Members Speak

Anti*Capitalist Resistance member Joseph Healy warns that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit could break up the United Kingdom. This is the second in our ‘member speaks’ articles in which Anti*Capitalist Resistance members share an important article for debate and discussion. Please use the comment option to continue the debate.

Two years ago on the BBC television program Dateline London where journalists from around the world debate current affairs in the UK and abroad a particularly arrogant Tory Brexiteer was warned by an Irish journalist that if the Tory government did not take into account the views of Scotland and the North of Ireland that the UK as a state would be finished. My view has been for some time that Boris Johnson will be the last Prime Minister of the UK. Johnson bitterly opposed the Irish backstop proposals in Theresa May’s Brexit deal and promised the Ulster Unionists that a border in the Irish Sea would  never happen and was cheered to the rafters by them. Later Johnson signed up to the Irish Protocol as part of the Withdrawal Agreement. He has no particular attachment to the North of Ireland and Cummings told advisors at Downing Street a few months ago that Johnson was not bothered if “Northern Ireland fell into the sea”. 

A recent book “The Border. The Legacy of a century of Anglo-Irish Politics” by the Irish historian Diarmaid Ferriter has put forward the notion that the British were never particularly attached to the North of Ireland and only kept it for strategic reasons. Scotland is a different matter as the loss of Scotland would effectively mean the end of the UK state and would be a huge psychological and economic crisis for the British elite, where England would truly be confronted with its post colonial and post Brexit status as a medium sized European state. Brexit has made these outcomes more and more likely and the political developments in Scotland emphasise this. In this article Charles Turner poses similar questions but also asks how that disintegration will develop. I can imagine Scotland becoming a second Catalonia under Johnson. This issue could well become the dominant one in UK politics over the next five years.

The break-up of the UK is coming – but will it be violent or peaceful?

Thank you to Joseph for bringing this article to the attention of the Anti*Capitalist Resistance community. Please do use the comment option to continue the debate.

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