Irish Republican News · January 6, 2017
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Cable calls for united Ireland as Brexit border solution


A former leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats has called for a “united Ireland in Europe” as a means of dealing with the fallout over Britain’s Brexit decision to quit the EU.

In an article in which he cast doubt on the future of free movement in the EU, Vince Cable called for a “more rational immigration policy” in Britain, while legitimising the position of EU nationals already there.

More significantly, he called for a united Ireland as the solution to policing immigration from Ireland.

“The permeability of the Irish border must lead to a united Ireland in Europe,” said Cable, who is a former British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

His comments came as it was announced that it is now official policy of the Dublin government to push for a commitment that the Six Counties be directly admitted to the European Union in the event of Irish unity.

The talks on Britain’s departure from the EU, due to begin by the end of March, are expected ro take account of the prospect of reunification.

The example being cited, and the argument that will be deployed by the Dublin government, is that of East Germany becoming an automatic member of the then European Community on the day of German reunification in October 1990.

It is argued that unity could come about via that section of the Good Friday Agreement which states that the British government can call a referendum on Irish unity within the Six Counties. London has so far refused calls by Sinn Fein to do so.

Joining the EU can otherwise take years, with candidate countries having to satisfy a number of conditions even before formal negotiations officially begin.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny recently told German media that the Irish people will never accept a remilitarised ‘hard border’ between the North and the South of Ireland.

The media reports explain to German audiences from an Irish perspective the economic fears and peace process risks should full Border checks return to what, in future, will be the EU’s outer western wall.

“The citizens will not accept the return of a hard Border in Ireland,” said Mr Kenny to the leading Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) daily.

Saying he “didn’t like but accepted” the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the Taoiseach warned of incalculable risks for 50,000 cross-Border commuters and trade ties with Ireland’s larger neighbour worth [euro]1 billion weekly. To speak nothing, he said, of the risks to the fragile peace process in the North.

“Too often the peace is seen as a given,” he added.

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