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Brexit Impact on Northern Ireland

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  • #2


    Can't disagree with that. Though whether we can afford them is another matter.


  • #2


    At this stage I'm not sure if a majority of any country wants them given the financial, social and historical baggage that comes with them.


  • #2


    At this stage I'm not sure if a majority of any country wants them given the financial, social and historical baggage that comes with them.

    You'd be wrong there.


  • #2


    Mod: Please don't just dump images here or paste links without at least summarising it. Title amended.


  • #2


    Getting "Brexited" by England should be a moment of truth for Ireland's Unionist population but I suspect it'll take quite a while for the penny to drop. Understandably as its a cultural issue for them first and foremost.


  • #2


    I met Osborne once at a do in Brussels (God be with the days). It was absolutely evident from a short conversation that he personally saw the existence of Northern Ireland as an aberration.


  • #2


    You'd be wrong there.

    If there is going to be a Referendum on Reunification, then after what happened with Brexit, all of the details will be known beforehand to the voters. Details that would likely include:
    • A new Flag
    • A new National Anthem
    • The cost to Dublin, both financially and in security terms, of taking on the 6 counties

    Would enough people in the Republic vote to Reunite? Personally, I would myself but I'm not sure if a majority of the electorate would.


  • #2


    If there is going to be a Referendum on Reunification, then after what happened with Brexit, all of the details will be known beforehand to the voters. Details that would likely include:
    • A new Flag
    • A new National Anthem
    • The cost to Dublin, both financially and in security terms, of taking on the 6 counties

    Would enough people in the Republic vote to Reunite? Personally, I would myself but I'm not sure if a majority of the electorate would.

    Remember the uproar about the RIC commemoration? We'd be having loads of unpopular commemorations.

    How would people feel about having an official holiday on the 12th of July and Orange bands marching down O'Connell Street?


  • #2


    Reunification is a bit like the cousins you meet every few years.

    Sure, face to face it's all "Ah sure you must come down and visit. We will put you up in the spare room."

    But really you don't expect to see or hear from them for another few years. But lo and behold they call in the offer and arrive at the door some day and you crap your pants.


  • #2


    If there is going to be a Referendum on Reunification, then after what happened with Brexit, all of the details will be known beforehand to the voters. Details that would likely include:
    • A new Flag
    • A new National Anthem
    • The cost to Dublin, both financially and in security terms, of taking on the 6 counties

    Would enough people in the Republic vote to Reunite? Personally, I would myself but I'm not sure if a majority of the electorate would.


    That might be the sensible thing to do, but it doesn't mean that it is the most likely scenario.


    There also wouldn't be a referendum on unification, there'd be two, one of them fully in control of the UK, and one of them fully in control of Ireland.


    Maybe the Irish one would be the more sensible one, as you describe, but the Northern one would probably happen on the whim of a SoSNI and will probably be a simple yes/no.


  • #2


    Amirani wrote: »
    Remember the uproar about the RIC commemoration? We'd be having loads of unpopular commemorations.

    How would people feel about having an official holiday on the 12th of July and Orange bands marching down O'Connell Street?

    People would be happy to have an extra day on the 12th.

    Why would there be an Orange march down O'Connell St?


  • #2


    A new Flag

    I always find it strange that the tricolour, which is intended to symbolise peace between Catholic and Protestant, is such an objectionable icon for unionists. Presumably this is because it is a symbol of pride for the IRA etc and so even though it is not objectively objectionable, much like the poppy which is meant only to symbolise war memorial but has become a symbol of British jingoism, so too the tricolour must go.

    It is hard to think of a new flag that would have the same on the nose symbolism of unity as the tricolour, but perhaps the old Kingdom of Ireland flag (a green flag with a harp with a crown on it) or the flag of St Patrick (a constituent of the Union Flag). All of these will have some detractors.

    So the only obvious flag I can think of is either no flag or something devoid of meaning or context e.g. a pink monochrome rectangle.

    Overall, I would be reluctant to ditch the symbolic flag for a meaningless or historically British one, but in the grand scheme of things it is worth sacrificing.
    [*]A new National Anthem

    I'm not actually terribly opposed to this. A militaristic song certainly encapsulated the Irish national spirit 100 years ago, but I'm not sure how well it speaks to the modern Ireland. Just as long as it isn't written by Phil Coulter, nor GSTQ I'd be happy enough.
    [*]The cost to Dublin, both financially and in security terms, of taking on the 6 counties

    There would presumably be EU development funds made available, and one would hope that over the next few years NI will prosper by being a nexus point between the UK and the EU. It would also be a long term cost worth paying, as it is unlikely that NI will remain poor for all eternity, especially if the Irish government, unlike successive UK governements, actually tries to develop the NI economy rather than neglecting it.

    In terms of security, there is no reason why the PSNI can't be kept on in substance if not in its entirity. There is no reason why NI can't have a separate security/police apparatus to the rest of Ireland.

    It will also mean more military spending, but seeing as Ireland has one of the lowest military spends in Europe, this isn't entirely an unreasonable requirement.

    None of the burdens or changes that a united Ireland will entail are insurmountable in my view, and are worth it for a united island of peace.

    To my mind, the main issue preventing a united Ireland is that there will never be a united Ireland unless people born into a Unionist background can be convinced of the benefits of living in a united Ireland or alternatively that they start to identify as Irish as opposed to British. This can't be foisted upon them, and for as long as either a majority or a substantial minority of the population consider themselves British and not Irish, then there is always going to be a problem with a united Ireland, regardless of flags etc.

    So I think the steps that could be taken now are constructive engagement with moderate unionists and communities to see if there is anything that can convince them to support a united Ireland. There probably isn't, in which case it's still worth trying, but won't result in a united Ireland any time soon.

    Unfortunately for the Unionists, what that means is that they will be unwelcome/unwanted in the UK, but unwilling to join Ireland.


  • #2


    Amirani wrote: »
    How would people feel about having an official holiday on the 12th of July and Orange bands marching down O'Connell Street?

    I for one would welcome it - the Orange Order, like it or not - are part of the tradition on this island. And with regards to marching down O'Connell Street - well... so what? As long as it is in a unified Republic of Ireland - does it really matter? If it makes them happy - I'm all for it. Less of the us versus them mentality - and more of the 'look-at-us-all-finally-getting-on-we're-all-equally-disfunctional-together-now-but-at-least-we're-together-let's-celebrate-our-similarities-not-or-differences-we're-more-alike-than-not mentality.


  • #2


    Amirani wrote: »
    Remember the uproar about the RIC commemoration? We'd be having loads of unpopular commemorations.

    How would people feel about having an official holiday on the 12th of July and Orange bands marching down O'Connell Street?

    If people want an United Ireland that's what they would have to accept.
    Unionists, and their customs would have to be treated as equal citizens.


  • #2


    How was the 12th of July marked down south pre independence when it was all one country? Were there parades down o connell or sackville street back then?

    In my personal opinion this is an issue that should never be touched again after the love ulster incident in 2006.


  • #2


    A discussion would have to be had about public service employees. "As of December 2008 the public sector in Northern Ireland accounted for 30.8% of the total workforce. This is significantly higher than the overall UK figure of 19.5%"

    presumably there would be a lot of synergies in civil service, tourism, agriculture etc. But t the end of the day NI would be voting to lose large chunks of its public sector jobs, and lose the annual subvention of approx 10-11 billion per annum by the UK taxpayer to fund it.

    Also the NHS is far from perfect, but I would not vote to change NHS for our version of healthcare.

    So before we propose unity, perhaps someone could put forward a proposal that can explain what happens to the public servants, the funding and the health service.


  • #2


    20silkcut wrote: »
    How was the 12th of July marked down south pre independence when it was all one country? Were there parades down o connell or sackville street back then?

    In my personal opinion this is an issue that should never be touched again after the love ulster incident in 2006.
    I can totally understand any hesitance - but wasn't that organised by the highly antagonistic Mr. Frazer? I think it could be done in a much less antagonistic, much more respectful way. Sure... some of the followers of Orangism are hardcore loyalists - but I am SURE there are many who are fine people, just celebrating what they know. It's not all beating drums and celebrating the Battle of The Boyne - it's about community, and tradition - celebrating one's culture.

    If people really want a peaceful Ireland - then olive branches must be offered all round, concessions must be made. England does not give one sh*t about Northern Ireland - and I hope the people of the North soon see that their future is 100% best served - at the table, with a REAL say - in a new, united Ireland - of equal and all traditions. I think it would really push us on as a nation.


  • #2


    Celebrating the Battle of the Boyne in a unified Ireland with its capital in Dublin would be a bit pathetic.

    If a majority of voters in Northern Ireland vote to become part of the Republic, they should know they are voting to join the Republic of the tricolour flag and Amhrán na bhFiann. Thats this Republic, thats the 1937 Constitution.

    Now, I'm not saying the reunification shouldn't be an opportunity to examine that Constitution, to set up a degree of autonomy for the incoming 6 Counties - in fact it presents really good opportunity to deliver a second Republic, with renewed goals, with modern values and priorities.

    For example, we could deliver true local Government, a nation of perhaps 6 or 7 regions with full time assemblies to mirror any autonomy for the 6C.

    At the end of the day though, the Republic right now is a more liberal and accommodating nation of rights and freedoms than the North is. No Unionist or loyalist need fear an inability to live their life and culture exactly as they do currently. Their right to assemble won't be diminished, though just like in NI today, they can expect their symbols and their activities to be opposed by those who disgree with them.


  • #2


    I do wonder what goes on in unionist minds sometimes. They want to be ruled by England despite the English being either indifferent or outwardly hostile towards them. It's an unrequited love or unwanted child sort of scenario. Do they think the English are going to turn around one day and say 'oh we love you too'.

    What's even stranger is that modern England is probably further away from NI unionist culture than it is from main stream Irish culture. Nobody in England is banging drums, painting kerbs, denouncing gays, advocating creationism and burning flags.

    As for the slow unification, yes I think it's inevitable and plain to see at street level, particularly among the young folks, unionism is increasingly becoming a dirty word.

    In England at least 50% of the population are unaware of the constitutional status of NI. Most think that Northern and 'Southern' Ireland are waring factions (like Korea) and that their only past role was that of peace keeper. Some people realise one of the 'Irelands' is in the UK but can't remember which one.

    The Tory ideal state is one outside the EU and out of Ireland so they'll be keen. I expect that if the 2022 assembly election puts nationalism out on front that Gove will call it.

    My 2 cents on how it should work:

    -Well run referendum with lots of information and discussion. We're quite good at referendums in the Republic so work off that experience.
    -Try to get the EU and the UK to campaign for a yes vote. The EU will be reluctant because the Cyprus incident in 2004.
    -Yes answer gives a 2 year transition period in which NI will remain in the UK. During this time NI taxation (incl. income tax), laws and currency will be harmonised with the Republic. This will create some economic improvement as multi nationals will be attracted by same currency and tax regime but lower commercial rent and wages.
    -England will probably be satisfied to write off NI's share of UK debt and continue to pay the Barnett formula for some years. We should take this with both hands and reform the NI economy as much as possible and merge the 2 civil services.
    -Health needs island wide reform anyway, completely dysfunctional on both sides, with money going more on employment for the sake of it than on patient care.
    -Hit up the EU infrastructure budget HARD for all sorts of road, rail, energy, water, schemes in the North, make a massive shopping list and we'll probably get half of it.
    -Hit up Biden for a 'peace fund', make it sound good, in fact get Biden to talk about this before a referendum
    -Keep a devolved assembly in Belfast for the region for at least a decade after, this will keep the mextreme elements out of the Dáil's way while the Dáil makes real decisions.
    -There should be no major concessions offered to unionism at this point, flag, anthem and symbolism to remain the same. If Britain wants to offer them passports, that's up to Britain. If they want to maintain a regional bank holiday on the 12th, fine, no objections.
    -On flags the regional assembly can create a regional flag if it wishes, if agreement cannot be reached, tricolour on public buildings.

    Sorted.


  • #2


    I always find it strange that the tricolour, which is intended to symbolise peace between Catholic and Protestant, is such an objectionable icon for unionists. Presumably this is because it is a symbol of pride for the IRA etc and so even though it is not objectively objectionable, much like the poppy which is meant only to symbolise war memorial but has become a symbol of British jingoism, so too the tricolour must go.

    It is hard to think of a new flag that would have the same on the nose symbolism of unity as the tricolour, but perhaps the old Kingdom of Ireland flag (a green flag with a harp with a crown on it) or the flag of St Patrick (a constituent of the Union Flag). All of these will have some detractors.

    So the only obvious flag I can think of is either no flag or something devoid of meaning or context e.g. a pink monochrome rectangle.

    Overall, I would be reluctant to ditch the symbolic flag for a meaningless or historically British one, but in the grand scheme of things it is worth sacrificing.



    I'm not actually terribly opposed to this. A militaristic song certainly encapsulated the Irish national spirit 100 years ago, but I'm not sure how well it speaks to the modern Ireland. Just as long as it isn't written by Phil Coulter, nor GSTQ I'd be happy enough.

    I'm perhaps naive but I think the flag issue is probably one of the easier fixes. Some variation of the 4 provinces flag would be all encompassing (already used by a few All-Ireland sporting bodies), allow everyone to feel represented and yet not offend anyone.

    I think the vast majority would be okay with something like that and the vast majority would be similar to yourself in accepting a new anthem, as long as it's not Coulter's ****e.
    Of course some people would never come round to the idea, but imo it's a small minority.

    The real issues would be satisfying Unionists to.....well I suppose no longer be unionists, and satisfying the majority in the Republic that economically this wouldn't be a dreadful thing to do.
    That's the stumbling blocks.


  • #2


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    Celebrating the Battle of the Boyne in a unified Ireland with its capital in Dublin would be a bit pathetic.

    If a majority of voters in Northern Ireland vote to become part of the Republic, they should know they are voting to join the Republic of the tricolour flag and Amhrán na bhFiann. Thats this Republic, thats the 1937 Constitution.

    Now, I'm not saying the reunification shouldn't be an opportunity to examine that Constitution, to set up a degree of autonomy for the incoming 6 Counties - in fact it presents really good opportunity to deliver a second Republic, with renewed goals, with modern values and priorities.

    For example, we could deliver true local Government, a nation of perhaps 6 or 7 regions with full time assemblies to mirror any autonomy for the 6C.

    At the end of the day though, the Republic right now is a more liberal and accommodating nation of rights and freedoms than the North is. No Unionist or loyalist need fear an inability to live their life and culture exactly as they do currently. Their right to assemble won't be diminished, though just like in NI today, they can expect their symbols and their activities to be opposed by those who disgree with them.

    You've set out that local government needs massive changes to make a UI work, and described it as a "second Republic".
    There's a bit of contradiction there.

    It really can't be the "Republic" as we know it now which is an extremely centralised state with everything of importance (including taxation/fund raising powers) run out of the Central government departments or administered by "quango" type bodies and semi-states. There is little local government.

    IMO FF/FG really like it that way + are addicted to having all the power at their fingertips. It will fail hard (and possibly violently) if this is attempted in a future UI I think. The parties here are just going to have to lump it and accept devolution of powers in a more federal sort of state with current NI as one of the regions.

    Given that it won't be the same state at all...I'm more comfortable with all of the symbology being changed (anthem, flag etc.) Afaik they really do rub alot of Unionists up the wrong way so it may be required. Orange marches on O'Connell St. supported by the state (analagous to an angry St. Patricks day parade...) would be a bridge too far for me LOL!

    edit
    Amirani wrote: »
    Remember the uproar about the RIC commemoration? We'd be having loads of unpopular commemorations.

    How would people feel about having an official holiday on the 12th of July and Orange bands marching down O'Connell Street?

    I like days off.

    However, I think that any new "Republic" is going to have to devolve alot of that commemorating to more local bodies...it is really just too contentious and will provoke endless angry rows and suck up so much oxygen...

    As you point out it already happens to an extent without NI's world champion grievance mongers throwing their hats into the ring. May have to be a bit of a pallid & wishywashy state with all new symbols that doesn't like to blow its own horn with commemorations about its own history/birth. Could be a price that has to be paid if the votes for unity go through. :(


  • #2


    Well they can feck off! They broke it so they can fix it first!


  • #2


    Other than improving our football team, what benefits are there of taking on the mess up North?

    It would cost 10bn a year (is that sterling or Euro?), we would have the DUP! And then the UVF and the UFF etc. would start bombing Dublin, Cork and Galway etc. Other than for those living in the past, why on earth would you want this? We have enough problems already.


  • #2


    Leave them where they are.Baggage,guns under floorboards,etc Scotland might want them


  • #2


    Rezident wrote: »
    Other than improving our football team, what benefits are there of taking on the mess up North?

    A prosperous, happy, peaceful future - based on respect, understanding, shared common goals and aspirations - working, functioning and thriving together - as one powerful little unit, as it was meant to be - and as it is destined to be. Get on board - dream big!


  • #2


    I would've seen keeping stormont as a way of keeping the very specific local problems off the menu for the Dáil and I would've seen it as a temporary thing while greater integration takes place and legacy issues fade away.

    Could it be the precursor to a federal Ireland? I'm not convinced of the benefits but with close to 8 million people in the country at that stage it might be worth considering. 7 autonomous regions seems excessive though. Belgium has only 3 and other small countries have none.


  • #2


    cgcsb wrote: »
    I would've seen keeping stormont as a way of keeping the very specific local problems off the menu for the Dáil and I would've seen it as a temporary thing while greater integration takes place and legacy issues fade away.

    Could it be the precursor to a federal Ireland? I'm not convinced of the benefits but with close to 8 million people in the country at that stage it might be worth considering. 7 autonomous regions seems excessive though. Belgium has only 3 and other small countries have none.

    Sure look at how many pointless Local Authorities in the country duplicating work that could easily be consolidated?

    All divided along country lines just for the heck of it. Ireland does not need what is it...at least 26 LAs and that is not including the city councils and Dublin for a small island with a small population?

    Jobs for the boys and keep the Unions happy. Just one quick example, Leitrim CC does not need to exist when it is surrounded by other LAs all doing the exact same job.

    I look at Cork- why does Cork have a City Council and a County Council? I see no logic whatsoever and taking up prime buildings. No reason why the one body could not do the same job for the whole county.

    Jobs for the boys.

    The sheer amount of duplicating is crazy. An awful lot of dead wood up and down the country 'working' sorry employed by the LA.


  • #2


    20silkcut wrote: »
    How was the 12th of July marked down south pre independence when it was all one country? Were there parades down o connell or sackville street back then?

    In my personal opinion this is an issue that should never be touched again after the love ulster incident in 2006.

    The issue the 12th of July is an Irish celebration. Under the GFA anyone born in Northern Ireland is entitled to an Irish passport regardless of their political views. You also imagine as a result of Brexit many people of a unionist persuasion will take advantage of that once we get over Covid.

    How can you expect a united Ireland don't treat everyone equally ie Irish people within reason should be able to march down O Connell Street. If the 12th of July celebrations are still that toxic we aren't ready for a united Ireland. The biggest barrier to a united Ireland is that significant amount of Irish don't want a united Ireland ie those primarily represented by unionist parties. I imagine even calling unionists Irish people will annoy some people but under the Good Friday agreement they are just as Irish as anyone else.

    What happened pre or post independence is irrelevant. You only need to look at the recent Mother and Baby homes report. When we talk about pre or post independence you are talking about a culture that enabled that scandal which I imagine people don't want to see repeated.


  • #2


    cgcsb wrote: »

    My 2 cents on how it should work:

    -Well run referendum with lots of information and discussion. We're quite good at referendums in the Republic so work off that experience.
    -Try to get the EU and the UK to campaign for a yes vote. The EU will be reluctant because the Cyprus incident in 2004.
    -Yes answer gives a 2 year transition period in which NI will remain in the UK. During this time NI taxation (incl. income tax), laws and currency will be harmonised with the Republic. This will create some economic improvement as multi nationals will be attracted by same currency and tax regime but lower commercial rent and wages.
    -England will probably be satisfied to write off NI's share of UK debt and continue to pay the Barnett formula for some years. We should take this with both hands and reform the NI economy as much as possible and merge the 2 civil services.
    -Health needs island wide reform anyway, completely dysfunctional on both sides, with money going more on employment for the sake of it than on patient care.
    -Hit up the EU infrastructure budget HARD for all sorts of road, rail, energy, water, schemes in the North, make a massive shopping list and we'll probably get half of it.
    -Hit up Biden for a 'peace fund', make it sound good, in fact get Biden to talk about this before a referendum
    -Keep a devolved assembly in Belfast for the region for at least a decade after, this will keep the mextreme elements out of the Dáil's way while the Dáil makes real decisions.
    -There should be no major concessions offered to unionism at this point, flag, anthem and symbolism to remain the same. If Britain wants to offer them passports, that's up to Britain. If they want to maintain a regional bank holiday on the 12th, fine, no objections.
    -On flags the regional assembly can create a regional flag if it wishes, if agreement cannot be reached, tricolour on public buildings.

    Sorted.

    You've got it backwards. Completely arseways.

    First thing to do is have a referendum on whether we are prepared to sit down and discuss it. If we vote in favour, then there's a 2-3 years period to sit down and work out how a new Ireland would look. Get the UK, EU and USA involved.

    Once a treaty of sorts has been worked out you go back to the people and ask them again; this time on a binding treaty.

    What you mentioned above is Brexit style; vote in favour of it now and work it out afterwards. and it clearly does not work.

    Also, you're dismissing many concerns of Unionists, we need to get them on board in a new Ireland from the beginning.


  • #2


    20silkcut wrote: »
    How was the 12th of July marked down south pre independence when it was all one country? Were there parades down o connell or sackville street back then?

    In my personal opinion this is an issue that should never be touched again after the love ulster incident in 2006.

    Yes, as far as I recall reading they used to march along near Trinity. The Orange Lodge in Dublin was on Dawson St.

    Also there were Orange marches in Liverpool until the '60s.

    Me: Jesus saves. Everyone else: Pfizer saves



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