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Boris Johnson Recklessly Picks at the Scabs of Ireland's Violent Past
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On 8 May 1987 a Provisional IRA unit of eight men attacked a police station in the village of Loughgall in county Armagh 15 miles from the Irish border. One man drove a digger with a bomb in its bucket towards the building, half of which was destroyed in the explosion. But British forces had been informed of the time and place of the assault and SAS soldiers waiting in ambush opened fire killing all eight Provisionals and a civilian.

A quarter of a century later in county Monaghan just inside the border with the Irish Republic but not far from Loughgall, there was an incident proving that the earlier killings were still a live issue. In the last few days somebody, evidently an opponent of the IRA, used a bulldozer to demolish a substantial memorial to two IRA men, Jim Lynagh and Padraig McKearney, who had died in the SAS ambush.

A statement from the Loughgall Truth and Justice Campaign described the bulldozing of the memorial as a “desecration” and declared that “to do this to any of the Loughgall families is to do this to us all… but our memories and thoughts cannot be erased”.

The episode is significant because it shows the human and divisive reality of the Irish border and why its reappearance at the top of the political agenda is such a threat to long-term peace. The backstop is often discussed in Britain as if it was an issue primarily to do with trade which has been given exaggerated significance by Ireland and the EU in order to sabotage Brexit. Boris Johnson denounces it as being unacceptably “anti-democratic”.

In all cases, there is blindness towards the true reason for the toxicity of the dispute over the 310-mile border which stems from it being the physical embodiment of relations between nationalists and unionists, Catholics and Protestants not just in the border region but in the north as a whole. That is why it has been one of the most fought-over and blood-soaked frontiers in Europe over the last 400 years. The map of the area is dotted with the names of battles ancient and modern. The destruction of the Loughgall monument shows that antagonisms have not moderated and, while some people feel strongly enough to build a memorial to two dead IRA men, others feel strongly enough to destroy it.

The visit of Boris Johnson to Belfast this week reveals once again the mixture of frivolity and ignorance with which the Brexiteers approach Northern Ireland. A new post-Brexit border is supposed to be monitored remotely by yet-to-be discovered technical means. But it should be self-evident that any CCTV or other gadget located on the border in a nationalist/Catholic area will be torn down in a few minutes.

The neutrality of the British government between nationalists and unionists was the foundation of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 that ended thirty years of war in Northern Ireland in which two per cent of the population was killed or injured according to historians of the conflict (the same proportion of casualties in Britain as a whole would have meant 100,000 dead).

Careless of this sanguinary record, Johnson’s approach is entirely opportunistic: he will maintain UK neutrality but he expresses an undying commitment to the union. He and the new minister for Northern Ireland had a convivial dinner with the DUP leader Arlene Foster, on whom the Conservatives depend for their majority, before meeting the leaders of other parties. DUP activists make clear in private that they would like a hard Brexit regardless of economic cost because they want to keep as far from the Irish Republic and as close to Britain as possible.

Supporters of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) comfort themselves by saying that the Conservatives kowtowing to the DUP will last only as long as they rely on DUP votes in parliament. This could prove over-optimistic: Johnson leads a hard-right government riding a resurgent wave of English nationalism in which anti-Irish sentiment has always had an integral part.

This does not mean that a shooting war is going to restart any time soon. The unreconciled fragments of the IRA are disorganised and lack popular support. But the building blocks of the GFA are being kicked away one-by-one. The power-sharing executive and Northern Ireland Assembly are suspended and are unlikely to be resurrected.

The DUP understandably prefers to share power with the Conservatives in Westminster than with Sinn Fein in Belfast. Sinn Fein, for its part, does not want to be the junior and largely impotent partner of the DUP in an executive which would be complicit in implementing a no-deal Brexit which it opposes.

Sinn Fein can also see a substantial silver lining for its brand of Irish nationalism in the present crisis. Northern Ireland voted 56 to 44 per cent to stay in the EU and, when the Conservatives ignore this and pretend that the DUP’s pro-Brexit stance represents majority opinion in the province, they de-legitimise the union with Britain. This will not necessarily impel pro-Remain unionists to vote for a united Ireland, but it does mean that the significant minority of Catholics/nationalists who previously preferred to stick with the union is fast diminishing.

This will matter because in the not-too-distant future Catholic voters will outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland. The outcome of a border poll will become more incalculable. But even the prospect of one – strongly advocated by Sinn Fein – will be deeply polarising. Brexit has succeeded in putting Irish Partition back at the centre of the political agenda, something that Sinn Fein had failed to do despite decades of effort.


Does this mean that Irish unity is getting closer? This prospect is increasingly if naively raised in the British media. But demographic and diplomatic change will not be sufficient in themselves to transform the political balance of power: the unionists/Protestants could not ultimately maintain their rule in the north despite being the majority. Catholics and nationalists are unlikely to be any more successful against resistance to a united Ireland by a determined Protestant minority.

Possibly Johnson’s gamble on threatening the EU states with a no-deal Brexit will pay off. They have hitherto never believed that Britain would do anything so self-destructive and they might just look to some last-minute deal. But, even if Leo Varadkar did want such an agreement, he would find it difficult to sell to Irish voters, while the EU would be seriously weakened by caving-in to Johnson’s bombast after declaring for so long that it would do no such thing.

Ireland does not relish a confrontation with the UK, but it has little choice but to demand that the EU stick to its commitments and, on the other side of the Atlantic, energise the political influence of the Irish-American diaspora. The Clinton administration was an essential driving force for the GFA. The US speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said that she will block any Anglo-American trade deal if it creates a hard border or the GFA is imperilled.

Winston Churchill famously lamented how quarrels over the Irish border, symbolised by “the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone”, had outlasted the cataclysm of the First World War. Brexit has made sure it is still there.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Boris Johnson, Brexit, Britain, Ireland 
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  1. Bearikins says:

    The Independent, Hmm, the Soros Daily…

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  2. Montreal says:

    Westminster as usual misjudges Ireland, with tragic consequences.

    Bringing in Soros into this adds nothing at all, this is a much older argument. Patrick Cockburn, as usual, plays down the prospects of disaster, but I sense from his article he knows how close it is.

    Where Johnson has got to be very careful, is that Trump has long since seen replacing the UK as his Trojan horse in the EU with Ireland, and possibly a united Ireland. A united Ireland with US support would be viable.

  3. fnn says:


    The “Catholic” part is anti-nationalist window-dressing attempting to the hide the fact that the conflict has been purely ethnic for many decades. It’s even more obvious now that Ireland is no longer Catholic and the RCC itself is now 99% neo-Marxist and anti-white. Query anyone of even minimal significance in the “Church” and they’ll even tell you the Catholics should have lost to the Communists in the Spanish Civil War.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  4. A123 says:

    Possibly Johnson’s gamble on threatening the EU states with a no-deal Brexit will pay off. They have hitherto never believed that Britain would do anything so self-destructive and they might just look to some last-minute deal.

    Cockburn does a wonderful job preaching from the Litany of the Lord Soros. However, those words are 180 degrees out from the truth.

    Here is some reality for you:

    The EU threatened the UK, and in doing so laid the groundwork for a no deal Brexit.

    The EU has spent over two years building up their position of intransigence and refusing to negotiate in good faith. Now, Merkel & Macron’s hardline, self-destructive gamble has failed to achieve their goal of overturning Brexit. Brexit is a certainty, deal or no deal.

    Germany and France successfully quashed democracy in Cyprus and Greece imposing ‘austerity’ intended to generate fear and obedience to central axis rule in other EU nations. They were very wrong when they thought they could do the same to the U.K. democracy.

    Now the brutality of axis central rule has created more problems than their Globalist theology can handle simultaneously:
    — The Visigrad 4 group, most notably Poland and Hungary, are standing up for traditional Christian European values.
    — Italy is maintaining democracy and refusing to impose the German style ‘austerity’ demanded by unelected axis central planners.
    — The Yellow Vest movement has made Macron a lame duck with negligible authority and credibility.
    — The UK, freed from EU regulatory deadweight, will obtain a strong bilateral deal with the U.S. The result will be economic boom for U.K. citizens. Efficient UK/US firms will undercut moribund EU entities like DeutscheBank. The result will be a recession in Germany.

    Once the U.K. proves that leaving the EU results in economic success, how long before the next countries jump ship? How long can a shrinking EU remain viable? The EU as an institution is on Death Row, and more people and nations realize that every day.


  5. @fnn

    Yes, it’s much more complicated than Cockburn pretends. Almost 50 years ago, I met Northern Protestants who were for a unified Ireland, just not the IRA’s version of Cuba. I met Protestants from the Republic whose lives were made hell by the “Catholic” government of the Republic. I met 2 who were friends, a “Proddy” from the North and a “Papist” from the Republic. The “Papist” wondered out loud. often, why anyone sane would want to re-unite with the Republic. Sure, things have changed, most for the better, but many things not.

    The real problem is the EU. There has always been a soft border, and by nature, the Irish are scofflaws, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory manner. If left to their own devices, the UK and the Republic could sort it out.

    What I also find amusing is his reference to the remain Brexit vote in the North, and the Conservatives pretending the majority view doesn’t matter. That fails on 2 points:
    1) It was a referendum on the UK as a whole leaving, not Northern Ireland leaving (same in Scotland), which may have a different result if it were just Ulster leaving or staying; and
    2) What the hell have the Conservatives been doing since the Brexit vote other than pretending the wished of the majority don’t count?

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  6. Richard S says:

    The Good Friday Agreement is an international peace treaty which the UK is unilaterally abrogating.

    Both Ireland and the UK being in the EU meant that the nationality/citizenship issue could be fudged. It didn’t matter if you were Irish living in the UK or vice-versa; you had equal rights as EU passport-holders.

    Now England, in its fantastic and humiliating impulse for self-destruction, imagines that it can bully a weak and friendless Ireland, as so often in history. Not this time. England is up against a Europe determined to show that a) it will protect its own and b) it will punish renegades.

    The UK’s leadership has grotesquely miscalculated.

  7. Richard S says:

    Lol, yes this is the sort of wish-dream jabbering the Brits have been spouting for a wee while now. They’re reuniting Ireland, liberating Scotland and diplomatically hobbling themselves for a generation. The humiliating, astounding collapse of British power and we didn’t have to fire a shot 🙂

    • Replies: @A123
  8. frankem51 says:

    The UK government and the EU have come to an agreement on Brexit. The intransigent ones who are preventing the deal being ratified are the hard Brexiteers who hold the balance of power in the British Parliament. There is no prospect of an early UK-US trade deal because the British consumer will not accept the lowering of food standards that this would entail – as the (now sacked) hard Brexiteer Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, has made clear. But now that Boris Johnson is in power he won’t be able to blame anyone else for the continuing failure of Brexit. It is all too apparent now that Brexit is simply a stupid mistake.

    • Replies: @A123
  9. A123 says:

    There is no prospect of an early UK-US trade deal because the British consumer will not accept the lowering of food standards that this would entail

    If this was 2017, you would be correct. However, Germany’s Bayer AG bought Monsanto in 2018 (1). Including, its portfolio of GMO food crops and Round-Up glyphosphate insecticides. So in 2019+, the UK and US can join in common cause using food standards as a weapon to target a German industrial firm.

    Given that both the UK and US want to negotiate in good faith (unlike France and Germany), the most contentious 10% of issues will be placed on the back burner. A deal covering 90% of economic activity should be achievable in a fairly short time frame. Both US and UK financial institutions want to extract clients from fragile German banks while the EU is in panic and disarray from a no deal Brexit. There is huge upside potential motivating both sides to get the 90% deal done fast.




    • Replies: @Richard S
  10. A123 says:
    @Richard S

    I concur. The wish-dream jibbering of Soros and his sock puppets has been most entertaining. Merkel and Macron are so self delusional, they do not realize they have placed a stake through the heart of the EU. Indeed, the unelected EU elites in Brussels are going to self destruct with no shooting required.

    ;-). 😆


  11. Richard S says:

    Given that both the UK and US want to negotiate in good faith

    Lol, oh my naive summer child. Sit down my son. Are you familiar with those anxiety-nightmares where you’re in public without any trousers? That is what’s happening to the “UK” right now. You’re Neville No-Knickers, mate. Global capitalism is going to treated England like a rented catamite.

    Calamitatem faciunt et pacem appellant


    • Replies: @A123
  12. unit472 says:

    I think the world is sick and tired of freckled faced potato eating gingers planting nail bombs and smearing feces on their jail cell walls to relive ancestral hatreds from centuries ago! Nobody dislikes an Irishman until he or her starts ranting about the English. The Irish are 5 million condemned to live right next to 50 million+ Englishmen forever. Make your peace or suffer forever.

  13. Hibernian says:

    Although strictly speaking your 1st and 2nd sentences aren’t contradictory, someone who has written the 1st sentence, with the very heated language, is unlikely to sincerely mean the 2nd.

  14. Hibernian says:

    “I met Protestants from the Republic whose lives were made hell by the “Catholic” government of the Republic.”

    Please be more specific. Did this involve divorce or other social issues? The R. of I. has become much more socially liberal since that time.

  15. sb says:

    Ireland (well 26 counties of 32 ) separated from the UK about a century ago .
    Since that time the Irish have had all the benefits of UK citizenship (EU notwithstanding )- like residence ,employment,welfare privileges and not the disandvantages -like conscription .
    Now that may once have been reasonable given that the overwhelming majority of Irish would have had a self/parent/grandparent past of UK citizenship but time has now moved on

    Todays Ireland is rather like ,for instance ,todays Belgium -a post Catholic society which ( officially ) worships multiculturalism ,LGBT etc rights , radical feminism ,an intrusive (nanny ) state.
    All in all a state that looks rather like it craves the approval of the Guardian crowd .

    Time to cut the safety rope

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
  16. GeeBee says:

    ‘— The Visigrad 4 group, most notably Poland and Hungary, are standing up for traditional Christian European values.
    — Italy is maintaining democracy and refusing to impose the German style ‘austerity’ demanded by unelected axis central planners.’

    I too used to be very keen on ‘democracy’ and ‘Christian values’, until I came to realise that these two ideas are the very cancer that is killing Western society. ‘Democracy’ is merely a cynical scam, whereby the components of ‘Globalism’ (the media-entertainment complex, the military-industrial complex and most of all the ‘Financial International’) buy and control those loathsome lickspittle puppets who would sell their own grandmas for a handful of swing-votes. I refer of course to that lowest of all lifeforms, the ‘professional politician’.

    As for ‘Christian values’, these were workable until the Reformation, when the ‘cat’ that is the dangerous and subversive message of the absurd New Testament got out of the ‘bag’ that was the Roman Catholic Church. Christian axiology, with its underlying and fatally toxic prescripive message of universalism, informs the secular world of Left-Liberal Progressivism just as surely as it does the most ardent Presbyterian chapel. It is an idea that mandates its adherents to find greater commonality between a white person living in Europe or the USA and a Nigerian, than would that person find with his own family and friends, purely on account of professing the same ‘faith’ as said Nigerian.

    Only by eschewing both of these ‘sacred’ yet fatal ideas might we survive. The task before us in this regard is all but impossible, I fear. The total victory of Globalism – what we might well regard as our Gotterdammerung – occurred on the 8th of May 1945. If Wotan expected no second chance why should we?

  17. Patrick Cockburn used to be a decent writer when he stuck to his area of expertise, which was foreign policy and the Midlde East. However, although he frequently parades his own ethnic roots, he has not a clue as to what he is talking about here.

    The Belfast agreement explicitly said that there should be no change in the relationship between Britain and the North without consultaion, and yet here is the self appointed expert on that agreement saying we should do just that by going along with the “Irish backstop.”

    The Irish are not going to revert to violence. The republicans were comprehensively defeated by the British; that’s why the Provos asked for a ceasefire. Dissident republicans tend to be in the more urban and cosmopolitan areas like Belfast (and Dublin), which are more and more concerned with abortion and gay marriage than in constituional issues like self governemnt, or in making money.

    Above all, in the border areas of South Armagh, Fermanagh and County Tyrone, the leadership of the Provos are in the hands of people who make money out of nefarious activities like smuggling. Any cross-border ambiguities caused by a no-deal Brexit will benefit such people, who will not in consequence be keen on a return to the armed struggle, much as a champagne socialist like Mr Cockburn yearns for that to happen.

    We have had dozens of anti-Brexit articles by Cockburn; time to put him out to pasture or ask him to wrote about something he knows about.

    • Replies: @A123
  18. @Richard S

    Both Ireland and the UK being in the EU meant that the nationality/citizenship issue could be fudged.

    Alas, fudging a problem and solving it are two different things.

    England is up against a Europe determined to show that a) it will protect its own …

    Just like the EU protected the Greeks? Just like it’s protecting the gilets jaunes in France, who are busy getting their eyes gouged out by Macron’s police state?

    … and b) it will punish renegades.

    Oh, that it will most definitely do! But if they someday try and punish the wrong country (Italy, perhaps?), then they will reap the whirlwind.

    The EU is living on borrowed time, friend …

    • Agree: A123
    • Replies: @Richard S
  19. @unit472

    That’s kind of a weird gripe coming from an anti-Russian Ukrainian.

    • Replies: @Nodwink
  20. Richard S says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    The EU is living on borrowed time, friend …

    Well we’ll see who starves first, comrade 🙂

  21. A123 says:
    @Richard S

    Fortunately for you, Dr. A123 is in the house. (Places stethoscope on patients chest) … A deep burning pain in your chest you say? That is Anxiety working on you Mr. Richard. Your case is so severe incoherence may occur as a symptom.

    Global capitalism is going to treated England like a rented catamite.

    The U.S. is prospering. Trump’s first departure steps from Soros Globalism (that pretends to be capitalism) has ended the Obama perpetual recession. More steps are coming. The UK leaving Soros Globalism is you greatest fear. As nations find success by abandoning Globalist theology, the more it is exposed as your delusional fantasy. No wonder you are suffering Anxiety Attacks.

    Your instruments to enforce Globalism Socialism are no longer viable. The EU, and its unelected Commission, is weak and getting weaker. The WTO is 99% ineffective. Your most precious 1st Church of the United Nations is 100% useless as everybody ignores it.

    How is your side going to impose the necessary fear to maintain Soros Globalism when everyone is laughing at you?


    • LOL: Richard S
    • Replies: @Richard S
  22. A123 says:
    @Tsar Nicholas

    … the Provos are in the hands of people who make money out of nefarious activities like smuggling. Any cross-border ambiguities caused by a no-deal Brexit will benefit such people,

    Not too many worries on this score.

    The UK will impose a soft border by checking UK citizenship on a transactional basis. For example, when someone wants employment, social benefits, etc… People, goods, and currency will continue to move freely.

    The EU’s failure in countering human trafficking demonstrates that it cannot enforce border controls. I suppose the EU may try to impose a hard border, but it will not work. When 8 year olds on bicycles can run a successful smuggling ring, there will not be enough profit available to interest the Provos.


    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  23. Richard S says:

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why England is lost. [Trombone womps sadly]

  24. Richard S says:

    With your anti-Irish foolishness notwithstanding, the question has now been shifted up a gear. It’s not Ireland fighting back alone against England anymore. England is going up against the richest, largest and most technologically advanced economic confederation in history.

    Bliss it is in this dawn to be alive 🙂

    • Replies: @A123
  25. A123 says:
    @Richard S

    England is going up against the richest, largest and most technologically advanced economic confederation in history.

    To be accurate you should use the term axis or Reich. The EU is not a confederation of equals. It is a Reich where German power gives the orders. The fact that bureaucrats sit in Brussels is a pathetically transparent false front. The Globalist Reichsbank (a.k.a. ECB) is located in Germany. That tells everyone all they need to know about the true seat of power.

    Das Fuherer Hitler thought technological supremacy plus fear would work in the 1940’s. In case you missed it…. England, the U.S. and Russia defeated the 3rd Reich.

    Your beloved Das Fuherer Merkel is now making the same mistake. It is almost a Star Wars quote, “Fear of the German Death Star economy will keep the periphery states in line!” When the US/UK alliance tanks the German economy the fear ends and the EU Reich with it.

    History is certain to repeat itself. At least it will be much less bloody this time.

    PEACE 😇

    • LOL: Richard S
    • Replies: @Nodwink
  26. The EU would be seriously weakened if Brussels gave up its position on the backstop: the United Kingdom would be seriously weakened if it altered its stance. Both viewpoints are logical and considered of vital interest. There seems no peaceful solution, if neither side can afford to compromise. On a broader scale – beyond the border, beyond the British Isles, Europe, – there are lessons to be learned. In Washington, Moscow, Beijing they need to realize the consequences of getting into a dispute that no one can back down from. This is crucially important in this age, as we seem to moving chaotically towards another world war.

  27. Questore says:

    Then the European Peninsula can look to its parent landmass to the east and join in a Unified World Island to resist the US/UKanian plunderers.

  28. nmb says:

    The real reason Boris Johnson pushes for a no-deal Brexit

    • Replies: @Nodwink
  29. anonymous1963 [AKA "anon19"] says:

    Britain should just leave Northern Ireland or the province should be partitioned with most of it going to the republic.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  30. Logan says:

    two per cent of the population was killed or injured according to historians of the conflict (the same proportion of casualties in Britain as a whole would have meant 100,000 dead).

    Well, no, it wouldn’t. You can’t conflate casualties (killed and injured) with dead.

    Actual deaths in the Troubles were about 3600, which is something close to 0.2%, not 2%.

  31. Nodwink says:

    The delusion of Brexiteers never fails to amuse.

  32. Nodwink says:

    The Nazis lost because they launched a suicide mission on the Bolshie behemoth. Now it’s the Poms on a suicide mission against the EU.

    • Agree: Richard S
  33. Nodwink says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    I thought he was from Cairo…

  34. @A123

    What a complete fabrication.

  35. @A123

    Border controls and immigration are national competences. Nothing to do with the EU. Clearly, you live in Brexiter unicorn land.

    • Replies: @A123
  36. A123 says:
    @Philip Owen

    As you have nothing constructive to add, please be silent and let the adults talk.

    PEACE 😇

  37. Blackeyes says:

    The voters in the UK have decided: BREXIT.
    Since that moment of truth a phenomenon had been taking place, the cries of remainers were sounded with the slogans the leavers had not understand the purpose of the referendum or other nicies like the voters hadn’t the clue this referendum was all about etc. etc.
    US Democratic stupid historic situations were arising in bastion Albion.
    How strange behaviour for the longest standing democracy in the world as proclaimed all these years by their politicians.

    Suddenly there were acts of which, as an outsider, one thought how it is possible a democracy like Great Britain behaving like a bunch of alleged stupid US democrats who were not able to accept their loss of the 2016 presidential elections?

    A referendum was carried out, as promised. The people came out to vote in the referendum and the majority voted out of the European Union and away from the unelected parasites of the EU.
    The people of Great Britain showed Europe their clear thoughts and vision: we want to be our own Boss means BREXIT.

    According to EU tradition when results of voting are negative for EU, EU let voters vote again and eventual again till EU is the winner of the voting. They thought to carry out the same trick in GB but they had miscalculated the traditional strong sense of being your own boss was to strong for the EU Dictators.
    Mrs May of England (and Merkel of Germany and “forgot the name” of Lithuania), IMO belong to the Club of EU vassals who work all for “external forces”. In this case, saying “we do BREXIT” and in reality doing NO BREXIT. Three years of “negotiations” shows clearly a circus was played and the Brexit voters IMO were being fooled and taken by the nose, up till now.

    All the European Union dreamers think they are living in a democracy. Wrong.
    When all “their laws” and “their Guide Lines” are thru without any saying by Europeans as members of the “democratic European Union” we all live in a pure communist United States of Europe. With the compliments from Merkel, Macron, Ukraine and the Baltic States.

    IMO Mr Farage and some Tory Party members have seen the light by leaving this private corporation called European Union Inc.
    You have to know all institutions in the US/Washington DC are private federal institutions. And while the European Union is an US idea and action plan it indicates automatically the E.U. is a private corporation with their board members as the biggest share- and stakeholders and Mr Juncker as the Chief Execute Officer (CEO) of the European Union Inc.
    There is also a Mr Tusk of another association called European Council (also unelected committee while they are also a private corporation) who preached it is thanks to E.U. Incl there is peace in Europe since WWII. This is of course untrue.
    Besides, EU is one of the biggest warmongers thru NATO with greedy expansion drift.
    A kind of NATO, but then in an economic sense.

    IMO, Britain will be a prosperous nation again, after getting rid of EU ballast.
    And the EU Inc. shareholders know this danger very well for more countries will follow Britains way.

    • Agree: A123
    • Replies: @A123
  38. A123 says:

    Well put.

    The Soros establishment sock puppets went “All In” on May’s ability to reverse democracy and replace the Brexit vote with elitist fiat decision making. Now that has failed. If they were smart they would be offering up a generous deal. However, arrogance and hubris blinds them to the clearly visible economic chasm ahead for the EU.

    Something to consider … The bill for a NO DEAL Brexit. All of the soft exit plans kept the UK–EU cash pump going for years. Under a hard exit that cash ends immediately.

    Macron will not make through the next election, so France will not be contributing more. That leaves Germany to pick up 100% of the tab. Or, they can cut back on transfers to EuroZone member nations and thus further destabilize the Euro Currency.

    Among intelligent and rational observers, discussion is no longer about, “If the EU will end?” That end is now certain. The only questions that remain are, “When? -&- How?”

    PEACE 😇

  39. Brits voted to leave after the EU starts allowing massive Muslim immigration.

    Hard Brexiteer Johnson promises more immigration.

    It’s all a sham. Divide and conquer. Sometimes it does not work out exactly as planned, but overall, the strong do want they want and the weak suffer what they must.

  40. @Richard S

    The UK and the Republic already have a pre-existing agreement – long before the EU existed – whereby citizens of each country had rights to live in the other country. That won’t be changed.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Richard S
  41. Richard S says:
    @As above so below

    The problem is that Irish citizens in “Northern” Ireland will lack the rights available to their fellow-countrymen in the rest of the country. Yet paradoxically will remain Irish citizens and therefore EU passport-holders. It can’t work.

    At the very least, the English elite’s biggest mistake since 1914 means Irish reunification. It’s probable that if the “United Kingdom” crashes out without a deal, Scotland will also assert its independence. The key argument against Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum was that Saor Alba wouldn’t automatically be an EU member (as a standing threat to Catalonia, Lombardy etc).

    The roulette Wheel of History is spinning so hard it’s flown off the table and cracked the British leadership in the head…

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Thea
  42. A123 says:

    If Soros and his sock puppets were not afraid 24 hours ago, they are now. As an opening gesture, almost Trump like. The Overton Window is moved. The only two options are a serious deal or a NO DEAL Brexit.

    Brexit Secretary: EU’s Barnier Must Accept ‘Political Reality’ and Reopen Negotiations

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Secretary of State for Brexit has warned the European Union’s chief negotiator that Theresa May’s “colony status” withdrawal treaty is off the table, and that “political realities have changed” since the European Parliament elections and the downfall of Theresa May.

  43. A123 says:
    @Richard S

    It’s probable that if the “United Kingdom” crashes out without a deal, Scotland will also assert its independence. The key argument against Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum was that Saor Alba wouldn’t automatically be an EU member

    The actual situation is: If the UK crashes the EU by jettisoning it without a deal.

    It takes unanimous consent to add a new member, and there will be EU nations relishing Germany’s Brexit NO DEAL humiliation — Hungary, Poland, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus at a minimum, probably more. Thus, there is 0% chance of any expedited favorable deal for Scotland. It seems highly unlikely that Scotland will risk a leap towards a “Crashing EU” that almost certainly will not let them in.

    The Re-moan-er cause died with May’s exit. You need to change to a new horse that has some chance of success. Flogging the dead one, while possibly cathartic, gains you little.

    The roulette Wheel of History is spinning so hard it’s flown off the table and cracked the British leadership in the head…

    A little head thump is nothing compared to the bloodletting that the wheel is inflicting on the far side of the channel.

    I think Monty Python provided this to illustrate a Sunny Bloody Day at EU HQ in Brussels:


    • Replies: @Richard S
  44. Richard S says:

    Is it possible that you really believe that? I doubt that any reasonably well-informed person could so egregiously misunderstand the facts, but who knows?

    England’s leadership has made schizophrenic bullshit its modus operandi. Foolishly playing to a domestic political gallery, in an insane attempt to “bluff” an opponent who’s holding all the cards. What advantage do you suppose England will gain by crippling itself thus?

    You must think we all watch the BBC, or read the Sun and the Mail, to peddle such transparent falsehoods and not fear being called a liar or a simpleton?

    • Replies: @A123
  45. A123 says:
    @Richard S

    You truly are delusional aren’t you?

    Do you worship FT and actually believe Soros man of the year?

    Everyone with minimal thought capacity realizes that the EU is a doomed circular firing squad. Do you really think that Powerless, Unelected EU elites can “bluff” the UK into surrender?

    Please seek help for your severe mental issues before it is too late…

    PEACE 😇

    • LOL: Richard S
  46. Hibernian says:

    Another partition would be pointless.

    • Replies: @anonymous1963
  47. @Bearikins

    “the Soros Daily”

    Don’t be absurd, the Indie is owned by a Russian oligarch with a substantial Saudi holding. What could be more independent than that?

    (The story of my adult life is watching one Brit icon after another (not that I’d put the indie in that category) falling into foreign ownership.)

    I think Mr Cockburn doesn’t realise the huge cultural changes in the South – the cultural destruction that took 60 years in the mighty UK has taken a mere 30 in Ireland. While it’s in many ways a tragedy, one positive is that outside of some places like the Falls, Cookstown and Crossmaglen there are fewer and fewer kids being raised on Our Lady Queen Of Ireland and the rattle of the Thompson gun.

    (On the other hand there are plenty of guns for hire in Dublin, and more to come if the example of London is any guide)

    You’d think an author would be ashamed to argue that a couple of hundred guys with guns should have veto power on a democracy of 60 million, but the baby of “shame” went out of the window with the bathwater of “sin”.

  48. I thought that it was the European Union which was recklessly picking at the scabs of Ireland’s violent past.

    After all, the E.U. has a border running down what was formerly the Yugoslav federation. In theory that border separates those within the E.U. customs union from those without it. Yet it is open for drug smuggling, gun running and human trafficking and neither the E.U. nor the propaganda machine says or does anything about that. Nor does anybody with an attention span of more than 15 years think that the E.U. cares about Ireland.

    What matters is whether the empire is expanding or contracting. When Croatia was incorporated into the empire it was expanding – so not a problem. Should Britain actually leave (and I wouldn’t advise anybody to hold their breath waiting for that), then the empire will have lost one of its major provinces and it will be contracting. That’s the difference and I’m surprised that someone like Cockburn pretends not to know that.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  49. anonymous1963 [AKA "anon19"] says:

    If the partition removed most of the Irish-Catholic population and was based on natural boundaries, like say the river Bann, it might work.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  50. A123 says:

    I have been saying this for a while now:

    The EU would be wise to make a deal with the UK. It will get clobbered in the event of no deal. Conventional wisdom says the UK will get hit harder than the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit. Conventional wisdom is wrong.

    Argument #1 is pretty good and something I have predicted:

    Reason 1: Corporate Taxes … The UK can and likely will slash corporate tax rates. A lower corporate tax rate will mitigate much of the profit damage suffered by UK corporations in the event of no deal. … Note that one of the EU’s biggest complaints against Ireland now is the “unfair” corporate tax structure of Ireland.

    ZeroHedge misses the most powerful exploit. The UK can 100% legally keep its Euro clearing powers and the German Reichsbank (a.k.a. ECB) can do nothing about it.

    How you say?

    -1- The UK Central Bank accumulates large quantities of paper Euro’s and places then in a vault.
    -2- The UK allows Euro transactions to electronically settle based on moving the rights to that paper currency among the major Securities Custody banks. There are only about 5 serious players.
    -3- The UK pre-emptively prevents Reichsbank attempts to raid the money stack by imposing massive fees and daily limits on the ability to exchange electronically held Euros to paper Euros.

    God help the German Reichsbank if they manage to gain enough co-conspirators to attempt a raid on the paper store at penalty rates. Minimal common sense provides a method for the UK to obtain huge quantities of paper Euros. Declare “Ollie Ollie Oxen Free” to drug smugglers and money launderers who need to clean their Euros by having the German Reichsbank buy them at penalty rates.



    Eight Reasons The EU Will Suffer Far More Than UK From Brexit

  51. Hibernian says:

    The reverse of what was done in the 1920s. I’d say the British missed their chance for such a settlement.

    • Replies: @anonymous1963
  52. anonymous1963 [AKA "anon19"] says:

    I do not disagree. The basic problem (I feel) was that the Unionists were greedy and took way too much land at the time (thus incorporating way too many Irish-Catholics into their new state). They should have created a smaller area with as few Irish as possible. A natural boundary would also have been a good idea.

  53. Thea says:
    @Richard S

    No tears will be shed for the breakup of the United Kingdom that allows Pakistani men to rape young white Britons and their prince to marry an aging divorced starlet who simulated felatio on national TV. What a shame if Scotland leaves that ‘Kingdom.’

    • Replies: @anonymous1963
  54. anonymous1963 [AKA "anon19"] says:

    An independent Scotland would be great.

  55. Yea lol says:

    You somehow assume that the effects of a hard brexit on the EU is more than marginal and that a majority of EU voters don’t oppose any trade deal with the UK that doesn’t include freedom of movement. You believe for some reason that the EU must give the UK a deal. Lol

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