Boris Johnson Might Break Up the U.K. That’s a Good Thing. Freed from the grip of the decayed British nation and British state, England could finally be done with its delusions of grandeur.
Fanciful beliefs about British importance in the world would crumble. England would be only around the eighth-largest economy in the world. And it would probably have to give up its nuclear weapons — the United Kingdom’s nuclear submarine base is in Scotland. England need not be, as many fear, a rump United Kingdom, parochial, perhaps even irredentist. Less cocksure and more understanding of its real place in the world, it may soon rethink its hostility to the European Union. The idea of breaking up the union isn’t quite as outrageous as it might seem. For unionists in Northern Ireland, Brexit has backfired badly. There had been talk among unionists of street parties to celebrate Brexit day.
Flags and bunting and maybe even bonfires. A royal visitor. But it hasn’t turned out that way. A woman I know lives on a housing estate in one of those small Northern Irish towns that doesn’t take its union jacks down after the summer marching season, so that by the end of winter, the wind and rain have whipped them into faded rags. She tells me that among her family, friends and neighbours, she thinks she is the only one who voted in 2016 to remain in the EU. Instead they got what loyalists and many other unionists of a less staunch stripe, who had other reasons to support Brexit, are calling the betrayal act.
Pro-EU protests on Border as Brexit supporters cheer escape from federal ‘prison’ Protesters gathered on the Border on Friday night ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU to show their opposition to Brexit.
Demonstrations organised by the lobby group Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) were held at six locations along from Carrickarnon in Co Louth to Bridgend in Co Donegal. A spokesman for the group said Northern Ireland was being “dragged out of the European Union against its will” and that “many threats and serious challenges” remained in regard to citizens’ rights post-Brexit. In Bridgend, on the Donegal/Derry Border, several hundred people, some carrying home-made placards, gathered in protest. Dermot O’Hara from BCAB said it was a “bad day” for people on the Border and called on the Irish Government and North Ireland’s politicians to support their call to ensure the rights of EU citizens are protected after Brexit.
Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson told those present that she addressed them as “a very proud MEP for another hour”. ‘Dungeon’ Short window. The special bond between Ireland and the UK will not be undermined by Brexit. Today marks an end and a beginning.
Forty-seven years after both Ireland and the UK joined the European Economic Community, the latter has chosen to leave and to take a new path. It is a sombre day for some in the UK and a positive one for others. Whatever your perspective, it’s clear that the decision to leave the EU will bring change. In Ireland, we will always regret that our closest neighbour and partner will no longer sit with us and the other member states around the EU table in Brussels.
We still don’t have the full picture of the final terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU, but we know it will not be the same. Our two nations are so deeply intertwined as a result of generations of personal contacts and interaction. These deep networks and this freedom of movement drive an economic and trading relationship between Ireland and the UK worth £1.1bn per week. A typical hour in the life of the Irish border. There are 72m road vehicle crossings a year between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra).
There are also eight trains daily in either direction between Dublin and Belfast. About 14% of those crossings are consignments of goods, some of which may cross the border several times before they reach a consumer. Border on Brexit: ‘Europe will look after Northern Ireland’s interests’ For 3½ years, David Crockett has lived and worked on the frontier of Brexit.
The Border between Derry city and Bridgend, Co Donegal, runs right through his farm at Coshquin; the Crockett family has lived there through partition, customs checks and the Troubles. Like many people along the Border, he had become used to the uncertainty of Brexit; “I’m sitting overlooking this Border, that’s become a big issue,” he says, gesturing towards the busy main road below. “All we know for certain is Brexit is going to happen in some way.” Scottish Independence: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) Backstop: Why is the Irish border blocking Brexit? Media playback is unsupported on your device Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists "there is a way" to avoid checks along the Irish border after Brexit.
But why has the Irish border remained a major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations? What's the problem?