BREXIT and us: Is Britain ‘waiving the rules’ ?

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So will it work? Can Scotland and the north of Ireland make a legitimate case when they say that they voted to stay in the EU, while the rest of the UK – excluding London – voted to leave it?

Scotland has the stronger case, for the simple reason that Scotland has the possibility of a second referendum on independence for that country. Certainly Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is very keen on such a referendum being held. She figures this is the escape hatch from the UK through which the Scottish people can travel and continue their trading relationship with the rest of the EU.

And here in the north of Ireland? Unlike Scotland’s First Minister, our First Minister has no time for the argument that we voted differently from the rest of the UK (OK, Virginia, different from England [minus London] and Wales.) “It is regrettable that some parties have set their face against the decision of the United Kingdom electorate”. (No prizes for identifying who she’s talking about.) The Deputy First Minister, on the other hand, says “This is not a done deal. There is still a lot to be played for and we will be asserting the rights of those who voted to remain in Europe”.

So who’s right, Arlene or Martin? Arlene, I’m afraid. It was a UK-wide vote and the UK voted to leave. And we can assert our rights but that doesn’t mean we’ll get them. Arlene and the UK have allies in the EU: the Spanish prime minister and to a lesser extent the French president both are against a special case being made for Scotland, let alone the north of Ireland. Because they have the welfare of the EU at heart? Gimme a break. Because they have a separatist problem themselves with Catalonia, and the notion that Scotland or the north of Ireland could do their own EU deal, thus showing that a ‘country’ could fragment – parts of it in, parts out – is a notion up with which they will not put.

Scots at least have a lever: they can push for a second independence referendum, and if they get it, they’ll probably vote to leave the UK and rejoin the EU. Probably. We here in the north have no such lever. Enda Kenny is a lever? Um, no – a plank maybe, a lever  no. Enda is busy portraying the south as the British proxy at EU negotiations when the door is slammed in Cameron’s face and the twenty-seven other members are debating policy. It no doubt warms the cockles of David Cameron’s heart that the south of Ireland is a willing little lap-dog, doing its damnedest to protect Britain’s interests. But the EU has shown what respect it has for the south’s concerns when it arranged for their budget to be constructed in Berlin rather than Dublin.

So while I’d like to think that there is everything to play for, the hard facts are that there is nothing to play for, as far as we in the north are concerned. Nicola Sturgeon will push this thing all the way to independence if she can; we can’t even persuade the British Secretary of State to allow us to hold a referendum.

Out of all this at some stage in the future, the north may make significant movement to national unity and rejoining the south in the EU. But except the south has a Pauline conversion on the road to Brussels, don’t bet the family farm on it.

27 Responses to BREXIT and us: Is Britain ‘waiving the rules’ ?

  1. jessica June 30, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    You have already pointed out good reasons why Scotland will not be allowed to continue within the EU, they would have to apply as I said like everyone else and they are nowhere near meeting the criteria. Even if they did, on top, you have mentioned EU states who will have a vested interest in their failure to succeed.

    It isnt going to happen.

    England are seeking to take back control from the EU and they will succeed, I am absolutely certain that the preparations started for this a long time before the Brexit referendum was called.

    I see no reason Scotland should not take back control itself and would urge them to do so, but to do it on the basis of being ruled by Brussels, is not taking back control, is not even independence and they would fail again regardless what the polls say at the moment.

    If they are not confident enough to seek independence on the grounds of taking back control themselves, why bother?

    As for northern Ireland, we are not even a country outside of the UK so we cannot even apply for membership.

    Maybe that will wake up some people who claim Northern Ireland is actually a country. It isn’t, just ask the EU.

    As for Ireland remaining in the EU without England.

    We still haven’t thought it through.

    There is a battle of wills taking place, Germany will not negotiate until article 50 is activated, Britain will not activate it until the deal is done – not because they aren’t leaving, but because it will be to their advantage if it comes down to an economic war with the EU.

    The next step will be to withhold payment to the EU until negotiations start, which will be a kick in the teeth to Germany and see how the EU cope without that money for 6 months. The whole world will go into recession over Germanys stubbornness and desperation for the EU to succeed.

    In response, Germany will impose tariffs on trade with the UK, which will hit Ireland the most.

    All those so keen on the wellbeing of EU citizens coming over will get a rude awakening when they see how far the EU will go in allowing Irish people suffer over politics.

    Tell me then Ireland would not vote to leave the Evil Union which be this stage will be on the verge of crash and the powder keg I have been warning about will be getting close to the sparks.

  2. billy June 30, 2016 at 9:20 am #

    sturgeon was put in her place yesterday and more or less told these negotiations are for the big boys now run away on there.part of the vote was for total control of movement so when the scots people are offered a hard border plus the euro in their pockets their lever might not be as strong as she thinks.ireland will follow england out in a few yrs time imo.

  3. Perkin Warbeck June 30, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    The Winds of Change

    Let the w. of c. blow high, or blow low
    N.I.’s under the high heel of the virago
    Elsewhere it’s Populism
    In the 6C it is Momulism
    Arlene and Tess together said yes to no.

  4. truthrevisionist June 30, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    Take a look over the the beautiful ‘virtual’ Irish border and watch as Brexit confirms that the EU is nothing more than an outdated 19th century ‘Customs Union’ – a totally inefficient economic model -and the only major economic area in the world in long term relative decline – along with being the second slowest growing continent — after Antarctica.

    As it disintegrates, and Italy, France, Greece, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Germany all begin to offer referendums on exit, you will see the smart money vultures heading towards the UK. Its’ already started. House Speaker Paul Ryan has called for a Free Trade deal with UK as has The Heritage Foundation. The markets are reversing all the lies.

    The Euro ‘luvvies’ that are paraded in front of BBC and SKY cameras are concocted ‘stooges’, few and far between in the major towns and cities of Europe, and are there for your delusional ‘euro trash feelgood’ pleasure.

    And when the Millions of ‘Merkels’ Invaders’ have their ‘jackpot’ Euro passports and start arriving at Dublin Airport to hit the streets of Dublin and head for the train up North to ‘enhance the culture and diversity’ of our beautiful country, maybe then, just maybe,- those self- flagellating ‘Remainaics’ will realise what ‘selling your country to the IMF’ really looks like.

  5. Antaine de Brún June 30, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    Perhaps there was an element of prophecy in ‘The Final Judgement’ aired on Panorama on 29 June 2016, during a week when battle lines were being drawn in relation to the leadership of the Conservative and Labour Party in Britain. It really is getting difficult to spot the difference.

    According to some of his many critics, Mr Corbyn does not look like a leader and as a result the Labour Party is unelectable. That is and should remain a matter for the electorate. Mr Blair did not look like a leader on Panorama. It was clear in the documentary that there is no difference in the pain and grief experienced by parents from England who lost a son in Iraq and parents in Iraq who are mourning the death of a son, just two of the lives out of the many thousands lives lost during the war in Iraq. Hans Blix was unequivocal in his statement that the former British Prime Minister “distorted facts” to justify an unjustifiable war.

    Christoper Meyer, the former British Ambassador in Washington, said:

    “If we look at Iraq today it’s a failed state. If we look at Syria it’s a failed state. And a lot of this derives from the fact that on the basis of faulty intelligence the US and the UK went to war in 2003.”

    The Chilcot Inquiry report is due to be published on July 6. Bereaved families will perhaps be in a better position to draw their own conclusions about the merits of leadership that resulted in death and destruction. Military intervention and the abuse of Human Rights does not solve problems but only creates the potential for further conflict.

    In the context of failed states,

    “Out of all this at some stage in the future, the north may make significant movement to national unity…”

    Zhou Enlai’s alleged comment springs to mind:

    “It is too early to say.”

    • truthrevisionist June 30, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

      Antaine de Brun

      A commendable synopsis…..

      And not a mention of the Zio-bankster Corporate profiteers who run these puppets and skulk behind your ‘prophetic’ BBC ‘Ministry of Truth’ ‘Panorama’ propaganda.

      Goldman Sachs don’t give a sh** about the bereaved or their families and the Chilcot farce will be another ‘whitewash’ with a few non-descript ‘scapegoats’ to bash.

      No one will go to the Hague – and Blair and co. will continue to command 100k for an after dinner speech to these crooks.

      And millions of deluded zombies will stand tomorrow and respect the hundreds of thousands of innocent souls, who were ‘ butchered’ to fill the pockets of JP Morgan, Jacob Schiff, Bernard Baruch, Paul Warburg, Louis Brandeis and Alfred Rothschild and his band of parasitical thieves.

  6. paddykool June 30, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    When I watch Our Marty , Arlene and Ms Villiers on television talking about our situation , all I can see and hear is waffle . Time-making words that say and signify nothing at all. Ms Villiers is very obviously waiting at the station for her next bus.The next gig on her itinerary will probably reward her with a better -paying job. She’s sustained herself by never rocking any boats ….never making any waves ….never saying anything out of place that might veer from the set -in-stone mantra that Norneverland will remain inviolate as long as she deems it so.Yes ,she’s even managed to unearth the tidy little clause that there can never , ever be a referendum unless she personally has a mind to say there’ll be one.She’s told us that she holds the whip like some passive /aggressive dominatrix , square-jawed and facing-down any argument .In other words there’ll never be any change , ever….end of story, so suck it up you ingrates or I’ll put my heel to you! Nobody really thought too much about these little arcane details in the glow of peace-making , so glad were they to get the crazies bottled -down and end the killing sprees. The buggers had forgotten why they were killing each other in any case.
    Don’t get me wrong…I was glad to get the madhouse stopped too.I thought the Good Friday Agreement was as good as anyone could hope for at the time and like most people , we only really looked at the minutae after the event .When you are being hauled into the life-boat , not too many worry about the colour of the oars. We’re looking now , though. It’s a very different world now that we are being tossed out of the lifeboat and pulled out of the EU even though we Norneverlanders wanted to stay with the devil we knew. We are , after all, a unique hybrid of a grouping within the EU family. We have a land -border with it and half of us have EU passports by right of being Irish and having dual citizenship. How weird are we, eh? You’d think that might be enough to make us wierdoes a special case, wouldn’t you?
    My feeling is that the DUP and the other right-wingers here ,had no real reason for wanting out other than to get back to the “security”of a hard border. The economics come second in their eyes, if they thought about them at all. Let’s face it , many in England and Wales plunked down their X without having any real notion either except that it was all”them foreigners fault….so it was!” They never sieved through the realities that immigration will continue even if they gain access to the Single Market.That’s immoveable anyway.The place will still look much the same when the dust settles. The feeling of security behind a solid line without the social interference of the foreigners who had introduced all sorts of new ways of thinking and behaving, frightened them more than anything.They blame everything that dilutes their idea of themselves . There’s a mistrust of foreigners with their new cultures …their new languages on the streets..the colours of their skins, their new religions and no religions at all. Their secularity .Then there’s the gays and all the rest and the social laws that have more and more accomodated them in this past forty years . The changes were coming too fast to be assimilated by a mindset that was incredibly old-fashioned times medieval or even Stone -Age in its notions of the modern world.
    I think a lot of people simply wanted their world to stop turning and this might have been their way of putting the brakes on. For the DUP supporters to all think in this simplistic way altogether is damn-near astonishing, though.Does it mean that they all simply follow Arlene like so many sheep, without possibly having an opinion , of any sort ,of their own? The way it is being reported , every DUP member voted to leave the EU. The Irish nationalists apparently didn’t get their vote out in strength but the the result was still in favour of staying so it’s apparent that those of a lighter “unionist” ,( the UUP) hue ,voted with some of Irish nationalism to stay.
    Our Marty, although he is for staying in the EU ,will still be , as ever, prepared to join and be attached with Arlene in this Pushmepullyou form of management . It might now be something of an impossible task and there’s a possibility that many will now call for Sinn Fein to abandon the project entirely. I can’t really see how this will all pan out in the future at all, if I’m honest.How can Norneverland ever make a case for staying in the eU when the management is divided down the middle?

    • jessica June 30, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

      “I can’t really see how this will all pan out in the future at all, if I’m honest.How can Norneverland ever make a case for staying in the eU when the management is divided down the middle?”

      Harry, Irelands future is not in the EU.
      Sooner or later you will need to come to terms with that.
      Your thinking is not in the majority by long way im afraid, you just think it is for now.

      • paddykool June 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

        No Jessica …in fact I do not think any part of my thinking is in any way the majority way in this or in many other things.I don’t believe it ever was , in fact. It’s never been in me to be part of a herd-mentality , I’m afraid. it’s just the way i’m made.

    • billy June 30, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

      immigration will continue even if they gain access to the single market……………….same way you didnt read the gfa before you voted you must have missed (total control)of movement in the referendum or its wishful thinking.

      • jessica June 30, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

        I don’t think it was ever about stopping immigration, it was about having some control over it

        • billy June 30, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

          yea jessica the wording is all important in these things.your correct its not about stopping immigration it is about controlling it but the brits campaigned on total control and the english voters will hold them to their word such is the mood there.once the controls kick in the south will be the main destination for them and for deportees getting sent to the nearest european country.theres 12,000 of them in english jails at the minute for all sorts of crimes were will they be sent on release.this will give the brits the excuse to tighten the border and say not our fault gov their your problem now putting further pressure on the south to pull the pin on europe.

      • paddykool June 30, 2016 at 6:44 pm #

        billy…They cannot have total control of movement if they want to make any deals in a future single market .The single market is not the same as the EU.Other countries are already in the single market without belonging to the EU, but they all allow free movement of EU citizens and pay into EU funds. That means that in this sense immigration still continues anabated so simply leaving the EU doesn’t mean that free movement of peoples stops. If the UK wants some wee special deal within a new agreement in the single market , they’ll have to clim one very steep hill and possibly end up with the very same result.

        • billy July 1, 2016 at 10:44 am #

          yea its all in the wording ie,movement ie,passing through,tourists,workers on visas ect.will all continue..but illegals,jail releases,workers with no permits ect will be offered the nearest eu country of their choice which will be france.ireland.holland.belguim or scotland if the choose to there will be no need for wee special deals it will just speed up the process saving millions of pounds on holding centres red tape ect the money can then be pumped into hospitials,schools ect.

        • jessica July 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

          “They cannot have total control of movement if they want to make any deals in a future single market.”

          Can I correct you there Harry, I assume you mean in the EU controlled single market.

          The EU has been poorly managed and been on an overall economic decline for 20 years, it also has a trade deficit in the UKs favour so if anything, to have the same trade deal the EU should be paying the UK.

          I also see no reason that a new economic union could not be formed within the nations of the commonwealth and an alternative single market with proper controls in place should not be formed in competition with the EU.

          I have seen published reports since 2014 outlining such alternative options for the UK outside the EU all of which involved maintaining the common area with Ireland and an Australian style points based control of immigration.

          In fact, that is the union I would like to see an independent Scotland and a new Ireland in along with the other disaffected EU nations like Netherlands, Denmark and Luxemburg and hopefully Poland and Portugal also.

  7. Jud June 30, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    Fundamentally it is about self-determination.
    Always has been, always will be.

    For some – in the case of the UK it appears to be currently around 52% – self determination will outweigh all other considerations. Including a risk of a percent or two GDP or a stock market bump.

    When the proclamation was being read out on the steps of the GPO there was little doubt in their minds that the road to self determination would be long and painful – but nonetheless worth it.

    Others will always assume we should leave things to our ‘betters’ – be they in Westminster in the case of NI unionists or Brussels in the case of Remain voters

    The problem with putting other considerations above self-determination is that you have ceded control of important decisions.
    Scotland had their shot at independence but reneged. As part of the UK they have no right to complain.

    Similarly NI is bound to Westminster and therefore the whims of the UK electorate until such times as a majority votes to join the Republic.

    There is no middle ground, Until such times as s UI is negotiated we are bound by UK decisions and actions.

    That has always been the problem and it is there that our focus should be.

    Someone said the smartest thing the Devil did was convince us he didn’t exist.
    The virtually invisible physical border and ‘common’ EU policy has lulled a lot of us into forgetting where the power in our lives really lies. Things like this are a reminder of the realty.

    Nationalists votes in NI have never mattered. Never have and never will. That is how the place was designed after all.

    • Antaine de Brún June 30, 2016 at 2:27 pm #


      Your comment concerning the Devil brought one of Kavanagh’s poems, The Devil, to

      mind, part of the poem reads:

      “…And the adjectives by which I would describe him are these:

      Solemn/Boring/Conservative./He was a man the world would appoint to a Board,/He

      would be on the list of invitees for a bishop’s garden party,/…For he was conscious of

      being uncreative.”

    • jessica June 30, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

      “Similarly NI is bound to Westminster and therefore the whims of the UK electorate until such times as a majority votes to join the Republic.”

      Screw joining the pathetic republic, not a chance Jud.

      It is time for Scotland to man up and take control of its own destiny, and it is time for the Irish people to throw both civil war parties out on their backsides and form a new Ireland that will the support of all of our people and put all of our best interests first which like it or not has a British dimension.

      I am not only through with the EU but I am through with the Republic of Ireland.

      Times they are a changing and major reforms are needed on these islands.

      That Fianna Fail would allow Fine Gael to remain power at a time when such decisions need to be made is lets say unfortunate.

      Ireland desperately needs another Charley Haughey and England needs another Margaret Thatcher.

      Will we have anyone close to either?

  8. ANOTHER JUDE June 30, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Spot on Jude, we are not a sovereign country, we are not even a country, we are a part of a province which was artificially created so the majority of people would be loyal to England, if the English decide to go we have no choice, we are a banana republic minus the bananas. The only consolation we can have is the possibility of Scotland breaking up the so called UK. That alone would be worth the admission fee just to see the expressions on the faces of the Unionist MPs who sit in the English parliament like fat ugly girls watching the school baseball team.

  9. PF June 30, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    “But except the south has a Pauline conversion on the road to Brussels, don’t bet the family farm on it.”

    Which is, it seems to me, a way of saying that Northern Ireland’s Irish Unity Republicans have as much of a problem when it comes to the south as they seek to achieve their aims.

    Honestly, sometimes I think no one wants us (northerners).

    • jessica June 30, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

      “Honestly, sometimes I think no one wants us (northerners).”

      Well, if we cant even want each other, what should we expect?

  10. Oz 2015 June 30, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    So, How much of the Irish Internet cables pass thru England?
    Will the EU demand these are re-routed to direct links to the Eu mainland?
    For purposes of Cyper security.
    Will this benefit Ireland?

    What about container traffic/ shipping?
    Will there be more direct shipping routes between Ireland and EU mainland?
    Will there be any money spent on upgradging port/ airport infastructure?
    England outside the customs Union cannot be used as a trampoline for imports/ exports.As it presently is. Many Irish firms ship their goods to Felixstowe ( look it up ) for trans shipment.

    And one other word “cabotage”
    Learn what this word means and apply it to Ryanair and Merchant shipping.
    Also ask / find out what the results of Brexit is for cabotage.
    This will be of MASSIVE importance.

    Is anyone really serious that the Gombean Golden circlists have got any clue about any of this?????
    For an island nation the public is remarkably ignorant of such ideas.
    But hey, We have the “best Small country” With the “most educated workforce”.. Shure isn’t that why the multi nationals come here?
    Gimme a break.
    Changes are a coming.Educate yourself.

  11. Colmán June 30, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    The only way forward that I can see is more devolution of power to the Executive. But before that can happen legacy issues must first be resolved, an Irish Language or even a Language Act passed and a solution on parades, symbols and emblems. Not easy but not impossible with a little give and take. Once these issues are resolved the North should push with full tax raising powers that would make us a virtually independent state, we should also be given the power to negotiate our own international treaties. Anybody who says we can’t suffers from low self-esteem.

    Of course it would also require that people are given a reason to go out and vote. The politicians cannot expect people to vote for them if they do not address the main issues ailing the ordinary people of our society. That is our leverage. A united and happy people.

  12. fiosrach June 30, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    Whenever the unionist ranchers finally realise that the EU subsidy train don’t run any more there will be some very very long faces. If they think we are going to roll over and give a large share of the Health and Education budget to keep them in 4x4s and 80k tractors they have another think coming.

    • paddykool June 30, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

      I was thinking the very same thing fiosrach. I think an awful lot of people have forgotten what real-life was like forty years ago…

  13. Cal June 30, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    I suspect the SNP know themselves they’ve no chance of remaining in the EU and the U.K. These efforts are for optics only.

    They need to show Scots that they tried all avenues and that ‘unfortunately’ it’s a straight choice between the UK or EU and go for a second referendum.

    Incidentally the power of the SNP puts into perspective the dog’s dinner of a deal that Irish nationalism signed up to in 98.

    Why did we agree to let a SoS decide uniliterally and arbitrarily on when we, the Irish people, got a chance to vote on Irish re-unification ? Self determination is a right denied under the GFA. Time to reassess and re-evaluate the golden calf that is the GFA.

  14. Nuala June 30, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

    I hope.we have some legal eagles scrutinising the Good Friday Agreement. I know the EU was mentioned in it and it is an International Agreement.
    I am certain there will be an attempt to create a border again. I hope to be one of many people who will sit on the road, camp out overnight, to prevent any “border building” no matter how soft it seems. I will do this for two reasons.
    . First I want to be able to continue believing that the only difference between North and South is the money you use. (And my northern money buys more in the south).
    Second I intend with all the energy I have, to prevent the erection of places for the dissidents to bomb and kill people.