Ukraine war means it’s all over for protocol protests

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By Brian Feeney (for Irish News)

We’re living through the biggest geopolitical shock since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

Unthinkable switches, 180 degree turns, policy reversals which you would never have imagined have taken days, not decades.

Germany, which has avoided military expenditure and entanglements for seventy-five years suddenly announced a €100 billion defence budget, the biggest in the EU. The EU announced that, as a body, not individual states, it’s sending armaments to Ukraine.

Those are some of the spectacular shifts which will affect Europe for decades. Some are less spectacular but just as important because they reinforce the stupidity of the Brexiteers in England and their DUP dupes here.

First, why did Volodymyr Zelensky plead with the EU for Ukraine to be urgently accepted as a candidate for membership of the EU? The answer is a simple truth, disgracefully denied by the Brexit tribe. It’s this: the EU was constructed over decades from the ashes of wartime Europe starting in the 1950s. The stronger the EU, the stronger is peace in Europe and the safer European people are. The insane actions of Vlad the Invader have brought Europeans closer together in that conviction.

You can go on YouTube and watch Jeremy Hunt, then British foreign secretary, in 2018 comparing being ‘imprisoned’ in the EU to living in one of the former Soviet satellite states in eastern Europe. What do you reckon he thinks now?

On the other hand you can run your mind over the distasteful line of Putin apologists starting with Nigel Farage, a regular figure on the now banned Russian propaganda channel RT. RT declared Farage its “favourite British politician.” Why wouldn’t they? After all, he declared Putin “the world leader I most admire”.

At least Farage was open about his admiration. Most of the Conservative Brexiteers who took money from Russians, cuddled up to oligarchs, partied on their super-yachts, let them hide billions in London property they keep derelict, or buy football teams, denied any connection with Putin, yet canoodled with his cronies.

Putin had people in England poisoned with radioactive material, but hey, that’s OK as long as his cronies deliver Russian money.

Make no mistake, the biggest supporter of Brexit was Putin. Why? He wanted to weaken Europe, dismantle it if possible.

That’s the crowd the DUP felt most at home with. Remember the photos of DUP MPs with posters supporting Putin admirer and Brexit supporter, Trump, in his 2020 campaign? We still don’t know how much money Putin put in (geddit?) to fund Brexit and who his main agents were.

Run your mind back over some of the stupid speeches DUP figures made parroting Tory Brexiteers, spreading fake news in 2016-7, accusing the EU of being an occupier, a foreign bureaucracy. Now only Jim Allister comes out with that codswallop.

They were all on the wrong side of history and they haven’t caught up yet. Here’s the news. As Lord Ricketts, former head of the Foreign Office said last week, “it’s now glaringly obvious Britain must have a closer relationship with the EU”.

Liz Truss couldn’t wait to join the EU Council of foreign ministers’ special meeting last week. Guess what wasn’t on the table boys? The protocol or, guess what, Article 16.

It’s over boys. You can tramp round Crossgar, Ballymoney and Lurgan and up hill and down dale behind DUP dupes, but the last thought in Boris Johnson’s mind now is starting a trade war. So save your shoe leather.

You should be grateful that for the north there’s a way back into the EU. Did you know the EU won the Nobel peace prize in 2012?

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