A world of undreamt opportunity may be about to open in Ireland, thanks, as always, to the English.
In the last few days, senior police officers in Northern Ireland have warned of the risks of terrorist violence if the border with the Irish Republic ‘hardens’ under a Brexit Deal or No Deal. At the same time, the governor of the Central Bank of Ireland has warned that a No Deal Brexit would have “an immediate and severe impact on almost all areas of economic activity”. Meanwhile, a global recession is hull up on the horizon. Bad news all round you might think. But you would, of course, be wrong. Were you a political or economic gangster, a terrorist or a smuggler on the Island of Ireland, you would be gearing up to take full advantage of the opportunities which, thanks to the No Dealers amongst English politicians, are about to come knocking at your door.
The opportunities and the incentives to smuggle, which is already a problem, would blossom with more rules to flout and hence more profits to be made. Meanwhile, the pressure to tackle it would grow not least because what was tolerable while both countries were members of the same political union and singe market would become intolerable when Northern Ireland reverts to being an outpost of a separate British state. Hence, short of a ‘trusted smuggler scheme’, increased surveillance and the ability to intercept smugglers as they attempt to cross the border would seem inevitable whatever the protestations of the believers in a magical ‘frictionless border’.
Such a hardening of the border and political alienation would alone be a golden opportunity for the terrorists to justify and up their murderous activities . However, add in economic decline which, whatever its source, will be blamed on the English, and support and tacit tolerance of the nationalist bully boys on both sides of the border can be expected to spread especially amongst those most affected in the deprived areas of Ireland. The result would likely be to rekindle the ashes of The Troubles which have been smouldering ever since the Good Friday Agreement was reached.
So, let us acknowledge that, as the English No Dealers claim, a ‘clean-break Brexit’ will, without doubt, bring new opportunities to the UK and even to the EU if, that is, you are a gangster. And, to be clear, the use of the word “English” in this blog is intentional.