Wednesday, May 25

Brexit shakes Northern Ireland

The victory is explained by three factors: the division of the defending parties of the unit with the United KingdomThe growth of Alliance –from seven to 14 seats–, a social democratic option which proposes to overcome the sectarian divide and focus on people’s problems, and the Brexit.

It is not known if this is a warning or we are in the midst of a deeper change. It is not the pandemic or the uncertainties due to the war, it is, above all, the Brexit. Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU (56%). It is one of the most affected by the british first.

It is also the first time that the Sinn Fein win elections in both parts of the island. His leader in the Republic of Ireland, Mary Lou McDonaldwas the most voted in the 2020 elections, but could not govern because the other parties reached an unnatural pact, to which the greens joined, to iprevent their access to the Dublin Executive.

The stumbling block of the Ireland Protocol

In the North there will be no government if the DUP does not enter the coalition, and it will not do so as long as the Ireland Protocol signed between London and the EU is maintained. For avoid a Land border between Republic of Ireland and North Ireland one was created Marine between this territory and the United Kingdom. Unionists accuse London of treason.

They maintain that this exception lays the foundation for the future union of the island. At the moment, only 30% of Northern Irish support that option. But something is stirring in British and Northern Irish politics because the The impact of Brexit affects everyone. Time strips the lies, like the slogan We will regain control of the bordersa falsehood as seen in the call migration crisis of the English Channel.

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In North Ireland they fear that any misstep puts the Good Friday Peace Accords of 1998which ended with almost 30 years of sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants that cost the lives of more than 3,500 people. And the Brexit it is one of the worst: it has shaken a very precarious balance.

Sinn Féin’s facelift

The Sinn Féin, culminated its political facelift after the end of IRA, has managed to connect with young people and women. Although the demographics favor Catholics, to say that this victory opens the door to Irish unity is an exaggeration. But the trend is not in favor of a London in the hands of a disheveled arsonist with no other project than saving himself.

Johnson promises to modify the Protocol, or unilaterally repeal the parts that concern the unionists. He says that he will not be able to do it immediately due to its complexity and that he gives himself a year to achieve it. The problem is that no one believes him. The last thing he needs is a trade clash with the EU at a time of grave crisis.

One of the most visible consequences of Brexit is the UK international irrelevancea country in decline that insists on pretending that it is still an empire.

THE DUP conditions their return to institutions at the end of the protocol. There will be months of blockade which may help Sinn Féin and the Alliance. They’re all in one catch 22. It is the title of the satirical and anti-war novel by Joseph Heller. The characters find themselves trapped in absurd situations in which each way out represents an unsolvable problem.

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Scotland is the other territory harmed by the Brexit (62% voted in favor of permanence). Your way back to the EU it’s complicated. London will not accept a second referendum, which it would lose, and Scotland does not want to bet on unilateralism. This is what Brussels advises. Nobody wants to shake the shifting borders of the old continent.

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In addition there are the economic consequenceswhich are more visible to the citizen, despite the fact that the shortage of products is due more to the collapse of world maritime trade after the pandemic than to the Brexit.

The Good Friday Agreements were ratified in two referendums. In North Ireland 71% voted in favor with a turnout of 81%. In the Republic of Ireland 94% voted in favor, but with a 56% turnout. This feat of political engineering is now at risk from the vagaries of London. USAone of the defenders of that pact, asks for prudence, a verb that does not exist in the dictionary of Boris Johnson.

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