortunately, London is to learn that the hard way, but the dearest price from the misunderstandings will be again paid by Northern Ireland.

Aggressive London

The question remains then, if Whitehall and Downing St. will be ready to satisfy the needs of Scotland and Northern Ireland. It’s more likely though that the May government will not do that and instead resort to political containment. The governing English populist Brexiteers have shown until now a strong inclination to play the game of the egotistic if not racist public opinion of the English countryside. They have even challenged the banking oligarchy of the City, despite knowing that without this square mile of London soil, Britain is nothing more than a tourism country. Why then does May not hesitate mistreating Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Last Monday, May went to Scotland to meet the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for one hour. The meeting was a disaster. According to a BBC report, Sturgeon said she was “frustrated by a process that appears not to be listening”. The next day Tuesday, the Scottish Parliament officially passed with a 69 to 59 majority the First Minister’s proposal for a second referendum for independence, to be held before the Brexit. The idea is that if London doesn’t take care of Scotland’s aspiration to continue participating in the single EU market, the ‘country’ will seek independence from the UK. It must be noted that from a historic – in the literal meaning of the word – point of view for the Scots, Brexit may have offered a good…pretext to leave the UK.

Scotland prepares

May has clarified in the most drastic manner that her government will block a referendum before the Brexit. Legally, Scotland has to ask for London’s approval to hold a plebiscite. Still, Sturgeon replied that “her mandate for another vote was now beyond question”, and stressed that it would be “democratically indefensible and utterly unsustainable to attempt to stand in the way”. In other words, Scotland may go as far as to hold the referendum, even if it has to challenge London’s authority. Given that the use of force by the UK government against Scotland is out of question, the Scots may take this step and ‘de facto’ repudiate London’s sovereignty.

In Northern Ireland things are even more difficult for London. Sinn Fein, the Irish left-wing and nationalist party, traditionally advocating for union with Eire, quit the government two months ago. Yesterday, May, speaking in the Commons, coercively asked the party to return to government, ahead of the Brexit negotiations. What is more important, in the 2 March election the pro-Britain Protestant party lost the majority for the first time since 1921, when the Irish island was partitioned.

N.Ireland in limbo

To be noted, that Sinn Fein is also very active in Eire and his leader, Gerry Adams, plays an important role in the political life of the Irish Republic too. He has not mentioned anything about holding a referendum for independence from the UK, but his political platform core contains an irredentist vision of a unified Irish island.

The deep division between the pro-Britain Protestants of Northern Ireland (Democratic Unionist Party) and the Sinn Fein has claimed thousands of lives in the not so distant past(Ulster loyalists ‘v’ Irish republicans). The civil war lasted for decades and ended only ten years ago, when the two sides couldn’t stand any more the bloodshed and compromised, by forming a joint government. The new arrangement proved successful in maintaining peace for the last ten years. Not any more, Sinn Fein doesn’t return to government..

The key factor for the success story in this peaceful period on the Irish island is the ‘de facto’ disappearance of borders between Northern Ireland and Eire. This was feasible because both the UK and the Irish Republic are members of the EU. However, things can very quickly turn sour on the island with the Brexit, if London doesn’t do whatever it takes to secure free communication between Northern Ireland and Eire.

One Ireland?

The two ‘countries’ share the only land border between the UK and the EU, but today nobody pays attention to it. They go up and down as if it were one country. Unfortunately, in case of a hard or no-deal Brexit free communication will be legally impossible. This dreadful prospect is unacceptable for the Irish on both sides of the border. Then, either the UK and the EU will accept a completely irregular situation with exchanges between the two sides continue as today(a highly impossible prospect), or Northern Ireland in one way or another will depart from the UK and join Eire, thus remain in the EU. It is true that the North doesn’t have a burning willingness to remain in the EU. However, the union with the Eire is rooted deep in all Irish souls and, if it takes to leave the UK and stay in the EU to secure that, so be it.

In conclusion, it will be very difficult or impossible for the UK to leave the EU in one piece, if the hard kind of Brexit May’s government has in mind, is to be actually pursued. Scotland and Ireland will take sweet revenge against London.

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN agencies call for action to bolster rights of Europe’s stateless children

North Sea fisheries: MEPs back EU plan to sustain stocks of demersal species

5 lessons for the future success of virtual and augmented reality

Is blockchain overhyped? 5 challenges to getting projects off the ground

Gender equality: an issue much talked about but less acted upon

5 things you probably didn’t know about global health

Inequality in the delivery of health services

New book honours UN women who made HERstory

Afghanistan: EU reinforces humanitarian support with €40 million as crisis worsens

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

Fairness should be at the heart of the agricultural goods trade

From a refugee camp to Davos: one Co-Chair’s story

Rising inequality affecting more than two-thirds of the globe, but it’s not inevitable: new UN report

These 5 countries plan to slash their CO2 emissions. But how will they do it?

These are the 10 most in-demand skills of 2019, according to LinkedIn

Citizens to be the cornerstone of the Conference on the Future of Europe

Grievous violations continue against Myanmar civilians, Human Rights Council hears

Why tourism policy needs to use more imagination

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

Food safety: Enhancing consumer trust in EU risk assessment and authorisation

How to beat gender stereotypes: learn, speak up and react

This is how a smart factory actually works

EU-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement sees the light as Moscow’s reaction once more looms

5 ways for business leaders to win in the 2020s

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

UPDATED: Thousands flee fighting around Libyan capital as Guterres condemns escalation, urges ‘immediate halt’ to all military operations

Junior Enterprises as a solution for Youth Entrepreneurship

Bayer-Monsanto merger: the story of the rise of the “endless company”

How Asia could be the winner in the US and China’s Belt and Road race

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

DR Congo: Strengthened effort against Ebola is paying off, but insecurity still major constraint – UN health agency

Zeid calls for ICC probe into Myanmar Rohingya crisis

Steps taken to end Saudi ‘guardianship’ system for women, ‘encouraging’ start

3 ways to stop COVID-19 from drying up start-up talent pools

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

A record one million Syrians displaced over six months, during six key battles: UN investigators

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

More protection for our seas and oceans is needed, report finds

Germany openly seeks more advantages for its banks

No recovery for EU economy in sight and a Brexit can aggravate things for everyone

Commissioner Hogan announces new transparency package

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

People are scared of artificial intelligence – here’s why we should embrace it instead

Trump’s denial of Paris climate agreement; the US Republicans lash out against the world

EU-Singapore free trade deal gets green light in Trade Committee

How technology is driving a fourth wave of environmentalism

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

This man is installing 100 trash barriers in Bali’s rivers to stop plastic pollution

4 rules to stop governments misusing COVID-19 tech after the crisis

Trash bin at the top of the world: can we prevent Arctic plastic pollution?

The future of energy is being shaped in Asia

The future of international election observation missions

The Irish Presidency bullies the Parliament over EU budget

Digital Single Market: EU negotiators agree to set up new European rules to improve fairness of online platforms’ trading practices

Antitrust: Commission imposes interim measures on Broadcom in TV and modem chipset markets

Why diversity needs your star power, as well as sponsors

To recruit younger people, you have to understand them. Here’s a guide

‘We are facing a learning crisis’, UN chief warns on International Youth Day

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s