Northern Ireland should be a full and equal partner in the United Kingdom. However, it has been evident for some time now that the British Government treats Ulster like a semi-detached problem to be treated differently from the rest of the UK.
The 1985 Angle-Irish Agreement which gave the Dublin Government an unwelcome degree of control over Northern Ireland’s affairs, the subsequent surrender of sovereignty through various agreements between the British and Irish governments that handed Dublin various degrees of control over the affairs of NI, the appeasement of nationalism such as the removal of British symbols (like the Union Flag from government buildings), have all put NI on a seemingly inexorable path of being pushed into the control of the Republic that has been consistently pursued by the UK Government.
This process has reached its apotheosis with the Good Friday Agreement. There are little known protocols attached to the GFA that allow a future nationalist controlled Stormont to call a referendum on re-unification once every seven years until it gets the result it wants. Extremely concerning. Events in the ongoing Brexit process have highlighted that the UK Government continues to see Northern Ireland as partially detached from the rest of the UK, as Theresa May’s Government continues to allow Brussels to effectively break up the UK by keeping Ulster under Brussels (and therefore effectively Dublin) control with the Withdrawal Agreement’s backstop proposals.
Northern Ireland is on the slippery slope to being forced out of the UK by a combination of pressures both internal (the UK Government) and external (Brussels’ Machiavellian manoeuvres over Brexit.) Complacency is their ally in this. Unionists must act now to reverse this situation.
© 2019 Stephen Bailey.