Ireland’s Future

I actually started my previous post on abortion and Ireland with the demographic numbers because I wanted to address a second point, but the post was long enough already. Interestingly, some commentators brought the issue up anyway.

Ireland’s ruling classes have bought into the same progressive leftism as most of Europe, America, Canada, and Australia epitomised by their Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who makes Justin Trudeau look like Chuck Lidell. I can’t stand Theresa May’s fusspot head girl persona, but better her than the kind of wet lefty male the Irish have chosen to lead them (and no, this is nothing to do with his being gay; Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2).

While I was broadly supportive of the outcome of the referendum liberalising abortion in Ireland, there was something grotesque about the dancing and partying in front of Dublin castle when the result was known. There was a time when abortion was seen as a necessary evil, but deranged American feminists have since turned it into something to celebrate, boast of, and even desire. However, the Dubliners’ party was fully consistent with a country which has embraced modern progressivism. On every social issue I can think of – the environment, immigration, the role of government, individual liberty, identity politics (gender, feminism, LGBT, Islam, race) – the Irish ruling classes sound little different to those who wander the corridors of American academia. They’ve outsourced all their foreign policy (and a lot of domestic policy) to the EU who they look to as some sort of mother figure, running to her skirts to show off good marks on their homework at every opportunity.

Their stance on immigration is an interesting one. The Irish exercise their right to live and work in the UK by the million, and have spread themselves across the globe fleeing economic stupidity back home. Like most European nations, they are fully supportive of immigration from the developing world in order to counterbalance dwindling birthrates and the emigration of native-born Irish; much was made of Varadkar’s status as the son of Indian immigrants. Yet at the same time many Irish believe hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Ireland who are the descendants of British immigrants from centuries ago have no business being there; their arrival was “artificial”, hence their presence illegitimate. For all Ireland’s claim to be a modern, tolerant society, on the subject of Northern Ireland the opinions of many wouldn’t seem out of place at a Nuremburg rally.

The reason for this is because much of Ireland’s politics is driven by hatred of the English, and when this runs up against their liberalism on other issues the results can look strange indeed. Many Irish supported the Scottish in their bid to become independent from the rest of the UK, for example. Apparently Scotland has a natural right to be its own country, but Northern Ireland must some day be brought back under the rule of Dublin. They waffle on about “historical borders” and “artificial” populations and provinces as if they’re courtiers of the Hapsburg Empire, rather than citizens of a country which allows people to choose their gender.

The fact is, in historical timescales, Ireland’s independence from Britain will likely be a quaint footnote in an era of astonishing decency on the part of the mainland’s rulers. Had Hitler prevailed, it is unlikely Ireland’s neutrality – to date their most significant foreign policy decision – would have been recognised by the Nazis, no matter how many Irish leaders admired them. Had the Soviets swept across western Europe and captured Britain, Ireland would have been lumped in with the rest of the British Isles and little consideration given to the difference between them. I don’t see any major power on the horizon set to take over Europe, but looking two or three hundred years into the future it’s a fair bet that whatever regime is ruling mainland Britain will also be ruling Ireland. If demographic projections are anything to go by, this is a near certainty: there simply won’t be any Irishmen or British left, statistically speaking.

For all Ireland’s pride in independence from the hated English, the irony is they’re adopting policies which will see their people and culture disappear within a few generations. It’s not that abortion will lower their birthrates by much, although it’s unlikely to improve things; it’s more the case that a population which dances in the streets after legalising abortion is wedded to other policies which are suicidal in the long term. While there is a slim chance the populations of other countries might push back against such policies – Poland and Hungary are leading the way, with Brexit and Trump’s election providing glimmers of hope – Ireland’s hatred of England will blind them to any chance of reform.

Even now, a hundred years after Ireland gained its independence, you meet people born in the 1980s and later foaming at the mouth about British “oppression”. If you were born in the Republic of Ireland you’d need to be over a century old to remember British rule. Nobody born afterwards can possibly claim to be victims of British imperialism yet they do just that, often having arrived on the mainland to find work. We’re now at the stage where people’s grandfathers would have been only toddlers during the Easter Rising, but they speak as if it personally happened to them yesterday. The Irish aren’t alone in this of course; African Americans are increasingly claiming victim status based on the treatment of their slave ancestors, something which would have appalled the likes of Martin Luther King who was a lot more interested in the here and now. And how’s that working out for them? Are African Americans doing any better, progressing as a people by insisting the distant past governs swathes of their current lives? Hardly.

The Irish have serious problems in front of them, the same as most developed nations. They’re on a path to destruction but have chosen to keep fighting an enemy which has long since left them alone, and who they should be looking to as allies if they hope to survive. It’s going to be an interesting decade for Ireland, especially as the EU tightens its grip and becomes increasingly centralised and desperate for cash. Whatever happens, I don’t think we’re going to see much dancing in front of Dublin castle for a while.

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41 thoughts on “Ireland’s Future

  1. “the Dubliners’ party was fully consistent with a country which has embraced modern progressivism.”

    Agreed. I think a lot of this and the other nonsense is due to the artificial zeal of the recent convert. Lots of Irish people can remember when their image was one of the gauche religious outsider who it was OK to joke about. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, many new Irish immigrants in London could be seen a mile off, with their new ill-fitting suits and bad haircuts and over-scrubbed faces. They are letting us know that they are, now, sophisticated cosmopolitans who travel a lot and who have all the right liberal views.

  2. Good post, Mr Tim.

    I am no fan of the EU and I cannot imagine why so many people think a distant, elite-loving and essentially corrupt body of people who have awarded themselves huge powers (often without a whiff of a ballot box involved) with attendant generous salaries is best suited to guide lesser souls. But, each to their own.

    What intrigues me is that Ireland, should May and feeble minions ever finally do what the referendum decided and get the UK out of the EU, will be the furthest flung province of the EUmpire. I don’t know how the average Irishman and woman feels about the concept of Europe unity and regards open borders and population replacement as fun, but it could become a strain being loyal at a distance.

    Maybe one day then Brussels/Berlin will allow the Irish to have a second independence though wouldn’t it be a hoot beforehand if the new EU army has troops in the style of the Black and Tans (say, Blue and Yellows) stationed outside post offices to keep the peace before withdrawing and granting home rule.

  3. The thing is, since 1922, Ireland had a truly independent economic policy from less than ten years of that.
    In a piece of economic illiteracy to protect the holdings of insiders, the punt was pegged 1:1 against sterling between 1922 and 1979 when they joined another currency peg in the European monetary system .

    Pegging 1:1 against sterling meant that every UK economic crisis, was magnified several times over when the local currency was grossly overvalued for the size of the economy.
    It actually made Irish exports to their largest market more expensive than they should have been.
    When the UK restricted currency holdings following sterling crisis following crisis, guess what was whacked as well. When the UK inflated away its nationalisation debts in the 70s, guess what took a kicking.

    It wasn’t until both the UK and Ireland being kicked out of the EMS after black Wednesday in 1993, that the punt truly floated and the govt was forced to run reasonable economic policies to sustain interest and exchange rates. That actually worked, responsibility is a wonderful thing.

    The self serving gobsh*tes in the gombeen political class couldn’t join the Euro quick enough. Interest rates falling by 2/3rds with no compensating macro economic measures to reign in the consequent housing boom.
    The so called Celtic tiger generating a housing shortage with some of the most expensive housing in one of the least densely populated countries in Europe. We all know how that ended.

    Now they’re at it all over again. Incorrigible.

  4. The Irish like de Valera would have got on famously with the Nazis. Both took a view of a good society being of kinder, kirche, kuche. They were very much national socialists.

    The irony to me is what a waste it all was. 100 years and what’s the essential difference to remaining in Britain? Your prime minister has a ye olde Irish name instead of just being called the prime minister? It isn’t a Catholic state. Not really. The odd bit of lip service for the tiny minority of churchgoers but mostly the priests have little influence.

  5. The Irish like de Valera would have got on famously with the Nazis.

    No doubt, but like Quisling he’d probably have found the Nazis didn’t have much use for him.

  6. There’s much to like about the Republic, but I especially like the place because everywhere is different. The drive from Skibbereen to Kenmare and then the highly international Killarney is wonderful. And the people are always trying to make a connection with you. It’s a country where schools take a day off if the horse racing festival is in town, where 12 years olds put their parents bets on at the dog track ( and are told to work out their winnings ) and which has a company producing the best soccer pitches in the world imv, even though they have no decent teams to play on them.
    The analysis of what could go wrong is very Anglocentric. Here in Blighty we resent immigrants bringing an excess of their own culture with them. The best example is sub-Saharans who have a reputation in the UK and a couple of other places for laziness, but which they do not have in other countries. That indicates a problem in the UK which requires further analysis. But I think it’s wrong to presume the resentment of immigrants would transfer to the Republic ( net migration only turned +ve in the last 2 years ).
    I would bet that in 30 years time the Republic will still be ahead of the UK on the Happiness, Nanny State, and income per head indicators. Although I won’t be around to pay up.

  7. The best example is sub-Saharans who have a reputation in the UK and a couple of other places for laziness, but which they do not have in other countries.

    Is there someplace where sub-Saharan Africans don’t have a whole lot of problems? I mean places that have a substantial population of African origin.

  8. Here in Blighty we resent immigrants bringing an excess of their own culture with them.

    Which countries love immigrants who refuse to adapt to their new home?

    sub-Saharans who have a reputation in the UK and a couple of other places for laziness, but which they do not have in other countries.

    I’m not sure I have ever heard a Briton under 70 come out with ‘blacks are lazy’.

    However, I have heard objections to mass immigration from a variety of foreigners and their concerns seem to match pretty well with those of Brits.

  9. I was in Dublin Castle courtyard after the referendum, and I think the criticism of the triumphalism is misjudged, or at least lacking an appreciation of some of the local subtleties. Certainly abortion is always a consequence of something somewhere having gone wrong, and so celebrating its availability does seem somewhat discordant. But it’s important to remember that all expectations in Ireland were that the vote was on a knife edge – if the Yes vote had squeaked by on 51-55%, the mood would have been one of relief. Instead it passed by 2:1, and that changed the picture entirely. The young women in Dublin were celebrating that the retrograde constituency that had set the rules for them their whole lives had been utterly smashed, and there’s no way back for them.

    It seems strange now, but in very recent memory Ireland was an amazingly backwards place – abortion was illegal obviously, but also homosexuality, and divorce, and even contraception was only available on prescription. And it was the same people and mindset that fought every inch of liberalisation. Hence the tribalism, and the triumphalism.

    The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.

  10. The young women in Dublin were celebrating that the retrograde constituency that had set the rules for them their whole lives had been utterly smashed, and there’s no way back for them.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much how I understood it. Feminists in the US and UK dream of smashing patriarchal structures too, and have been very successful in doing so, but I’m not sure it will work out well for them in the long run.

    It seems strange now, but in very recent memory Ireland was an amazingly backwards place – abortion was illegal obviously, but also homosexuality, and divorce, and even contraception was only available on prescription.

    A lot of the women I saw celebrating looked to be in their early twenties. They’re probably going off stories their parents told them rather than personal experience (as I imply in the post, Ireland has form when it comes to people pretending they live in a previous era).

    I was in Dublin Castle courtyard after the referendum, and I think the criticism of the triumphalism is misjudged, or at least lacking an appreciation of some of the local subtleties.

    That is probably true to some extent, and I can understand why there might be some celebrating. I just get the impression the Irish are going to do what the rest of the developing world has done and throw the baby out with the bathwater. The fact this entire abortion debate was dressed up in terms of fundamental rights rather than as a messy trade-off doesn’t fill me with confidence. Sorry, but the people who I saw celebrating looked about as politically mature as those who showed up to the Women’s March in Washington DC wearing pussy hats. Maybe I’m wrong.

  11. The analysis of what could go wrong is very Anglocentric.

    Well, yeah, pretty much everything on here is from the perspective of an Anglo!

  12. As for Varadkar, he’s got about as much substance as the average Western politician in the social media age, i.e. sweet f* all. But compared to the average Irish politician it’s unfair to call him leftist, he does seem to have some vague instinct that money doesn’t grow on trees and the private sector needs to be encouraged, or at least not overly hindered.

    He’s also been making mincemeat of May on the Brexit negotiations, but admittedly he’s helped by the fact that the Irish national interest is pretty clear (damage limitation) whereas she doesn’t know what she wants, is in a pitifully weak negotiating position, and is trying to sell the economic equivalent of phlogiston anyway.

  13. He’s also been making mincemeat of May on the Brexit negotiations

    You think? He sounds more like an EU sock puppet to me, issuing demands he has absolutely no power to enforce. True May is being equally useless, but someone like Rees-Mogg would have silenced him within about 5 minutes. Varadkar knows Brexit and the NI border are his one chance to ponce about on a vaguely international stage and is milking it for all it’s worth.

  14. Sorry, but the people who I saw celebrating looked about as politically mature as those who showed up to the Women’s March in Washington DC wearing pussy hats.

    Yes, there was a huge student politics vibe to the whole thing, like I imagine all these things. And certainly there was no chance of a bloke with a “No” button getting laid in Dublin that night…

    As for the motivations behind my own presence, they shall have to remain obscure

  15. As for the motivations behind my own presence, they shall have to remain obscure

    Heh!

  16. Actually, as I’ve said before, I think Varadkar’s behaviour around the NI border is extremely dangerous. He’s basically implying there must be a hard border but if there’s a hard border the GFA is void, and hence Ireland should really be reunited or the border moved to the sea. Nobody told the British public that signing the GFA would mean we could never leave the EU without surrendering NI; I think British leave voters are also unimpressed by the Irish issuing veiled threats of violence if they don’t get their way, too. How all this is supposed to help Ireland’s long term interests I don’t know.

  17. From a negotiation perspective, the key thing Varadkar did was to get the EU to acknowledge the Irish border as a critical issue. The EU being a disparate entity of often squabbling elements, once key priorities are established the governments are reluctant to revisit.

    (The UK still doesn’t seem to have grasped this, viewing things on a much more transactional basis, “hey this seems like a sensible compromise, let’s meet in the middle and call it done”, which is why the negotiations are so painful.)

    Alone, Ireland has very little negotiating power vs the UK, but EU solidarity changes the picture completely. I say he’s been successful because we can see the results: May is now clinging to the “whole island” fallback position she previously called unthinkable as a get out clause, while Davis is promoting laughable wheezes like the buffer zone. It’s pretty clear who is in the driving seat, even if going off the cliff edge is in no one’s interest.

  18. Tangentially: that’s a lot of posts about Ireland in a short space of time, Tim. Still bitter about the Scarlets in the Pro14? 🙂

  19. From a negotiation perspective, the key thing Varadkar did was to get the EU to acknowledge the Irish border as a critical issue.

    That’s the thing though, it’s not. From what I can tell Britain doesn’t want a hard border but the EU is insisting there must be one. Only the Irish think this is Britain’s fault. What Varadkar has done is hand the EU a false Gordian Knot they can use to trip up the Brexit process. I cross the France-Switzerland border pretty often and it’s no trouble at all, so it’s not a customs issue. There are several options but Varadkar and the EU don’t want to hear them, hoping to somehow force Britain to rethink Brexit entirely.

    May is now clinging to the “whole island” fallback position she previously called unthinkable as a get out clause

    She’ll be out of office quicker than she can blink if she goes down that route.

    Alone, Ireland has very little negotiating power vs the UK, but EU solidarity changes the picture completely.

    I don’t think there is much EU solidarity, tbh. The EU mandarins hate what Britain has done and Varadkar, being reflexively anti-British, has jumped at the chance to put the boot in. There are very few heads of state other than Merkel who have any interest in punishing Britain, and the ordinary people don’t. Varadkar and the Irish people enjoy solidarity with EU mandarins but very few others.

    Tangentially: that’s a lot of posts about Ireland in a short space of time, Tim. Still bitter about the Scarlets in the Pro14?

    Heh! No, a combination of the abortion vote – which is a big deal – and having a rack of beers with a Dubliner the other night (who doesn’t share many of my opinions) which got me thinking about Ireland more than usual.

  20. Surely if the EU want a hard border between RoI and NI they could easily have one? Im a bit too young to remember how the border actually worked between East and West Germany but my impression was the East Germans policed those going across the border in both directions while the West Germans just let them get on with it. Surely, a similar arrangement could be put in place in Ireland?

  21. TN at 3.01pm
    The Irish like de Valera would have got on famously with the Nazis.

    No doubt, but like Quisling he’d probably have found the Nazis didn’t have much use for him.

    There is no reason to believe that, or that he had any Nazi sympathies.

    The infamous condolences to the German ambassador was done out of scrupulous adherence to diplomatic niceties, even if wrongheaded by any other measure.

  22. The fact this entire abortion debate was dressed up in terms of fundamental rights rather than as a messy trade-off doesn’t fill me with confidence

    I think the referendum was passed so convincingly was not because it was presented in terms of fundamental rights but because the Yes side presented it almost entirely in terms of “hard cases”.

    The media went along with this focus on “hard cases” even where feigning objective coverage.

  23. @England: You’re all going to have to get over this “republicans are Nazi sympathisers” issue. Of the atrocities known about at that time, the Nazis must have looked little different from the British to an Irish government operating under implicit and sometimes explicit threat of re-invasion. That never came to pass, but how was Dev to know at the time…

    The Irish are not especially worried about immigration, nor do we expect it to bring about economic disaster, no more so than it did for the USA.

    Yes, SOME feminists are obnoxious. This is not news.

    Varadkar is using every lever he has to act in the best interest of his country – yet many of you dismiss it as empty posturing or question his motives. What else would you have him do? Rejoin the UK? (And don’t say “just refuse to put up a border”. This is against WTO rules and would be a magnet for smuggling and the kind uncontrolled immigration that Brexit seeks to avoid).

    @Tim: That’s total nonsense and you know it! Switzerland is, in every way but name, in the EU. This is not the same thing (pending negotiations).

    It’s also it is bizarre that Irish independence is seen by some as just an inconvenient diversion, yet those same people foam at the mouth at the supposed loss of sovereignty when the EU demands more efficient vacuum cleaners. Clearly, you have not been taught what real domination and dependence looks like… To an Irishman, it certainly looks nothing like the EU, from where we get reasonably good law (with many faults, but that’s any government anywhere), a fantastic way to diversify trade away from a single trade partner, negotiation heft, cultural exchange and myriad other benefits.

    Yes, housing is an outrageous failure of governance in Ireland. We’re working on it.

    Finally, why not move the customs to the coast? It leaves NI in its current regulatory environment, and you’ve to show your passport getting on a plane anyway. It would still remain part of the UK, keep its military presence, keep the queen… so what difference..?

  24. “To an Irishman, it certainly looks nothing like the EU, from where we get reasonably good law (with many faults, but that’s any government anywhere), a fantastic way to diversify trade away from a single trade partner, negotiation heft, cultural exchange and myriad other benefits.”

    To a kiwi, I wonder why you couldn’t have got all those things without the EU, we certainly have. Ireland has certainly benefited from the EU, but it’s had costs too and the UK experience has been far more one-sided from what I’ve seen.

    “It’s also it is bizarre that Irish independence is seen by some as just an inconvenient diversion, yet those same people foam at the mouth at the supposed loss of sovereignty when the EU demands more efficient vacuum cleaners”

    I think the same about the Scottish independence movement, hell bend on trading one form of dependence for another. I’d also suggest that in the past the UK approach to laws was far less prescriptive than those that come from the EU. As an outsider, the EU seems to delight in creating very narrow, restrictive rules that highlights it’s impact on individuals choices.

  25. …the Nazis must have looked little different from the British to an Irish government operating under implicit and sometimes explicit threat of re-invasion. That never came to pass, but how was Dev to know at the time…

    ‘Twas the USA which drew up plans to occupy Ireland should the former treaty ports be required for the war effort.

  26. Tim, Switzerland is a member of Schengen area, which is why you don’t have border checks there. And we aren’t about to join either, so your comparison with France Switzerland border isn’t relevant.

    A more direct comparison would be the Poland/Ukraine border. I don’t know what you need to get across that border but I doubt you can just drive through unchecked.

  27. The infamous condolences to the German ambassador was done out of scrupulous adherence to diplomatic niceties, even if wrongheaded by any other measure.

    The Irish like to offer this explanation, but it’s easily refuted by pointing to the fact that no such condolences were sent on the death of Franklin Roosevelt.

  28. Tim, Switzerland is a member of Schengen area, which is why you don’t have border checks there. And we aren’t about to join either, so your comparison with France Switzerland border isn’t relevant.

    It is relevant, because there is a customs border and most of the discussion around the NI border surrounds how to manage customs, not immigration. I don’t think anyone imagines the Common Travel Area is going to be dissolved, so we’re only talking about customs checks. This makes the French-Swiss border a pretty good model.

  29. I think the referendum was passed so convincingly was not because it was presented in terms of fundamental rights but because the Yes side presented it almost entirely in terms of “hard cases”.

    I’ll yield to your better knowledge on that: I really didn’t follow the campaign in detail.

  30. That’s total nonsense and you know it! Switzerland is, in every way but name, in the EU.

    Heh! Perhaps abacab would like to comment on that!

    Varadkar is using every lever he has to act in the best interest of his country – yet many of you dismiss it as empty posturing or question his motives. What else would you have him do?

    The problem is that he believes the “best interests of his country” is forcing part of the UK to implement regulatory alignment with his own to make the lives of UK residents he claims to represent easier.

    (And don’t say “just refuse to put up a border”. This is against WTO rules and would be a magnet for smuggling and the kind uncontrolled immigration that Brexit seeks to avoid).

    Two minutes ago you dismissed the model of the France-Switzerland border as preposterous. Sorry, but if Ireland is going to reject every existing workable alternative outright, people will think they have ulterior motives for their intransigence.

    It’s also it is bizarre that Irish independence is seen by some as just an inconvenient diversion

    Who is saying that? From what I can tell, the issue seems to be the Irish thinking that “independence” means annexing a province of the UK.

    Finally, why not move the customs to the coast?

    For two reasons:
    1. It is preposterous that a country be forced to change its national fiscal borders on the orders of a neighbouring state who merely finds it more convenient, and who implicitly threatens violence if they don’t get their way.
    2. Any such move will be cheered by United Ireland fanatics as the first step towards reunification, and the Unionists in the North will see it the first step on the road to a betrayal by feckless politicians in Westminster. Which is why the DUP oppose it, of course.

  31. @HibernoFrog:
    ‘And don’t say “just refuse to put up a border”. This is against WTO rules and would be a magnet for smuggling and the kind uncontrolled immigration that Brexit seeks to avoid’

    And yet, we had no such border and no such concerns since Ireland declared independance.

    The point of border controls on the UK side of the RoI/NI border would be to stop goods and people from the Republic entering the UK. We certainly don’t want to stop the goods, while the Republic is unlikely to flood us with unwanted immigrants.

    As such, we could easily have a border (the same one we have had for roughly a century) and no border controls on our side (the same as we have had for roughly a century).

  32. @Tim:

    ‘Even now, a hundred years after Ireland gained its independence, you meet people born in the 1980s and later foaming at the mouth about British “oppression”.’

    Was your Dubliner friend one of these? By and large, I don’t find it to be the case with the Irish-born; plastics are an entirely different kettle of fish.

  33. Switzerland effectively in the EU?

    Not exactly… For instance, I can buy all manner of non-EU-compliant food products (yummy MSG-containing salad sauce being one of them). Philip Morris manufactures a lot of non-EU-compliant tobacco for export to non-EU countries (and the EU threatened their overflight rights for said tobacco to extract another concession). The EU is trying to force the new EU firearms directive on CH via Schengen (for which, when reading Schengen, I see no legal basis at all), and that might come to a referendum.

    Plus, CH is NOT in the customs union, even though it is de facto in the single market. The customs union is probably the single most defining feature of the EU aside from its legislature.

  34. @abacab: Interesting, thanks.

    @David: Dependence on the EU is far more comfortable than dependence on a single large neighbor who doesn’t care about you one way or the other. As for going it alone: I stand by my list of benefits.

    @Tim: That’s a fair point about the CTA. But the Swiss example is a gross oversimplification – sure, certain Swiss goods are not EU compliant, but almost all UK goods will become non-EU compliant (duty, vat, product standards…).

    I don’t think Ireland’s goal here is reunification: We dropped it from our Constitution and renounced violence. We’re just afraid of the big impact on trade and yes, on peace: But it is UK citizens turning to violence we’re worried about – we’re not threatening it.

    @Simon: Then you are informed – the border was fortified by the UK with dogs, snipers, watch towers, electronic warfare, soldiers… and frankly I don’t blame them. Smuggling was big business, and violence frequent. Crossing was difficult.

    @Tim:
    1. The only force being applied to the uk comes from the natural consequences of brexit, which NI voted against. I would say London is doing all the forcing, then getting upset with Dublin when we point out the obvious.
    2. Surely it is possible to make the situation clear to the fanatics on both sides?

  35. Also @Tim: We literally changed our Constitution (by a huge margin of voters) to recognise and respect the claims of the unionists. I think you are misrepresenting us.

  36. But the Swiss example is a gross oversimplification

    You keep saying that, and I don’t know why.

    – sure, certain Swiss goods are not EU compliant, but almost all UK goods will become non-EU compliant (duty, vat, product standards…).

    Which is the case right now between Switzerland and France. Yes, you do occasionally get stopped and asked where you bought your groceries.

    The only force being applied to the uk comes from the natural consequences of brexit, which NI voted against. I would say London is doing all the forcing, then getting upset with Dublin when we point out the obvious.

    Dublin is pointing out the natural consequences on *them* and implying the British people had an obligation to consider them when voting. Let Britain worry about people in Britain and NI, and let Dublin worry about people in the ROI.

    But it is UK citizens turning to violence we’re worried about – we’re not threatening it.

    From what I can tell, the threat of violence is implied if Dublin doesn’t get its way, but if it does, the threat will come from British citizens.

  37. @Tim: That’s a fair point about the CTA. But the Swiss example is a gross oversimplification – sure, certain Swiss goods are not EU compliant, but almost all UK goods will become non-EU compliant (duty, vat, product standards…).

    Why would almost all UK manufacturers suddenly, overnight, not hold to the same standards that they’ve been holding until now, and which will have in any case been brought over into UK law?

    Product compliance is an objective fact-based determination, often based on simple self-certification – which is why Chinese, US, Japanese etc. manufacturers by some apparent miracle manage to make EU-compliant products and sell them into the EU.

  38. We literally changed our Constitution (by a huge margin of voters) to recognise and respect the claims of the unionists. I think you are misrepresenting us.

    Then why all the noise about “inevitable reunification”, waving the GFA around as a bargaining chip, and veiled threats of “a return to violence”?

  39. I don’t buy this “WTO rules say we can’t have an open border with Ireland, because then we would have to with everyone”.

    Obviously the regulations have to be the same but it’s pretty clear countries have different border security depending on which country they border. China has about 13 or something different land borders, each policed differently depending on the neighbour.

    UK has one land border.

  40. “Yet at the same time many Irish believe hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Ireland who are the descendants of British immigrants from centuries ago have no business being there; their arrival was “artificial”, hence their presence illegitimate.”

    Actually the Scots were an (Northern) Irish tribe that invade northern Britain, defeated the Picts, and colonised so much of their country it was named after them.

    The “immigrants” were just returning home!

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