MITCHELL WARNS UK ON BREXIT BORDER IMPLICATIONS
While in Ireland US Secretary of State John Kerry will be discussing Brexit and of course one of the major concerns over Brexit is its impact on cross-border relations and the Irish Peace process.
The Celtic League supported the peace process because we saw it as ultimately leading to the final elimination of that artificial border between six counties of Ireland and the rest of the country. In that context the Brexit decision seems to row back towards a situation we thought consigned to the dustbin of history.
Another US politician has been expressing his concerns (link):
Senator George Mitchell has an intimate knowledge of the Irish political scene and successfully conducted discussions with most of the parties to the long running conflict. He can see that Brexit potentially could see one party – the UK – rewriting what was a fully participatory process and there is no way either the Dublin government or Republicans will allow that.
Mitchell warns about a return to a ‘hard border’ saying:
“I believe that the restoration of a militarised border with strict controls limiting traffic back and forth would have an adverse effect on relations within the island of Ireland,” he said.
“The ability to move back and forward across the border that has existed for the past several years has been very helpful in increasing commerce and also in reducing stereotypes on both sides.
“I think that that would be a step backward for that to occur.”
Mitchell as always is diplomatic but the stakes are high here with talk already of unmanned RAF drones such as those used in Afghanistan ‘policing’ the border and a return to the surveillance culture that pertained for decades (link):
It will ultimately be for the Irish people – in the whole of that Island – to determine their future and that can not be jeopardised by a group of Brexiteers in London and their fellow travellers in the Unionist community in the six counties!
Image: Irish troops support Gardai on the border during the troubles.
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch
Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.