No need to rush to war at a time when we’re still trying to put the last one to bed … – Slugger O’Toole


Often when there is a need to say something, it is Newton Emerson who has it the courage to say it. Taking a cue from Liverpool investigation last week he said this about findings suggesting there is a consensus on maintaining the protocol …

But on the Unionist side, note …

Unionist acceptance of the protocol is resignation, not enthusiasm. This silent majority is to some extent an embarrassed majority, digesting the blame of trade unionism for its own situation.

Unionists must also accept that living within an agreement contrary to their nationality is what they demand of nationalists. I believe you can feel the wheels spinning on that thought if you are quiet enough in the center of the garden.

Going forward …

The DUP leader promises that London’s threat to trigger Article 16 will get major changes to the protocol, though it won’t remove it. Even if he is wrong, this is a realistic positioning, in line with the apparent intentions of the British government.

Most trade unionists hope the ploy succeeds, but they will not be impressed by Donaldson’s attempts to claim credit and unnerved by rising tensions. What the garden center really wants from the DUP is contrition.

There will be more dismay at the EU response in London. Threatening a trade war with the UK is something almost no trade unionist can support. He assures that Brussels will lose the sympathy of the majority in Northern Ireland, which he professes to appreciate.

The rush to declare war is because the delay could prove that there are no serious risks to the single market and the protocol has been absurdly too engineered.. This could be seen as frightening cynicism. [Emphasis added]

as Brian Walker noticed yesterday, the EU’s ability to “declare war” is completely hidden under its own rules. Passing time will only reveal more facts about the reality of the matter as to whether we need the more regulated border in the EU.

If this were not the case, then, over time, the sharp bellicosity of the Tanaista (aimed, perhaps, to embarrass the Taoiseach more than for any foreign policy reason) will prove to be nothing more than, to quote Macbeth, “sound and fury , which means nothing “.

It is not just Unionists who have witnessed the drift in an all pervasive and anti-British public reflection in the South. The Liverpool poll also notes, not for the first time, how far nationalism is from having a border poll, let alone winning one.

In real terms, Irish unity is and always has been a complicated affair. His strongest supporters of Sinn Féin to date refuse to condemn even one of 2152 lives taken by their fellow paramilitaries on behalf of what they called Irish Freedom.

On the other hand, the UK’s Brexit policy has been tested almost all that has been achieved in bilateral relations over the past 27 years. But there is nothing that can replace the building of bonds of belonging between all the people of the island.

Brexit has tested those bonds to the breaking point. In reaction, Sinn Féin’s endless promises of unity (predicting the end of the British union indefinitely and failing indefinitely) is now the most popular party in the republic.

But as Newton notes, if the people of the south think that the island’s imminent unity will provide them with emotionally satisfying revenge on Perfidious Albion for putting they we all through hell are ruling out about 80% of the evidence.

The Republic owes nothing to trade unionism Brexitbut must accept that union is a fact for a long time to come – a particular challenge under a future Sinn Féin government.

No one can predict that Northern Ireland will celebrate a second centenary because no one can imagine anything a century ahead. However, a 150th anniversary is plausible, even probable.

Protocol pragmatism is the only sustainable common ground for everyone on this island in this time frame.

It can also contain the germ of future unity. But Liverpool investigation it shows how few people in NI want this thing not to work. A report on Radio Four in Rathcoole yesterday also made it clear that loyalist residents want politics to work.

A period of silence from the gobshs! Tes (be they in Belfast, Dublin, London or Brussels) is definitely in order for a while? I saw warehouses stacked up to the ceiling with German goods ready for distribution in Two internal markets.

The anticipation of an economic renaissance is not based on false promises, but on what has already been achieved by the practical implementation of the NI Protocol as it is. If we can fix the E / W plumbing, then the war will truly to be over.

“All knowledge hurts.”
Cassandra Clare


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