The proposals, already rejected last year, are only the latest in a long line of failings in Britain’s negotiations with the island of Irelandby Katy Hayward / May 14, 2018 / Leave a comment
“Hopefully we won’t, in this part of the world, be the sacrificial lamb that will be traded away as part of a deal between the European Union and the UK at the end of the day. There is that risk. And I understand the fine words that people have for us—you know, ‘we’ll protect the open border’ and all the rest of it. But you wait until the final outcome until you know what the real story is.”
As with the referendum itself, the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is characterised by indecision and conflict within the Conservative Party. The whole country, the whole continent indeed, has to wait on hold whilst internecine struggles of personality and ambition play themselves out.
But there is an anguish in the waiting and a sharpness to the uncertainty that is distinct in the border region in Ireland. As one participant explained during the focus group on the Fermanagh/Donegal border, public promises mean little when they can be subject to tweaking, twisting and even outright trashing when they are put back on the British cabinet table.