"Lawmakers reconvene Sept. 3 but under prorogation will disband the following week. They return Oct. 14, just 17 days before Britain's Oct. 31 deadline to leave the European Union.
In 2016, Britain voted in a referendum to leave the EU. Former Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated a divorce deal with the EU but Parliament rejected the agreement three times. The impasse ultimately brought down her government.
Meanwhile, Brexiteers have insisted that despite concerns over economic chaos, Britain must leave even without a deal.
"All these people who are wailing and gnashing of teeth know that there are two ways of doing what they want to do," Rees-Mogg, a member of Johnson's Conservative Party and a confirmed euroskeptic, told the broadcaster. "One, is to change the government and the other is to change the law."
"If they don't have either the courage or the gumption to do either of those then we will leave on the 31st of October in accordance with the referendum result," he added." NPR
Brexit? I don't really care about that. IMO the Brits will be better off if they crash out of the moribund EU and make a wide reaching trade deal with the US.
Ireland's internal border? Really? The Micks can't solve that problem between north and south? Really? As I said, I don't really care what they do with the Brexit issue.
OTOH I am surprised at the evidently automatic action of the sovereign in abjectly submitting to BJ in this clearly political situation. It would seem to me that if the sovereign is not sovereign then why have a sovereign? Tourism? Really? The whole panoply of Dukes and Duchesses, lords and lordlings is damned expensive. Some of the lifestyle of the monarchy and its parasitic "followers" is funded from long held properties acquired through dubious means but a lot of that lifestyle is publicly funded.
For what? The British people are so sentimental that they swoon at the sight of people like Harry and his duchess?
Does anyone here have a realistic estimate of how much money would be saved in the UK's budget by abolishing the monarchy and its other dimensional and separate world? pl
“a queen?!?! are you guys fighting dragons off with a catapult and shit!?!? you don’t have a ‘queen’; you have a millionaire without a job.”
The British have exactly the same irrational and emotional attachment to the royals as Yanks have to guns.
Me? I’m against both royals and guns.
I voted for Brexit for the same reason many voted for Trump. To drain the bi-partisan swamp.
Meanwhile Bermie and Corbyn wait in the wings.
No. We need to defend ourselves against the power of the government.
No-deal Brexit will not be as simple as Y2K, that is for sure.
The Irish border question is inextricably wound with the politics of a very few politicians upon whom Johnson relies in a coalition for his slim majority. Scotland and Wales may well leave UK if/when Brexit occurs, as both have a strong preference to remain. Reliance upon USA to make up the loss of EU as trading partner is delusional – USA is far away and is NOT integrated into the stream of UK commerce as is EU.
One thing is for sure: UK is very fortunate that it never gave up the pound when EU was created. Having your own currency makes Brexit possible in a way that did not exist for Greece.
And BTW, everyone seems to forget, Corbyn voted AGAINST joining EU back in 1975. Was he wrong, or simply wise?
Extensive article here:
I don’t think the Queen “abjectly submitted” to Boris. I think she agrees with escaping from the EU and severing as many of the ties that bind as possible.
She is the Sovereign, after all, and her primary duty is to defend the sovereignty of Britain. What is more destructive to a nations’ sovereignty than the EU with its supra-national courts, commissions, etc.; its rules that make it impossible for a nation to make its own decisions on matters like immigration, trade etc.
As far as I am concerned, Merkel, Macron, Tusk and all the EU heads of state are traitors to their own countries. Anyone who cares about sovereignty should demand the dissolution of the EU forthwith.
correction, that Corbyn vote in 1975 was against ECC, which later became EU
United in Kingdom is unified only in the person of the English Monarch. Without that Office, there is no constitutional structure that would cause there to be a unitary state.
In fact, the entire un-written English Constitution will collapse and burn without the Person of the English Monarch. To this must be added that there are die-hard monarchists in England that would organize, without a doubt, a King’s Party again and attempt at the restoration of the Crown.
Empirically, the Constitutional Monarchies, have been, for the most, politically far more stable than their purely republican counter parts.
That is on the political side.
On the religious side, the English Monarch is the Legitimate Religious Authority of the Anglican Church and the removal of the Monarchy would also remove that as well; exposing the society of the British Isles to the same dynamics as that of the United States – which – it might lead to another religious Civil War on that Island.
Over time, different English Monarchs have attempted at placing themselves in different roles; King George VI was the head of the Ideal Family, for example. The Prince of Wales, for example, has interested himself in Architecture and Ekistics, on the other hand.
A chief benefit of the Monarchy in England has been that it has checked the abuses that have come along with the Rise of the Masses. For if the People are Sovereign, it then follows that they are the Sole Legitimate Spiritual and Moral Authority as well; a path to destruction, in my opinion.
“Yesterday, the Queen did exactly what she’s always done: as she’s told. According to the uncodified conventions of our constitution, the Queen acts on the advice of a prime minister in whom parliament entrusts executive authority.
If MPs want to annul the PM’s authority and reverse the proroguing, they can bring a vote of no confidence or a one-line Act of Parliament.
It’s not up to the Queen to overrule Johnson – it’s up to MPs. It is political, not royal, inaction that is expediting Brexit. But instead of inveighing against parliamentarians’ incompetence, Remainers are ragging on the one person who – much as it pains me to say it – is actually doing her job.
Yet the desire for the Queen to stop Brexit is also deeply ironic. Appalled by the PM’s undermining of parliamentary sovereignty, those in uproar sought to undermine it further by having the Queen overrule the PM. Royal political neutrality was the hard-won spoil of the Civil War and one of the few protections British subjects have against royal tyranny – and centrist Remainers want to throw it out”
Ulster also voted “Remain.”
Seems to imply that something like “One Country, Two Systems” could have worked with Ulster, Scotland and Wales “in” and England “out.”
Great Britain, out side the EU, really is at huge disadvantage. The difficulty they having in doing this is probably a good indicator this is something that should be abandoned.
Col. Lang, you ask about the utility of a monarchy with a straight face? While Larry Johnson is explaining the soft coup attempt in the U.S.? I would have thought that answered your question.
The monarch has no power at all and could not stop a soft coup by withholding assent. Queen Victoria is long dead. The present monarchy is a protection against exactly nothing.
No. they do not need the EU.
My understanding is that the Queen is obliged to follow the advice of her government, had she not rubber stamped the PMs request she would have mired herself in partisan politics which is not her role.
I am not a big fan of the Royals but the Queen, as head of state, has been able to maintain long term continuity of contacts with other heads of state while our idiot politicians come and go.
Putting faith in the US as a replacement tradeing partner is massively unwise, the relationship is far to onesided we will get crushed. I voted remain and am convinced we are in for a hard Brexit and that it will be catostophic for our economy and citizens from which I doubt we will ever fully recover. We are about to go from a second to third rate power I just hope we qualify for the G20.
We are really quite sentimental about your history, literature, monuments, etc. Europe will eat you, not us. What you are really saying is that you don’t like “the Yanks.” “Overpaid, oversexed and over here.”
“They do not need EU” is a very broad statement. The Scotts are not part of “English they”. The former wants independence: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/08/boris-johnson-crosses-the-rubicon-we-must-react-now
No one needs no one, as North Korea proves. But the question is whether Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be better off within E.U. and a majority of them answered with an affirmative to that question. Especially Scotland will regain its oil fields under UNCLOS, that were stollen by the English.
Nationalism is a double edged sword and Perfidious Albion (I AM biased) will hopefully get what it deserved. E.U. should never have admitted U.K., as de Gaulle wisely had envisaged & they should have never expanded to Eastern Europe under US government’s pressure as both forced decisions lead to undermining of Schuman’s vision for Europe ( a this old comedy, is tragic: youtu.be/37iHSwA1SwE ).
The Queen/ENGLISH monarchy, with the latter’s not so hidden sympathies for extreme-right, is an essential part of this centuries long tradition of sowing discord in Europe: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/08/the-queens-active-role-in-the-right-wing-coup/
The US government’s trumpeting of support for extreme-right in Europe, is a continuation of a longstanding policy to undermine a major economic competitor and use E.U. as a vassal in the former’s confrontation with other power centers. It is true that it would be better for the current US government to have England as another one of it’s territories, with their markets open but without any vote for the latter but not the other way around.
Having a disunited Europe is very good for the OUTSIDERS: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/08/saudi-arabia-acknowledges-defeat-in-yemen-starts-to-sue-for-peace-.html#more
And for those who think that the European human impulses are different than the non-Caucasian Yemenis, I refer to the former Yugoslavia & current Ukraine.
Yes, it is, and Scotland does not need England wither.
The Queen’s job is thereby very much like that of the Emperor of Japan, but in Japan, IIRC, a PM would not bother The Emperor with such matters. I imagine the Queen is envious.
The notion that only the English are “white” is very English. I saw that often in all the time I spent in England. The notion that Arabs without African blood are not white is laughable. Yemenis are “white.” Rashida Tlaib is “white.”
I strongly disagree. The Queen can remove Boris in an instant, dissolve parliament and call elections tomorrow if she felt like it. This is what happened in Australia in 1975.
The fact is that the british military, judiciary and civil service are ultimately responsible to HER not Parliament. She doesn’t use this power very often, maybe once a century but don’t mistake good manners and politesse for fopery there is iron under there. They take their role as Commander in chief very seriously and woe betide anyone who tries to horn in.
To put that another way, if the Queen so directed tomorrow, then I am back in active service.
If you spend enough time watching the royals closely, you will realise they do a great deal of work, especially preventing the big guys from running over the little guys.
How true, but then, she is the descendant of Hanoverian usurpers.
If the queen did what you say she might the monarchy would end quickly.
I’m not a Brit, but I have often wondered if a lot of the success of the Crown has been QEII who has been (for the most part) a very astute politician (see, e.g., her subtle use of her influence against Scots Independence in ’14).
One thought is her long reign and unprepossessing sons might be an issue.
Boris’ move is straight out of Trump’s playbook and I applaud its boldness. It may be constitutionally unconventional, but it is not illegal and it is certainly no coup. If the British Parliament feels strongly enough they will call for a no confidence vote and force a general election.
Boris is trying to prevent legislation against a ‘no deal’ Brexit. If he fails his hands will be tied in last minute negotiations with the EU, another extension will follow and he’ll go the same way as his predecessor. Next please.
British political satire used to be peerless. But life has imitated art on a grand scale and the Groundhog Day farce of Brexit has turned the mother of parliaments into a parody worthy of Monty Python. It has to end and Boris is giving it his best shot.
Problem is, it’s not the Queen’s decision. She has to act on the advice of her Prime Minister. He, in turn, doesn’t get to be Prime Minister unless the House of Commons allows him to be.
The Commons had ample opportunity to get rid of Mr Johnson. They didn’t take it. It’s the same problem as with Mrs May. All she tried to do was denied her by the House. Yet the MP’s, most of whom are “remainers”, were unwilling to get rid of her and form a “remain” government.
That’s because they didn’t quite have the courage to go against the referendum result openly. The tactics of the remainer MP majority have been to refuse or undermine anything that gets us out but not to take the steps they could do to keep us in.
I don’t at all like the politics of the new UK administration. They are neocons and neoliberals. I don’t think I like Mr Johnson much either. I submitted to your site an interview of his with Deutsche Welle on the Skripal affair and I thought he came out of that very badly indeed. Nevertheless, unless he’s going to sit around like the rest of them blocking everything and doing nothing positive, he had to act as he did.
My view. But then I’m dead against membership of the EU so I might not see it square. The UK expert on Brexit, Richard North, explores the matter here –
On a more important matter, Colonel – might I take issue with you on the position of the Queen? The Monarchy is the keystone of the British Constitution. Its power is only nominal, if that, on day to day affairs. It’s unable to block much either when it comes to significant matters – it’s rumoured, for example, that the Queen is against membership of the EU but even if that’s so there’s no power in her hands to determine that matter. What the palace can do is act to restrain – to stop any government deciding to stay for good, for instance, should the House of Commons ever try that on. So it’s not a power centre in its own right, merely something in reserve should the power centre get out of hand.
The Queen herself? – a non-partisan focus of loyalty for the Armed Services and for the rest of us. I don’t know what the American equivalent is. The flag? The President? Anyway, there needs to be such a focus and she does the job impeccably. More than impeccably, graciously. When she goes she’ll be able to say what her namesake three centuries ago said – and with more justice –
“Though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my Crown, that I have reigned with your loves.”
Also rumoured to be keen on fox hunting. Win win all round, then.
What the other parts of te UK do in response to BREXIT is another reason why this is probably unworkable.
No, but dividing that pie is more trouble than it is worth, too.
I have a cousin who is a retired British Army LtCol, who pays his pension if Scotland leaves? One particular guy but there are probably millions more with small issues of various kinds.
I also would not be so sure about trade with the Commonwealth . . . .
Republicans in Northern Ireland see Brexit as a once in a lifetime opportunity at reunification. There remain elements who would use violence to achieve this. Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of the second half of “13 dead but not forgotten – we got 18 and Mountbatten”. Google it if you are not familiar with the expression. Appropriately enough Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo, where the IRA ‘got Mountbatten’, is Yeats country. Most sane participants in the negotiations see the danger of things falling apart if the Irish border issue is mishandled – if and when Britain leaves & drags NI out with it. Suffice to say it is complicated.
By God, that is well said, sir.
Another excellent comment! Thank God for this website.
I don’t think they were eating us and we were not big enough to eat them. As to the US it is not a question of like but of trust and they are big enough to eat us and as you are hard buisness negotiators we will not have the muscle to get the deals the EU could. Multinationals will want there european operation based in the EU market not the much smaller UK with uncertain trade relationships with everyone in the world post brexit. I like Shakespeare & Castle Howard too but I am not expecting that to have any weight in trade negotiations.
I’m afraid I don’t agree with what you say above. I don’t believe it would pass muster with any serious student of the current internal conflict in the UK, nor indeed is your analysis of current international politics compelling.
But I must protest one misconception in particular. The Brexit conflict in the UK is now routinely portrayed by those who wish to remain in the EU as a choice between being dominated by the US or being dominated by the EU.
Thus we see the anti-Americanism of the European Progressive classes, allied with a universal Progressive hatred of President Trump both on the Continent and in England, being pressed into service as another argument for the UK not leaving the EU. If we leave the EU, it is insisted, we shall be swallowed up as a subordinate partner by the US.
This is nonsense pure and simple. Because of its size and economic and military power the US will inevitably have weight when it comes to making trade agreements. So will China, so will other large countries. That is a fact of life. But there are two very important differences –
1. The EU uses trade not merely as a means of establishing political control over its member states. It uses it as a means of absorbing those member states. It explicitly seeks “ever greater union”, and entangling its member states in trade relationships that are, as we are currently finding, very difficult to break or adjust, is how that is achieved.
However close our trading connection with the China or the USA might become, we shall not find ourselves ruled from Beijing or Washington. Increasingly we are finding ourselves ruled from Brussels; and the struggle we find ourselves engaged in for independence from that increasing rule is not to be compared with difficulties we may or may not have in trading with other countries.
2. It is false in any case to say that for the UK the choice is between being dominated by Europe or being dominated by the USA. Independence means being ruled by none but ourselves. It means having the freedom to determine for ourselves the degree of closeness we have with other countries, both in economic terms and in terms of military alliances.
We have always had that freedom with regard to the United States, whether we have used it wisely or not. We now seek the same freedom with regard to that unstable and undemocratic entity, the EU, with which we have allowed ourselves to become so dangerously entangled.
It is therefore incorrect for those who wish the UK to remain part of the EU to make use of the knee-jerk anti-Americanism of the European Progressive classes as an argument for the UK not seeking to regain its independence from the EU.
Bizarrely – but seriously – that’s partly why the quaint idea of Monarchy has survived this long, isn’t it?. Unfortunately, Monarchs all too often side with the Government.
Welcome back Babak!
Amir – apologies. I meant to write -“I don’t agree with what you and Craig Murray wrote” – and the emphasis was heavily on Mr Murray. But the platform for the Colonel’s site allows no correction and I was stuck with what I’d written.
Mr Murray is a Scotsman. Anglophobia comes with the territory there, just as for us in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Francophobia came with the territory – it’s no fun neighbouring a considerably more powerful country, particularly when that more powerful country has a tendency to pinch your stuff.
Patriotism is an admirable quality, in a Scotsman as with anyone else. A dash of Anglophobia to go with it is therefore, I think, in order, especially when independence is in question as it is today for many in Scotland. But Mr Murray goes in for bucketfuls and I think that might skew his perspective.
Agreed, we shafted them when we joined the EU – which I was against. Now I think they will be better off dealing with the EU than us and expect no more favourable terms than they would would give to the BRIC nations.
My right to bear arms in defense of a tyrannical government comes from the very hand of God. A queen not so much.
“Lifestyle publicly funded”
The “Crown Estate” of Queen Elizabeth generates $366 million per year and she gives the British Treasury $273 million, or 75% of that income.
Everything I’ve read suggests that Queen Elizabeth is very frugal — those multiple changes of clothing are required by her job and most outfits are sewn in-house by a few seanstresses. Furthermore, the Queen buys 4 pairs of shoes per year in black / brown / white / cream.
In short, the British do very well and elegantly at a bargain.
With Ireland, in general (Ulster and Eire) becoming less religious, I’d have to guess that issue creates **LESS** friction and Eire (even after 2008) is relatively more prosperous than England.
It seems like this could become an issue for Great Britain.
Of course, “breaking up is hard to do” as the Scots Referendum proved in ’14. Lots of small problems to solve, so easier to stay.
“But I must protest one misconception in particular. The Brexit conflict in the UK is now routinely portrayed by those who wish to remain in the EU as a choice between being dominated by the US or being dominated by the EU.”
The choice is more between being an integral part of the EU or being increasingly irrelevant.
The US has problems of its own.
Excellent comment EO, I thoroughly agree. Much of the antipathy towards BJ appears to be motivated by good old fashioned class prejudice, same with the fox hunting ban which IIRC was imposed by metropolitan culture-hating ‘liberals’ under Bliar. I hope Boris brings the sport back, it is a good deal more healthy than hunting Deplorables.
i was speaking of the ENTIRE monarchical establishment, all of it, not just the queen whom I think is a charming public spirited old lady.
This can’t be worse than Cromwell and the Rump Parliament (I hope).
I wonder if the British Monarchy is not much like the Anglican Communion, which tends to emphasize the worship service over Scripture or Theology?
You seem to have significant loyalty to our nation state which I do not. I care little if the laws that govern my life are drafted by someone in London or Madrid what I do care about is the laws. My fealty is to family, friends and others who share my views and aims for the world it has very little to do with where they were born or what kind of passport they hold. Far to much power lies at the nation state level and not enough is devolved up to international organisations or down to more local states or regions. The Westphalian state model is a fairly recent european invention exported by the colonial powers. I am not conviced it is correct for everyone or that it will, or should, survive indefinately.
Well, I follow what’s happening in the English political bubble more closely than usual just now, because of Brexit, and I can assure you that the anti-American argument is very frequently deployed by the remainers, almost always by the Progs. We have to be subject to the EU or to the US, they say, so stay close to Mutti Europe in case that awful Uncle Sam gets you.
Total nonsense, as I have attempted to explain above.
You a remainer yourself, by any chance? If so, welcome, foe. But let’s not scrap on the Colonel’s site. They do big politics here.
Spot on. Time to get it done.
The monarchy in the UK is an excellent “sea anchor”. A force for conservatism, because the constitutional system is still built around the monarchy. If you take it away a lot of the glue holding the country together will be gone. Right now Parliament is sovereign. It took a civil war and the death of a monarch to establish that. But if the Queen is gone is Parliament still sovereign?
In terms of cost, its small. Gains from incremental tourism are probably larger. I would guess total cost is about 1bn, but more than compensated by tourism. Besides, the buildings would still be maintained or they would be lost.
Most Brits are not that far from murdering each other. The Queen is one of the institutions stopping that.
I beg to differ about the assumption that the Queen has no power and “has” to do what the Government of the day says.
That is merely the custom. It’s a workable arrangement because don’t forget that her Government has to follow “custom” too.
The Government may not appropriate Royal powers, not even a little bit. They try from time to time and the Monarch or her representatives in the Commonwealth stamp hard on their fingers when they do – in private of course.
One of those quaint customs is that a Government cannot exist if it cannot get enough votes in Parliament to pass a budget to spend money. What happened in Australia in 1975 was that the left wing Whitlam Government couldn’t get enough votes in Parliament to pass a budget, instead of going to the people in a general election as they should have, they attempted to carry on. The Governor General fired the prime minister and put in another (Malcolm Fraser) who immediately called an election. The left wing never forgave the GG, they called the whole thing a “constitutional crisis”. It was nothing of the sort.
If the Queen thinks Boris has overstepped the mark, she will fire him, put in place a temporary and call a general election. There is nothing that Boris can do to stop her short of starting a civil war, in which case I know whose side I’m on.
Colonel – you have us there. I know very little about the entire monarchical establishment. Every now and again one sees the odd trustafarian or playboy emerge, but I’d assumed that most of them were diligently putting in the hours attending to the lower level duties Her Majesty can’t fit in. Or getting smashed and hoping the press cameras weren’t around. Perhaps one of your London correspondents could provide a more satisfactory account?
You hit another weak point when you mention the Hanoverians. It’s true the current Royal Family isn’t the real one, but there’ve been so many upsets since Alfred I don’t think people notice any more. The Aethelingas pushed off to Hungary and the Stuarts, I think, to Rome and then Bavaria. Somehow or other there always seems to be a plentiful supply of replacements. Perhaps it’s better not to look too closely at all that.
Perhaps it’s best not to look too closely period. If you convert us all to republicanism I reckon the chances of getting proper hunting back drop to zero.
If our disgraceful MPs, with their media cheerleaders, continue to thwart our exit from the EU then the Queen might well need to step in and protect the people from our venal political class. As it is Johnson has chosen his advisors wisely, Cummings is machiavellian enough to see it through himself and the Queen shan’t be needed. Nothing unusual in what the PM has done, this parliamentary session is the longest since the Long Parliament of the civil war. Sadly we lack a Colonel Pride.
So, if we overseas colonials had not revolted, then we would have Trump as PM and QE2 could simply dismiss him and call for a new parliamentary election to produce a new majority and PM more to her liking? Interesting.
Thanks. We’ve gone over your application with a fine tooth comb – we don’t let just anybody in, you understand, not unless they’re frightfully rich – and I am authorised to inform you that you have been accepted into the exclusive ranks of the British Freedom Fighters Association (Ltd). Congratulations and you will be invoiced in due course.
You’ll find that various shady organisations – the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Brexit Party and UKIP will now be knocking on your door. Sorry. We have to auction off our mailing lists because beer’s got so expensive.
When you attend your indoctrination course (payment in advance, please!) there are one or two things you’ll be expected to have studied –
1. When our American cousins pitched forty tons of tea into Boston Harbour they didn’t do it because they didn’t know how to make tea properly. Nor was it because they were fed up with being ruled by a remote, undemocratic and some say arrogant administrative apparatus in London. They merely wanted their remote, undemocratic and some say arrogant administrative apparatus closer to home so they could give it a good kicking every now and again. In your terms, too much power was devolved to too high a level and they wanted that power down within reach.
That’s the essence of Brexit. Independence doesn’t mean means going off and living in some fantasy land devised by Hoppe or whoever. It doesn’t mean, unfortunately, that you’re not still stuck with your political classes.
It means being able to control those political classes. They get up to all sorts of tricks if you can’t. So it’s unwise to let your political classes get too far out of sight and too far out of reach.
2. It’s worth considering what would have happened in Burgoyne hadn’t screwed up at Saratoga. What would have happened if he’d won? Would the then colonists have said “That’s it then” and gone back to being loyal subjects of King George?
I think not. There’d have been a musket behind every tree and the place would have become ungovernable. Once that sort of fire’s been lit there’s no putting it out. Seems Lord North and his pals had the sense to see that, in the end.
The fire in England was lit quite accidentally. Some fool of a politician decided he’d promise a referendum. The promise wasn’t meant and it was only made to keep his party rebels quiet. Then he found he had to keep his promise. He held the referendum – even Tusk advised it was too risky a gamble – but unexpectedly lost.
More fools of politicians spent the next three years trying to find some way of reversing that referendum result. They might still succeed. Say they do?
It’ll do them no good. Once that sort of fire’s been lit there’s no putting it out.
We’ll be sending a supplementary invoice to cover the study material supplied above. Payment by return, please.
By the way, some revisionist historians say that they really didn’t know how to make tea properly. And they never found out. Pay those historians no heed. Their findings are true, but irrelevant.
Been grubbing around on the issue. Have lived in the border area, Irish side, and knew a little (only a little!) of the border during and after the troubles. But heard a lot. Naturally.
Split sympathies. As a devotee of Michael Collins I think a united Ireland is only right. As a UK citizen I don’t want to see my fellow citizens in NI drawing the short straw. I can’t see a solution to the sectarian Catholic/Protestant animosities. Why should I? I don’t live there. What matters is that one sees none who live there able to propose one either. Except to leave it to time and hope things settle down.
But it’s not a question of sympathies. It’s a question of stopping the two sides bombing and shooting at each other. There, and after a lot of the aforesaid grubbing around, I’d say the increased probability of trouble is down to HMG under Mrs May. No question. A foolish, foolish woman in a foolish situation.
The Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement) that all make so much of. That didn’t stop the Troubles. The paramilitaries were defeated by an intensive military/Intelligence operation. Many mistakes, many tragic blunders, but in the end the paramilitaries were defeated. It left a hell of a mess behind – lots of little pockets of mafia style criminals, a lot of seemingly ineradicable drug and similar criminal problems from those who’d hitched on to the various causes, and a hostility and suspicion of the other side that persists to the present day and may yet spill over again. But the operation did the job. They were unable to keep shooting at each other, which was what mattered.
What the military/Intelligence operations couldn’t sort out and didn’t try to was the sectarian hatred. It’s no good stopping the shooting if the politics aren’t right. That’s where the GFA came in.
Since Major, even before but ineffectually, UK politicians had been trying to broker some sort of political solution. Major’s work has now been forgotten but getting that on a solid footing was his greatest achievement. Under Blair the effort went on, and I think he worked hard at it too.
The GFA is an odd compromise. Briefly, it allows the border Catholics to live as if they were already in Ireland and all Catholics to live as if they will be. It allows the Protestants to live as if they were staying in the UK. It’s a two sided pretence that postpones the issue reasonably satisfactorily.
The way the Brexit process has been handled that useful pretence has been smashed. The Irish and the Northern Irish Catholics now see any Brexit settlement or none as a sure route to Irish unification. Some want it now. The rest want it later and expect it to happen for certain. In this they are backed to the hilt by the EU. The Protestants see that and for their part now know for certain the pretence is gone, and not the way they want it.
So the GFA no longer does the job it did. The issue didn’t have to be handled like this but now, whichever way Brexit goes, there’s the potential for serious trouble. A little, from what one picks up here and there, already starting.
As I recall, the queen derives her power from an aquatic tart who distributed a sword.
IMO, a decade after Brexit, if Boris really does get it done, the UK will find that it is much better off than under the thumb of the bureaucrats in Brussels who are far too busy regulating what type, shape & color of banana can be sold in “Europe”.
Wales voted to Leave, and by a larger margin than the UK as a whole.
Odds of Boris advising HRH not to give Royal Assent to the ‘No Deal’ Brexit bill tomorrow? I read that this is perfectly constitutional and the Queen would be obliged to do as advised. The Executive is called that for a reason, I think you may be in for an exciting day.
Not HRH, HM.
Thanks for the correction Colonel.