So today again, efforts to revive Stormont with mouth-to -mouth resuscitation failed. That’s because the DUP won’t agree to resuscitation, even though all the other parties are enthusiastic for it. Why won’t the DUP agree? Because it’d mean accepting a border down the Irish Sea, and the DUP sees that as a part of the UK (NEI) being cut off from the main body of the UK. In other words, the DUP wants NEI to be treated the same as England, Scotland or Wales.
So are the DUP suffering by not being treated the same as the rest of the UK? Maybe suffering isn’t quite the right word. Here’s what the DUP could be enjoying as a fully-integrated part of the UK.
Worker shortage. Britain is having a bad time getting people to work in pubs, in hospitals, in adult social care.”It’s [Brexit] made an already declining situation much, much worse” says Nadra Ahmed, chair of the Nation Care Association. “We’ve lost a lot of our European colleagues. They decided they no longer wanted to stay. They felt unwanted, unsafe, undervalued”. As a result, food growers report up to 25% of their crop left to rot.
Exports. Recently the EU produced figures showing that between 2020 annd 2021, British exports to the rest of Europe had dropped by 14%. British business people who’ve depended on exporting to the EU as well as supply the British market now find they’ve lost up to 70% of their European customers.
Queues. Even Jacob Rees-Mogg has been forced to admit he was wrong when he promised there’d be no delays in traffic at Dover. You’ve seen the miles-long line-up for yourself.
Economic growth. The economies of the world are having a hard time right now, but while the EU’s GDP has grown by 8.5% since Brexit, the UK’s has grown by 2.8%. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says Britain hasn’t experience half of the hit that’s coming. And guess what in GDP figures: England 0.6%, Scotland 0.9%, NEI 1.4%. (That’s because NEI is still in the single market, which the DUP are howling to heaven about.)
I could go on. Inflation in Britain is worse than in France, Italy or Germany; British people working in the arts are caught in a web of rules, demands and fees. And so it goes.
Some swivel-eyed unionists used to talk about eating grass before they’d [Fill in the blank]. Should they succeed in destroying the protocol, they may just have that grazing opportunity. The only catch is, so will the rest of us.
Btw – you do know there’s a general election in NEI coming down the tracks? I’m quit looking forward to the number who vote DUP….