Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit's Effect on Ireland

Some thoughts that wouldn’t have occurred to me about the Leave vote in the U.K., written by a young Irishman named Shocko on Twitter.

1. My thoughts as a Northern Irish person on how LEAVERS DIDN’T REALISE that Brexit will likely precipitate utter carnage in Northern Ireland and, thusly, UK

2. I'm angry that the Northern Ireland point is never, ever discussed. Despite the fact we are (a) the only people who have a land border with the EU...

3. (b) simultaneously the only part of the UK for which a border would prove uniquely, and dramatically problematic...

4. (c) since we overwhelmingly voted for Remain because of the previous two reasons. So there's that. But it gets worse. It gets much worse.

5. The fact is that either they put a militarised border between North and South or all their talk of Fortress Britain is nonsense.

6. A fully open border EXISTS between the UK and the EU; one such example is
my dad's back fence; a 15 second walk from the Republic of Ireland and thus the EU.

7. You're French. You travel freely via EU to Dublin. Get bus to Lifford (3 hrs). Walk for 90 seconds to Strabane. Ta-da! You are now in the UK

8. No border checks, no machine guns, no "papers please". Just open. This is no longer acceptable to the mandate we have just been handed.

9. A border is bad for practical reasons; people like my sister live in Donegal and work in Derry, and thousands more vice versa...

10. MUCH MORE IMPORTANT are the psychological effects. A lot of the Good Friday Agreement is predicated on free movement between north and south.

11. This and cross-border bodies were just enough to comfort nationalists but not close enough to a united Ireland to antagonise unionists.

12. Actually, an awful lot of the framework of the Good Friday Agreement was underpinned by existing EU laws anyway, so it may now be entirely undone.

13. But more importantly, making people undergo any form of border checkpoint between the two countries will not just be an arse ache…

14. …it will massively inhibit the sense of security half of Northern Ireland’s population takes from it and the Republic of Ireland being part of a wider European state. HUGE.

15. I want to stress that this not a new concept for us. I'm 30, so I remember checkpoints as a kid. I remember machine guns and dogs.

16. My dad making sure we weren't nervous while he was being asked patronising questions by the armed men inspecting his driving license...

17. ..and checking under our car for explosives. This used to be EVERY FUCKING DAY.

18. This won't be some new, weird thing - this will be a direct, unbidden return to something we worked very, very hard to get away from.

19. Something that we were promised was over. That we finally thought we HAD gotten away from.

20. A notion of peace that thousands of very stubborn and dangerous people finally struck a peace for. Put down arms and moved on from.

21. A long process of peace, to which we must presume thousands of people now alive in Northern Ireland and mainland UK, **literally owe their lives**.

22. And now we see violence could sleepwalk back in as a SIDE EFFECT of Brexit. One that no one ever mentioned in any debate I watched.

23.The Troubles, back as A SIDE EFFECT of a tussle for the leadership of the Conservatives, a party Northern Ireland citizens don't even fucking vote for.

24. REMEMBER: Irish-Identifying Northern Ireland citizens (I don't like saying 'Catholics') risk now being physically cut off from Eire. That is DRAMATIC.

25. The vast majority are not hardened, violent. Same was true in the 1960s-80s. It takes an angry minority, with a "legitimate" grievance, to recruit.

26. The recklessness of not appreciating this powder keg AS EVEN A FUCKING TALKING POINT IN THE DEBATES disgusts me.

27. I identify as Irish (and have an Irish passport) but am happy for Northern Ireland to remain part of UK if the majority say so; and we have peace, stability.

28. Same is true of a LARGE percentage of Irish-Identifying Northern Ireland people. But free travel to Eire is part of that peace, part of that stability.

29. As is the HUGE amount of cash the EU gave us in peace dividends. (€3.5bn from EU in last round of budgeting).

30. But at least English people (and Welsh too - WTF lads???) can strike a blow against bendy bananas.



1 comment:

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Wow. I wouldn't have been aware of this either. I suspect the whole exit movement is going to fall apart anyway, but lots of things could go sideways in the meantime.