The European Union has been calling the shots since the beginning of the Brexit negotiations. They have stipulated when and how the talks must take place and the “milestones” that must be reached for the next stages to go ahead. Much to the disappointment of the British public, Prime Minister Theresa May has weakly accepted that the EU Commission (and frontman Michel Barnier) are in the driving seat.
The first stage in the capitulation was to agree that a certain sum of funds was to be paid to the EU. This sum was not a guarantee of trade deals or single market access, but a figure put forward by the Commission as a “Divorce Bill.” Ostensibly it covers the UK’s ongoing commitments in terms of agreements already made and pensions for UK workers in the EU; in reality, it is to cover the budget deficit that would effectively render the EU bankrupt by 2020. Mrs. May, much to the chagrin of the pro-leave camp, agreed to a sum in the region of 50 billion GBP.
With this money in hand, the EU allowed talks to move onto the second stage which involves the border between Northern Ireland (which is an integral part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member state. This was always going to be a difficult step in the process as so much work has been done over the decades to work with the IRA and bring about the Good Friday Agreement.
But major problems have arisen with a constitutional question. The Republic of Ireland has demanded that no hard border be placed between themselves and Northern Ireland which they state would be a breach of all previous agreements. Yet how is the UK to manage border security if checks cannot be made when entering British territory?
As a voting member state of the EU, the Republic of Ireland (RoI) has the right to veto any and all deals that may be made between the UK and Eurozone. Every single other thing could be in place, and every other nation could be willing to go ahead with an agreed upon structure, but if the RoI decides it doesn’t like the deal, the whole thing falls apart.
Documents have been released that show PM Theresa May is willing to cave into the EU and RoI demands and sacrifice Northern Ireland to the European Union in terms of trade, access, and regulation. An excerpt from the 15 page briefing says: “in the absence of agreed solutions the UK will ensure that there continues to be continued regulatory alignment.” Which means that in order to comply with RoI demands over “no hard border,” she is quite willing to give up UK jurisdiction over a quarter of the United Kingdom.
This is not only unconstitutional, it is potentially treasonous.
As the headlines in the mainstream media began proclaiming “the true cost of Brexit,” very few media voices were pointing out the reality that no deal actually has to be made.
The fact is that if Britain decided to say “Au Revoir” to the EU today, there would be no legal ramifications. Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, there is UP TO two years to negotiate any deals, but no obligation to actually have one.
But Prime Minister May did not want to leave the European Union in the first place, and actively campaigned for Britain to remain a member. There are many who suspect that she is quite willing to sacrifice whatever is needed to either keep the UK in the EU through backdoor legislation, or make the situation so unpalatable that she can put forward another referendum. She has shown herself to be spineless and not serving the democratic will of the British people.
Fortunately, there is hope o the Irish question. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is Mrs. May’s coalition partners in government after she failed to win an outright majority. The DUP is a party that represents Northern Ireland in Westminster Parliament, and they are “true Brexiteers.”
The leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster, has made it supremely clear that Northern Ireland is as much a part of Britain as England, and that they will accept no deal whatsoever that means they have a different set of rules, regulations and jurisdictions to the rest of the United Kingdom. She said:
“We will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the United Kingdom.”
Where does this leave the Prime Minister? She cannot force Northern Ireland to accept the rule of the EU, and she refuses to pull out of negotiations without some kind of deal. The sad truth is that she is putting the EU before the best interests and the democratic will of the British people. It seems that Northern Ireland must lead the way for British Parliament to become sovereign once more.