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Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
Some people just need to go out more.
Some people shouldn't be let back in again after they've gone out.

Originally Posted by dc koop View Post
I know full well that the Republic of Ireland is now a prosperous, progressive first world Euro nation. I don't see why it would particularly want re-unification with the north. The northern Irish throughout history have always wanted to remain part of the UK. So really why would anyone give a **** for N.I and what advantage would NI be to the Irish Republic ?. Let it sink or swim with the rest of the UK
I can't speak for the ROI but I would hazard a guess that they still see NI as a part of Ireland and would like the whole country to be reunited again. I have seen figures up to 60% in support of a unified Ireland in the Republic. You might see support for a united Ireland growing even among unionists though if Brexit does go ahead. Why should NI stay part of the UK when it's clear the rest of the UK doesn't give a shit about them anyway - that should be the question you're asking.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by materialcontroller View Post
Never been. Is it that bad then?
I'm partly joking, but yeah Larne's a bit of a figure of fun for most people in NI. Even my own town of Carrickfergus is fast becoming a bit of a UDA shithole, which is really disappointing because it's such a nice town otherwise, which is harder to say about Larne

Originally Posted by materialcontroller View Post
I visited a few places in NI - Belfast, Derry, Armagh as well as the obligatory trip to Giant's Causeway (and a stop off for a couple of pints in Joey's Bar in Ballymoney). All pleasant enough. This was after The Troubles of course.

It's a bloody strange place though. I've got another mate (Protestant) that lives in Kilkeel, and even though it's quite close to the border, she's never visited the ROI. Not once.
Lots of lovely places to visit all over NI though, Belfast has really improved itself a lot since the ceasefire. Not sure why your mate in Kilkeel is so reluctant to cross the border, plenty of Prods I grew up with have been all over the island. Dublin's a great place for a pint.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Some people shouldn't be let back in again after they've gone out.



I can't speak for the ROI but I would hazard a guess that they still see NI as a part of Ireland and would like the whole country to be reunited again. I have seen figures up to 60% in support of a unified Ireland in the Republic. You might see support for a united Ireland growing even among unionists though if Brexit does go ahead. Why should NI stay part of the UK when it's clear the rest of the UK doesn't give a shit about them anyway - that should be the question you're asking.
Recent poll shows 63% want it. I posted it earlier in this thread.

But it's not up to the republic. It's up to NI. Currently, it seems the support for reunification in NI is less than half. But that could change a lot if things go pear shaped. And the only reason NI is suddenly so important to England is because the DUP props up the minority government, and NI is a barrier to beloved Brexit. You think NI will still matter after this is over (if it ever is)?
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
Recent poll shows 63% want it. I posted it earlier in this thread.

But it's not up to the republic. It's up to NI. Currently, it seems the support for reunification in NI is less than half. But that could change a lot if things go pear shaped. And the only reason NI is suddenly so important to England is because the DUP props up the minority government, and NI is a barrier to beloved Brexit. You think NI will still matter after this is over (if it ever is)?
It's going to be interesting to see how that does change. The timing of the border poll would obviously make a difference, but given enough time, there might be increased support for reunification if some kind of a hard border was imposed. That's a massive red line for me, because of that whole Good Friday Agreement that I voted for and everything of course, but I don't really matter anyway I suppose.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

If it's any consolation, you're not the only one.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 10:10 pm
  #51  
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
If it's any consolation, you're not the only one.
It is, I know there are many, many more.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 11:37 pm
  #52  
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

That's probably been true since Ireland was partitioned, but is an utterly misleading statement.

In other news, "The majority of Middle Easterners would like to see Israel elminated".

That said, as NI voted against Brexit, I'd let them go if it saved Brexit.

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Old Mar 19th 2019, 5:29 am
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
Why would it not? It belongs to them. Always has. Also would solve the border issue and allow England to run off in isolationist glory. What's not to like?
"Belongs" was never a legal argument where land and history are concerned. When the native Irish land owners were being cast off the lands of Ulster to be replaced by Scots Presbyterians the native American Indians were also losing their land to newly arrived settlers from Europe. Israeli land used to belong to the Palestinian Arabs

Ulster does belong to the Irish however, the Catholics and the Protestants but not necessarily to the Irish republic.

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Old Mar 19th 2019, 6:02 am
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
Ireland (nor NI) is no longer an impoverished country. It's "first world". It "doesn't suck". It's an EU member state (what NI wanted).

​​​​​​First world inhabitants today are more interested in their futures than their religion. They're faced with first world problems, like buying a home, that new BMW, sending the kids to uni... Brexit will make that more difficult, particularly for inhabitants of the UK.

But what if they could still "remain", despite Brexit?
Would a hard border risk the re- emergence of the IRA? This was an issue raised during a discussion on Brexit on the BBC America News channel recently.

2019 is not a date to be particularly euphoric over,
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Old Mar 19th 2019, 7:05 am
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That's probably been true since Ireland was partitioned, but is an utterly misleading statement.

In other news, "The majority of Middle Easterners would like to see Israel elminated".

That said, as NI voted against Brexit, I'd let them go if it saved Brexit.
They took a poll. No need to get all philosophical.

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Old Mar 19th 2019, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
He had a twin! the one they don't talk about
And the Virgin Mary named them both Jesus? Call me skeptical but that's where the story falls apart.
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

I've just had to do a very rapid catch-up on this thread, as I wasn't aware of its existence, having been tied up else where in a "discussion" with some other contributors.

A few(!) points from the viewpoint of someone from the Republic, but with more time in the UK than spent at home (take this as a caveat, views have changed, others may not agree). This is going to be a Looooooooong post!!

Firstly - and most importantly - you don't get to choose whether NI remains a part of the UK. You gave that power up long ago. It is a constituent part of the UK and will remain so until the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland uses the power wielded though Royal Privilege to call a referendum within NI. rUK has no say, Parliament has no voice, the decision lies in the hands of the incumbent of that role who *must* call a poll if it seems likely that there would be a positive (in the sense of leave) outcome. This is your law, live with it.

Secondly, should any such poll vote for NI to leave the UK (which would cease to exist and just become GB, I guess???), that does NOT automatically mean that it reunites with the Republic - although there are constitutional references which might suggest otherwise. It would probably mean there would have to be a series of "Oh Christ!!" meetings to sort out the way forward. Imagine the joys of another Brexit-type debate, where everyone knows what they DON'T want!

As Sultan has said, anyone born on the island of Ireland is an Irish citizen and entitled to a passport. The Republic declared after the landslide 1918 general election was a 32-county Republic and it is in defence of that Republic (they say) that the "Old" IRA refused to accept the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921, refused to recognize the gerrymandered border partitioning the 6 most protestant and unionist counties from the rest (those also happening to be the most prosperous at that time and a major source of industrial output for the British Empire), refused to accept the idea of a "Free State" dominion within the British Empire and the continued allegiance to the British crown. After Partition and the creation of the current states within Ireland, this led to a vicious Civil war which burned into the soul of all who were involved, where these "anti-treaty" forces fought their erstwhile comrades in the war of independence. In this i declare my interest - my grandfather was a CQMS in the Free State Army Military Police (at that time the nearest there was to "special forces") and spent several years chasing IRA flying columns around Munster. The Free State prevailed, but nobody won.
"Southern Ireland" as may Brits mistakenly call it, remained as a part of the Empire until 1937, when a new constitution severed ties and created a de facto republic - but the tile "Republic of Ireland" was not used until 1949. In Much of this may be news to many of you - I've failed to educate more than a minority in my 40+ years in the UK.

So, clarifications and background done - on to the matter in hand.......

Should a majority in NI vote to leave the UK, there would be meetings to decide what the future would be. Those who are vehemently unionist in NI would be orphaned..... and finally they would no longer be able to claim to be "loyalists" to crown that no longer had dominion, nor "unionists" to a union of which they were no longer a part - but when have facts limited aspirations? They would constitute a sizeable minority in the overall population and could certainly wreak havoc. For the nationalists, there would be few such issues, so I think they would move to the "Irish" side of the abacus. For those who feel in neither camp, like Sultan, it would be a matter of personal choice. In the end, you might end up with an 80/20 split overall, and perhaps half of the 20% would be potential wreckers. Even if only half of those actually propose resistance, that is still 5% of the overall population. Ouch.

So, we're on to compromise with those who refuse compromise (see what I mean about Brexit?) The flying pigs and unicorns would be in full flood, King Billy, Wolfe Tone, Padraig Pearse and the Pope would be on every corner, the lambeg drum and the uilleann pipes would dominate the airwaves, etc., etc.

One thing seems certain to me - the Republic could not absorb NI, or at least, not the current Republic - so whilst for you on the East-side of the Irish Sea struggle to find a banana republic that needs second-hand bicycles to trade, the Irish would face the prospect of a root-and-branch re-evaluation of their nation and constitution (which is actually pretty good, as such things go). I see no victory in the reunification of a country that should never have been divided in the first place, but equally, I really don't want to force anyone to come to my party or make their lives a misery - and, at the same time, I'm buggered if I'll see my country stuffed again in order to dig the UK out of a hole of its own making....... so, what to do?

There have been attempts to foresee this issue, and (ducks) I favour the "Éire Nua" (New Ireland) approach which suggested the dissolution of the current Republic and the creation of a new federal republic, made up of the four historic provinces, each with its own assembly and a central government based in neither Dublin nor Belfast, but Athlone. The provision for a "Dáil Uladh" or Ulster Assemby is designed to assure non-nationalists in the north that their traditions and way of life would be represented and locally controlled in the new republic. So far so good...... BUT ,there are a few issues with this. Firstly, this proposition carries the unfortunate imprimatur of Provisional Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA... not likely to go down a bunch in East Belfast, which is a shame, because it's a damned good starting point. Secondly, Dáil Uladh would represent the ancient province of Ulster - all 9 counties, three of which are predominantly catholic and currently part of the Republic, so, again, not a good look for the Orangemen and (for now) lastly, there is the matter of the relationship between the provincial assemblies and the federal core government. Good try though....

I'll stop now - but i hope I've given a flavour of the immediate issues that lie behind the oft-heard cry "Why don't we just get rid of NI?". One would have hoped after "Brexit means Brexit" ,that people would recognise that things have a habit of being far more complex than they appear. But the title of this thread doesn't suggest that...... To recap: It isn't for Brits to decide where NI lies politically, that bird has flown. It isn't a given that the Republic accepts NI if it decides to leave the UK and there will be a lot of tears before bedtime on all sides when it happens......

Questions?
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by dc koop View Post
Would a hard border risk the re- emergence of the IRA? This was an issue raised during a discussion on Brexit on the BBC America News channel recently.
yes, without any doubt (although the IRA, or something claiming that title is already active)

A hard border suggests infrastructure. Infrastructure will be attacked. So you move Border force to man the border, they will be attacked. So you move the police to the border to protect Border Force, they will be attacked. So you end up with the Army deployed - and attacked. Welcome back to the 1970s.

"The IRA" is an interesting descriptor. The IRA was formed from the Irish Volunteers to be the Army of the new republic declared after the 1918 elections (this is now called the "Old" IRA)
After 1921 the pro-treaty IRA formed the basis of the Free State National Army, whilst the anti-treaty IRA "irregulars" fought them in the Civil War.
After the Civil War the IRA became a proscribed organiization in the Free State/Republic and membership was illegal. In common parlance they were "the Boys" - this is the start of the IRA you "know".
In 1969, mainly northern units broke away to form the Provisional IRA ("provos"), the remaining Dublin-based organization were known as the "Official IRA" ("stickies")
In 1991 Sinn Féin (that is the officials, not the provos) renamed itself "The Worker's Party" and within a short time ceased any armed struggle. So the Provos became Sinn Féin and the IRA.
...... still with me??
In addition to the Provos, there were other groups, notably INLA - but the strength of the IRA kept these on the margins (mostly)
In 1986 the Continuity IRA broke from the Provos, after the Provos voted to recognize Dublin (don't ask!)
In 1997 the Real IRA broke away fro the Provos in protest at the cessation of hostilities and the Good Friday Agreement (dejá vu, 1921)
..... and from then on it seems any loner in his bedroom with a Glock and a pound of semtex has called himself "The *** IRA" - (***, fill in the blanks with a random word)

The WORRY, is not that something claiming the title comes back, but that the actual organization is reborn and retakes the mantle of its predecessors as one of the most successful guerrilla armies in the world, capable of tying down 26,000 British troops for an extended period and never defeated. The WORRY is that the tacticians and intelligence guys, who ran rings around the British (regardless of claims of penetration) come back to the fight. I hope not, I'd like to sleep at night.

Right so! I'll lave ye ta yer tay!

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Old Mar 24th 2019, 6:20 am
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
yes, without any doubt (although the IRA, or something claiming that title is already active)

A hard border suggests infrastructure. Infrastructure will be attacked. So you move Border force to man the border, they will be attacked. So you move the police to the border to protect Border Force, they will be attacked. So you end up with the Army deployed - and attacked. Welcome back to the 1970s.

"The IRA" is an interesting descriptor. The IRA was formed from the Irish Volunteers to be the Army of the new republic declared after the 1918 elections (this is now called the "Old" IRA)
After 1921 the pro-treaty IRA formed the basis of the Free State National Army, whilst the anti-treaty IRA "irregulars" fought them in the Civil War.
After the Civil War the IRA became a proscribed organiization in the Free State/Republic and membership was illegal. In common parlance they were "the Boys" - this is the start of the IRA you "know".
In 1969, mainly northern units broke away to form the Provisional IRA ("provos"), the remaining Dublin-based organization were known as the "Official IRA" ("stickies")
In 1991 Sinn Féin (that is the officials, not the provos) renamed itself "The Worker's Party" and within a short time ceased any armed struggle. So the Provos became Sinn Féin and the IRA.
...... still with me??
In addition to the Provos, there were other groups, notably INLA - but the strength of the IRA kept these on the margins (mostly)
In 1986 the Continuity IRA broke from the Provos, after the Provos voted to recognize Dublin (don't ask!)
In 1997 the Real IRA broke away fro the Provos in protest at the cessation of hostilities and the Good Friday Agreement (dejá vu, 1921)
..... and from then on it seems any loner in his bedroom with a Glock and a pound of semtex has called himself "The *** IRA" - (***, fill in the blanks with a random word)

The WORRY, is not that something claiming the title comes back, but that the actual organization is reborn and retakes the mantle of its predecessors as one of the most successful guerrilla armies in the world, capable of tying down 26,000 British troops for an extended period and never defeated. The WORRY is that the tacticians and intelligence guys, who ran rings around the British (regardless of claims of penetration) come back to the fight. I hope not, I'd like to sleep at night.

Right so! I'll lave ye ta yer tay!
And it's obvious from the viewpoint of the IRA that a hard border signifies that the division of Ireland is being regarded as a permanent one. Another issue is regarding the movement of Northern Irish to the Republic and vice versa. Would work visas and permanent residency applications be required in both cases. Quite ridiculous really.

Last edited by dc koop; Mar 24th 2019 at 6:27 am.
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Why do we need to hang on to NI, anyhow?

Originally Posted by dc koop View Post
And it's obvious from the viewpoint of the IRA that a hard border signifies that the division of Ireland is being regarded as a permanent one. Another issue is regarding the movement of Northern Irish to the Republic and vice versa. Would work visas and permanent residency applications be required in both cases. Quite ridiculous really.
Border infrastructure would suggest that to everyone, not just the IRA - and any issues wouldn't necessarily start with them. Whether or not the authorities care to admit it, when the troubles started, the IRA were not "active", but were local units who sprang to the defence of their areas in the face of the burnings and intimidation, before the Army was deployed. That's why they were so "embedded" within the nationalist community. Things have a habit of escalating - so it could be local hotheads who would smash up a border post..... but escalation will mean an official presence and the danger of reaction. If a PSNI officer is shot, the headlines will be "IRA", regardless whether it is an organized attack or not. This is what I foresee now, but the law of unforeseen circumstances applies in spades.

With regard to border crossing - the focus has been on trade...... but my concern is more around what you have just said. I have a selfish interest here, as my life has depended on the CTA and my "pseudo-British" rights of free movement, work and voting (replicated by the "pseudo-Irish" rights of English people I know in the Republic). It makes no sense that someone travelling from France to England would have to pass through immigration, but the same person could enter the Republic under FoM and just walk across the border into NI. Data could be collected for passengers arriving in the Republic, but that would go against the spirit, if not the letter, of FoM - and anyway, how would any future intention to enter the UK be known? So, are we to have passport control between the Republic and the UK for the first time? If so, what other parts of the CTA are up for grabs?

On top of that, you have to understand what the border is. It is an imposed division that cuts across properties and communities - there are roads where you cross the border several times in a few miles, there are farms which straddle the border, there are people who live one side and work on the other (one of my techies lived in Donegal, but worked in Derry). It was a "quick and dirty" solution to an issue thought up in a back-room somewhere, so surprise, surprise, it's a complete mess - and short-term solutions to "get around" Brexit issues aren't likely to help!!

Last edited by macliam; Mar 24th 2019 at 11:06 am.
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