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Brexit, the UK’s vote to leave the EU, is turning out to be a very significant historical occurrence.
The UK voted to tear up an agreement they signed with nearly thirty other European democracies. That agreement involved cooperating in matters of mutual interest, including a customs union and the freedom of movement of people.
Brexit is, therefore, a declaration of economic war. In relation to the UK’s former colony Ireland, however, it is much more than that.
Through Brexit, the UK has voted to tear up the Good Friday Agreement they signed with Ireland. Among the many economic and political results will be the reimposition of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Much of the powerful, London opinion-forming media, while backing Brexit, wants silence on the border issue.
This same media, which spewed anti-EU propaganda and cheer-led a public discourse at the level of the ‘straight banana’ for decades, is now telling us Irish people that we are ‘puerile’ and to ‘shut our gobs’ on this issue. The answer to that has to be no.
To suggest that we are contributing to a ‘hard Brexit’ and should shut up is a pathetic return to the old colonial attitude that we are the ‘deluded’ Irish and should know our place. The present situation is a result of the decision of those who voted for Brexit, approximately 87% of whom were English.
We, in this country, have to continue to say, firmly, but with respect, to those English people who are responsible for the present situation, that the consequence of their intimidatory attitude will be dire for cooperation in Europe for a long time to come.There should be no apologies for that.
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