‘A very good deal for Northern Ireland’

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What of Northern Ireland? The case for their independence – or joining Ireland, known as republicanism – is clearly being felt by the public.
The sudden and remarkable rise of Sinn Fein in the recent elections – an explicitly republican party – is perhaps evidence of this.
For the first time, parties who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK no longer have an effective majority in the parliament.
Even if Northern Ireland does not gain full independence as a result of historic tensions, those same historic tensions may cause the Northern Irish to get a very good deal from the EU after Brexit anyway.
This could take the form of custom spot checks, not dissimilar to arrangements between Norway and Sweden, or it could be that Northern Ireland is given special access to the customs union that England will not enjoy.
The other option, less likely but not implausible, is that Brexit pushes Northern Ireland fully out of the UK. If so, no doubt some of those same manufacturers considering a move to Scotland, not to mention financial firms, might alternatively hop across the Irish Sea.
Already, more than 100 major financial firms are said to have made inquiries with Irish regulators about such a move. Either way, uniquely across the UK as it stands, far better access to the largest free trade bloc in the world will be enjoyed by Northern Ireland than by its English counterparts.
‘Boorish arrogance’
What is remarkable about all this is how little interest the London-centric media is showing in the imminent break-up of our country, not to mention that England is facing a long-lasting economic challenge when compared to her national siblings.
There have been some exceptions. Adam Boulton, a high-profile commentator and columnist, noted after the shock gains of the pro-Remain and pro-republican Sinn Fein party in the Northern Irish elections that “the almost complete absence of reports in London-based ‘national’ newspapers on the Northern Ireland election shows the capital is barely aware of what’s going on across the Irish Sea now the bombs aren’t going off,” predicting that “restless Ulster may beat Scots to the exit”.
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