What Would Theresa May Give to Deliver ANY Sort of Brexit?

by Laura McBride 9 months ago in politics

Ireland, the UK now owns just a small part of it—Northern Ireland—but would subject ALL the Irish to the Troubles for May's hubris.

What Would Theresa May Give to Deliver ANY Sort of Brexit?

On Saturday, January 19, 2019, a car bomb blew up in Derry, Northern Ireland.

It hasn't taken long for the Troubles to start up again, with a firelighter held by UK PM Theresa May.

Why is she stoking flames of sectarian hatred that had all but died out? A few possibilities:
  • Her own incompetence.
  • Or her own unreasoning obeisance to the fascist wing of her party.
  • Or possibly a threat from Vladimir Putin; his sending a threatening Russian sub into the channel the week before the referendum was not chance—nor was the now admitted presence of Russian bots on social media, especially Facebook.

One of those things, or two, or all three, can explain her intransigence when nothing else can. Except in places like Ceaucescu's Romania, there are precious few leaders who would force their own nation into misery, penury, isolation, and international political danger over a non-binding referendum, itself engineered via criminal acts.

In early January, the UK Prime Minister suffered the worst Parliamentary defeat in almost 100 years—over her plan to leave the European Union—and yet, she continues to pursue her obsession down closed avenues.

The back door is ALWAYS open, tralee, trala.

Some of her more rabidly xenophobic supporters were unhappy with the continuing ease of movement of people and goods between the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI). So the PM developed plans to circumvent the demands of the European Union to keep the long land border between NI and the ROI permanently open after the UK leaves the virtually borderless EU. At that time, the UK will become an isolated island, despite being only 20 miles away from its trading and peace-keeping partners across the English Channel.

May intended to ask the Republic of Ireland for a separate deal. Any such deal, should it happen, would ensure cross-border rancor of the sort that inflamed violence before the Good Friday Agreement, and which was doubtless involved in the bombing last week. If you wave xenophobia in front of barely contained UK partisan miscreants, you will incite violence. It HAS incited violence; "religiously based hate crime in the UK (has increased) by 40 percent, from 5,949 in 2016-17 to 8,336 in 2017-18, according to the Home Office data," the BBC reported.

Now Mrs. May wants to export that same ethos—by enforcing xenophobic demarcation of Ireland—to a region that suffered warfare-level hate crime fostered by the extra-legal British tactics employed by the UK government from the 1960s into the 1990s.

For example, the UK government, as reported by the Irish Times in May, 2018:

Planted stories included tales of IRA embezzlement, fraud, and witchcraft; of Soviet rocket launchers arriving in Ireland; of how bomb-making causes cancer.They even tried to play up IRA connections with the Vatican City, as another foreign state, in order to legitimise foreign office propaganda.

One hopes May's government is not planning similar tactics for Ireland—or, indeed for the UK. But one doesn't know.

A Public Display of Failure Writ Large on the PM's Face

What is known is that Mrs. May does not have the power to unilaterally abrogate the Good Friday Agreement; that is a matter for Parliament, and one has to hope that the vast majority of Parliament would not be that stupid. But considering her usurpation of the powers of Parliament to date—and until her crushing defeat recently—it isn't unreasonable to think she might try anything. She's a desperate woman, a woman incapable of hiding her sneers in public at those who disagree with her, but smiling like a doting Nurse Ratchett at those who do.

Still, why would she want to violate the treaty demand for an open border, singled out by the EU as inviolable in its negotiations with the May government?

Two simple answers.

First, she has relied on the most xenophobic parts of her Conservative Party to remain in power, despite being wildly unpopular with her peers; recall, she suffered the greatest Parliamentary defeat in almost 100 years over her withdrawal agreement. She must, then, strive to satisfy:

  • The xenophobes and Putin Puppets,
  • the likes of the Russia-compromised funding source Aron Banks,
  • the witless Eurosceptic Nigel Farage, who is even now talking about running for the EU Parliament, although he hates the EU,
  • and wild-eyed Paisleyites in NI, such as Arlene Foster, whose party, the Democrat Unionist Party, May has paid off so far to the tune of two billion pounds to support her.

Second, if May doesn't get that border shut, then goods and people from all over the EU—exactly what she and the xenophobic Brexiteers want to stop—can enter the UK through the back door. Once an EU person or van full of goods is in the ROI, there would be nothing preventing its continuing on through NI to mainland UK, as there are no border checks between Northern Ireland and the UK, since they are, at least in the minds of UK politicians, the same country.

ROI and NI are more alike than different.

But they aren't. Indeed, in the minds of most Irish and obviously in the thinking of the EU, the ROI and NI are more closely tied to each other than NI is to the UK.* In record time, on January 20, 2019, the EU rejected May's Plan B, in which she argued for removing the backstop, the assurance of a continually open border between ROI and NI. She had previously thought she could make an end run around the EU, but that was quashed over the preceding weekend by the ROI government.

On January 21, the Evening Standard reported:

"Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee pre-empted her by saying the backstop could not be removed. She also rejected direct talks between Dublin and London. 'This is a negotiation between the EU and the UK,' she told RTE."

Indeed. May's weasel attempts to set the EU against one of its members, and one whose peace it has sworn to uphold and protect, was pitiful, and garnered the response it deserved.

What is immediately obvious is that Theresa May has, at the 11th hour, noticed that she cannot both leave the EU without major possibilities of EU residents and goods entering the UK via NI indefinitely, and honour the Good Friday Agreement—which includes completely free traffic of people and goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

In short, slamming the UK door that connects Northern Ireland and the Republic cannot happen legally as long as the NI is part of the UK and not of the ROI. In a practical sense, it should mean that there can be no withdrawal of the UK from the EU, at least not on terms that would satisfy the xenophobic Tory government. Unless, of course, NI reunited with the ROI; then it would be a coherent foreign nation, with no contiguous land border with the UK. Maybe the solution for May, then, is to delay Article 50 until NI and the ROI reunite.

The fact that the British partitioned Ireland a hundred years ago might be the single factor that prevents Brexit. Indeed, two years ago, I realized that the Republic of Ireland could single-handedly stop Brexit. Certainly, the UK can crash out regardless of what anyone decides about May's cockamamie so-called agreement or about her dastardly plans to scrap peace in Northern Ireland so she can satisfy the Steven Yaxley-Lennon/Nigel Farage/Putin Puppet arm of her party.

But here's what will happen: A supremely harmful crash out—unless May gives up her mad or desperate quest to impose a criminally engineered referendum on the UK:

  • When Art, 50, which May invoked two years ago against the advice of more mature and much more intelligent minds, takes effect on March 29, 2019, all seamless trade between the UK and the EU will cease.
  • No EU goods in, no UK goods out to the EU.
  • No planes taking off from UK to EU, no planes from EU to UK landing.
  • Ferries? Ditto.
  • Cargo ships? Ditto.

To be sure, there are World Trade Organization rules that can be used, but they are cumbersome and have not been embraced in a timely manner by the UK. Food will rot on the ships, medicines will fail to reach the critically ill. As an adjunct, it wouldn't surprise me to see the plethora of Irish nurses manning depleted staffs of Tory-plundered NHS hospitals taking themselves off back home.

But peace in Ireland is in the cross hairs for the Bride of Putinstein, Theresa May, despite the responses of the EU and the ROI. The tweet below, from Twitter, explains it best:

Damien Owens @OwensDamien"Can we drop the 'Theresa May's a good person doing her best in difficult circumstances' stuff? If she saw a button marked DESTROY IRELAND AND SAVE YOURSELF she'd break her fucking finger on it."

* Chapter Three of United Ireland: Why Unification Is Inevitable and How It Will Come About by Kevin Meagher explains this in detail.

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Laura McBride

Journalist with both daily news background early in my career and a lifetime of freelance work, including approx. 10,000 magazine articles and 14 books under two pen names. Also accomplished artist, and trainer of hunter-jumper horses. 

See all posts by Laura McBride