Unionism has no other plan but Violence – by Michael Lagan

 “The EU is using Northern Ireland as a political plaything.”

A party from the North of Ireland held sway on how the entirety of the UK left the EU and I’m betting right now, the UK is regretting allowing the DUP to have as much say as it did. This tiny part of the world, once a tiny part of the EU, held up negotiations and deals because Unionists wanted to hold onto something that isn’t theirs to keep. Even the majority of the UK public and indeed the Tory Party were willing to let go of the North to facilitate Brexit – a Brexit which would have been infinitely more smooth and streamlined than it has been to date had Northern Irish Unionists been as ignored as everyone else in the North was on Brexit.  

To say the EU is treating the 6 Counties as a political plaything is a strikingly hypocritical claim for a Northern Irish Unionist to make. For decades we have been used and abused as political playthings by Westminster, Unionism’s mother parliament, yet they were entirely in agreement with being used and having their democratic vote bastardised for Westminster’s pleasure. Mr. Poots seems to have already forgotten the DUP’s kingmaker status and how the only reason the party garnered so much power was due to a hung parliament and how Johnson discarded them when their usefulness was spent. Hell, even the ERG threw the DUP to the wolves the second it realised they had no power, no influence and were no longer useful.

It also won’t have gone unnoticed that Edwin Poots brought ‘violence’ back to the table, not that it ever left, with European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic right there listening to it. What a sad reflection of our country, what a sad reflection of a peace process which was ratified by everyone other than Unionism. Simply because Poots said, “I don’t want to use a threat of violence in terms of this” won’t detract from the fact that two seconds earlier he said he shared the fear of his predecessor Arlene Foster that anger over the Northern Ireland Protocol could lead to violence on the streets this summer. This comes after Poots’ election to the leadership of the DUP was marred after it came to light the UDA may have been involved in intimidation and threats against Jeffrey Donaldson’s camp so there’s no doubt as to whom Loyalist terrorists (and they are terrorists) want at the helm of the DUP.

After the accusations of the EU no longer caring about the peace process and the GFA, Maros Sefcovic gave the EU’s “total commitment to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement.” No ifs or buts, total commitment to the Good Friday Agreement – which is more than can be said for Edwin Poots’s party and Unionism in general. Maros Sefcovic even suggested a temporary Swiss-style veterinary agreement as a solution for Northern Ireland, where the UK continues to follow all EU agrifood rules. He said such a deal could be finalised in weeks and would remove 80% of checks between the North and England – checks which are Edwin Poots’ department’s responsibility as Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. Yet after rejecting Mr. Sefcovic’s hypothetical plan to ease checks, Edwin Poots as Minister responsible for implementing these checks, couldn’t tell Marr what his plan was to rectify the problems he so vehemently portrayed as damaging to the peace process.  

In fact, when he had the chance to clarify what his plan was, he swerved the question and the topic numerous times. Clearly as Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and additionally leader of the DUP – Edwin Poots hasn’t got a plan and I would suggest he hasn’t got a plan because he is content to lean on the threat of violence, as Unionism regularly does, to force a powerhouse such as the European Union and the British Government to capitulate to the Democratic Unionist Party, backed up by Loyalist terrorists and the threat of violence against…someone?

In true diplomatic form Maros Sefcovic stated he wanted to meet the Executive parties soon. He said, “I would like to hear from Mr. Poots himself but also from other leaders of the political parties who form the Northern Ireland Executive, and discuss with them what we can do better.”  With those couple of lines, Maros Sefcovic defeated everything Edwin Poots had been blabbering about throughout the entire discussion. I’ll say it again for those at the back – Unionism is literally falling apart at the seams. It is reverting to what has worked in the past, that being violence but this time it isn’t simply the British Government to threaten.  Unionism and Loyalism, in these tiny 6 Counties of Ireland are against one of the biggest trading blocs in the world, some of the most powerful governments in the world…and even Joe Biden is against them.

No one is threatening the peace process in Ireland but Unionism and Unionism is responsible for the Brexit we have now, extending to the NI Protocol.

Unionism is the problem.

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