Britain’s exit from the European Union threatens untold economic consequences for Ireland north and south. Beyond harmful trade and travel restrictions approved by the EU and Tories, are potential losses of EU funding and recourse to the European Court of Human Rights. The EU may be more sympathetic to the north than austerity-minded Tories.
Victims of torture, collusion murders or wrongful imprisonment could hope for justice by putting Britain in the European dock. Theresa May wants withdrawal from the European Court and Convention on Human Rights alongside Brexit.
Ireland as a whole was given little say and less thought in the referendum. Millions in the 26 counties had no vote. Enda Kenny was reduced to appeals to the Irish residing in Britain and the north. The six counties, like Scotland, rejected Brexit. These majorities were dismissed.
Arlene Foster lectured that no region within a country can veto the wishes of the majority of the whole country. Foster first ministers a region whose founding principle is that a unionist majority in six counties within Ireland vetoed the all-Ireland vote of 1918 and can forever veto an all-Ireland majority.
Brexit resulted from a Tory party election gambit. David Cameron placated disgruntled party members by promising a referendum. He expected re-election in coalition, and his coalition partners would have provided his excuse to ditch the promise. Cameron’s bigger than expected victory backfired into Brexit defeat and downfall.
Cameron’s unwanted referendum was carried by English voters worried about immigrants, European regulations and the loss of England as imagined through their fog of nostalgia. It was England setting policies to serve English interests, no matter about Ireland.
Much the same attitude was exhibited by the unlamented Theresa Villiers. Google her name and find her web site ‘Working for Chipping Barnet’. Her wealthy English district was her priority as she worked to bring invidious Brexit and austerity cuts.
Villiers’ appointment was her chance to audition for a more prized post. She decided to take on the role of Lady Macbeth. Instead of wandering the palace rubbing her hands to wipe out bloody murder, Villiers wandered the north with self-righteous platitudes, a national security cover-up on incriminating documents and by withholding inquest funding.
Mounting proof of British complicity in murders was dismissed as a fictional “pernicious counter-narrative”. British forces who provided loyalists with weapons, targets and protection were blameless according to Villiers, because their paid agents pulled the triggers at places like Loughinisland.
Perhaps such nonsense will work for Chipping Barnet.