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It's all very well having red lines which seek to establish the supremacy of British Law and Courts over the EU, establish the right to negotiate your own trade deals or implement immigration controls incompatible with EU law. These things are arguable policy objectives which may or may not have real economic and social consequences over time, but they are hardly matters of life and death or of the stability of the entire political system. Re-imposing a hard border undermines the peaceful resolution of a civil war North and south, and so is hardly a matter any Irish government is going to accept as negotiable.

In reality, Leo Varadker, and the minority Fine Gael government he leads is the least nationalistic major party and government possible in Ireland. Fine Gael is descended from the faction which supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922 and accepted the partition of Ireland and the creation of the border as a price they had no option but to pay as the cost of obtaining freedom for the south from the British Empire.

There has always been a lingering sense that the N. Ireland nationalist community were betrayed as the price for independence for the south. Leo Varadker can't afford to be seen as betraying them all over again, failing in his duty to act as joint guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, and indeed failing to give expression and support to the fact that a majority in N. Ireland voted against Brexit and voted to remain citizens of the EU.

Keeping the border open is therefore an existential issue for the government. Why should the DUP, which received only 28% of the vote in the last Assembly elections be allowed to hold the rest of the country to ransom? Supporting Brexit may have been a legitimate political choice before the referendum. Supporting it after it was decisively rejected by a majority in N. Ireland is a wanton act of political sectarianism calculated to undermine all the improvements in cross-community relations which have occurred since the GFA was ratified by referenda by majorities of 71% in the North and 94% in the south 1998.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 20th, 2019 at 11:10:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would you speak in greater detail about factional/legislators' support and opposition to Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922? This history is quite provocative, given the faint impression I for one have been left in USA that immigrants to north America are entirely responsible for fomenting civil war in Ireland.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jan 20th, 2019 at 06:31:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 1922 Anglo Irish Treaty caused a split in what was then Sinn Fein into factions for and against, which later became Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. Some families were divided by this split, but as a generalisation, Fine Gael was made up largely by a bourgeoisie of larger farmers, small businesses, the professions and those who had a stake in maintaining the economic status quo. Fianna Fail, on the other hand, had a slight preponderance of smaller farmers, the landless, jobless, and those with a lesser vested interest in the status quo.

It could be as simple as a split between oldest sons (who inherited the family farm/business, and their siblings who had almost no prospects.

I would not be surprised if a large majority of those who emigrated to the USA during and after the civil war were those with a lesser stake in the status quo, lesser economic prospects, and disillusion with a political establishment who had traded their dream of a largely secular united Ireland with a much lesser 95% Roman Catholic dominated, conservative, repressive, 26 (out of 32) county state.

However I have never seen any data on the political allegiances of those who emigrated to the USA during this period, so this must remain a conjecture.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 20th, 2019 at 08:57:02 PM EST
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