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Ambiguous relations in international and local politics aren’t new

News Letter logo News Letter 11/07/2022 Letters
© Boris Johnson’s options were limited by a parliament that said there couldn’t be a deal without Brus...

To the credit of Ben Lowry (June 9), and the News Letter, he was the only one in the media who drew attention to the ambiguities in the Brexit Agreement with Brussels and the consequence that could follows for Northern Ireland.

In fairness, surely, to Boris Johnson his options were limited by a parliament that rejected Theresa May’s Agreement whilst later insisting that there could be no agreement without Brussels agreement?

Besides that limitation there was the agreement on the part of all that there could be no hard EU international border partitioning Ireland in the Brexit agreement.

Do not forget when Brussels some while back ‘forgot’ (its way of reminding others) to inform Dublin first that the EU international border, and not the Irish Sea, was the border that partitions Ireland and, therefore, Brussels was triggering Article 16 there was an explosion of protest, including that from Arlene Foster, about what would be a hard EU border partitioning Ireland.

Faced with these restrictions Boris, Machiavelli-like, may have signed an agreement that he would wriggle out from in some way or other.

In that respect not unlike Michael Collins signing in 1922 to a recognition of Northern Ireland that he did not recognise but tried to destroy. That recognition came later when Whitehall persuaded Margaret Thatcher to sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement that recognised the legitimacy of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom and, therefore, the legitimacy of London and unionism. Unionism has not shown much intelligence in exploiting it preferring to bay about betrayal.

text © Letter to the editor

As for ambiguities, there is nothing new in that in the relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the archipelago. I grew up in a Northern Ireland that paid a separate sum of money to Whitehall for Defence and Consular services abroad. To travel to London I had to get a Travel Permit from the RUC in Queen’s Street, whereas in the same year no travel permit was required for travel to Dublin.

WA Miller,

Belfast BT13

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