French President Macron’s tactless intervention concerning Northern Ireland’s status might be unpalatable to Boris and the Tories but he is correct in stating that the province is becoming increasingly detached from Great Britain, a process begun by Mrs Thatcher’s Tory government that signed the 1985 Anglo-Irish treaty giving the Republic of Ireland a consulting role in the governance of Northern Ireland
These arrangements are unique to Northern Ireland.
The 1998 Belfast Agreement recognises Dublin as a co-guarantor of the devolved institutions confirmed by the December 1999 British–Irish Agreement.
The UK signed an international treaty stating that it had no ‘selfish’ interest in Northern Ireland and agreed an internationally monitored mechanism by which the province could secede.
Mr Johnson could solve the problems of the Protocol instantly by signing all the UK up to European sanitary, veterinary and other agreements covering animals and plants to which the UK was happily party for decades.
Perceptive US-born commentator Bonnie Greer stated on BBC Question Time that the present arrangements in the north of Ireland represent a truce between two communities divided by mistrust.
One reason could well be the continued religious segregation and sectarian indoctrination in primary schools.
Britain engineered the partition of Ireland as a temporary expedient. Northern Ireland is an artificial construct, a relic of Empire. Our opportunist Prime Minister is likely indifferent to its fate.
The media in Great Britain present the ‘loyalists’ in a uniquely negative light as having an uncompromising anachronistic culture based on triumphalist marching, bonfires and a religious bigotry that died out in England with Catholic Emancipation two centuries ago.
A brief letter can’t consider all nuances but my belief is that Britain should disengage from Ireland.
Different choices a century ago could have made a better relationship, perhaps a federation of the islands.
The isolationist jingoistic Brexit project in which even young Tories wallow in nostalgia for the empire has brought it all back into focus.
Whether the Irish people want to live in one state or two is up to them. Ireland’s grown up. The last thing it needs is self-important English Tories running its affairs.