Just when you think that Britain’s confused arrogance over Brexit must have reached its limit… something else happens to show you that there’s still some way to go.
The latest episode is a petition created by Brexit supporter Scott Packer urging the UK government to invite the Republic of Ireland to rejoin the United Kingdom as a way of resolving the current problem of the Northern Ireland border.
For those not familiar with the problem, it is simply this. When Britain leaves the EU, the current border between the North and the Republic will also become the border between the EU and the UK.
That means there will need to be customs checks as Britain will no longer be in the EU Single Market or Customs Union. That would normally require infrastructure where vehicles could be stopped and searched if necessary.
The problem is that such a ‘hard border’ would contravene the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland more than 20 years ago. The Republic, the UK and the EU insist there must be no hard border but no one has come up with a satisfactory way to carry out checks without one.
The British want to use technology to solve the problem but the EU insists that won’t work because no such technology exists.
British Prime Minister Theresa May signed up to an agreement known as the Northern Ireland Backstop, whereby the UK would remain in a customs arrangement with the EU if no better alternative could be found during upcoming trade discussions.
That agreement was rejected by the British Parliament so it’s back to square one.
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has complained that some members of the British establishment are angry that Ireland won’t leave the EU as well and so solve the problem that way. Former MEP Stanley Johnson went so far as to say that the Irish should be allowed to shoot each other if that’s what it took.
Offer the Republic of Ireland full UK membership so they can rejoin the Union.
“The RoI left our Union in 1922 after 121 years of being part of the family,”
“We should now ask them to reconsider their position within both the UK & EU as a way of solving the current impasse over the Irish border issue that is holding up the Withdrawal Agreement.
“Britain & Ireland stronger together.”
If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the British government will have to make an official response. If it reaches, 100,000 signatures, the issue has to be considered for debate in Parliament.
In fairness, we should point out that not all British people have been so arrogant. Many English MPs and Remain supporters are appalled at their government’s attitude towards Ireland during the Brexit negotiations.
Anna Soubry and others went so far as to apologise to Ireland for the actions and statements of some of their colleagues. Hopefully, they will be the people who come out on top in the current struggle for power in the UK government, so that Ireland and the UK can maintain a good and friendly relationship into the future.