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Trump in London

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  • Trump in London

    Now that is a diplomatic bomb : After setting one off on Germany at the NATO summit Trump has ignited another one -- in the UK. He has publicly trashed Theresa May ( "I told her how to do Brexit, but she didnt listen") said her "soft" Brexit plans would kill a trade deal with the US, claimed that May was out of touch with "the people", endorsed her inner party rival and Brexit ideologue Johnson for Prime Minister (endorsement from Trump is not likely to help Johnsons ambitions though), he has ridden new attacks on Londons (popular) mayor Khan ( and that is not all) -- and ahead of a day of consutlations with May and meeting the Queen. How Theresa May will behave towards him today will be watched with interest.
    Well, Wladimir Putin at least will watch with glee....



    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...future-pm-live


    https://www.politico.eu/article/trum...-deal-with-us/
    Last edited by Voland; 4 weeks ago.

  • #2
    IT is embarrassing from a "bull in a china shop" perspective. But I also find it odd that Trump would undertake to criticize the leadership of Britain and, particularly, give advice on Brexit.

    We could (conceivably) edit his Tweets, but how does one censor the man's mouth?

    ?


    • #3
      Originally posted by DavidSF View Post
      IT is embarrassing from a "bull in a china shop" perspective. But I also find it odd that Trump would undertake to criticize the leadership of Britain and, particularly, give advice on Brexit.

      We could (conceivably) edit his Tweets, but how does one censor the man's mouth?


      Well, again it comes down to money. A trade deal with the UK after a "hard" break with Europe would be an easy one --- for the US. Because the Brits would have little choice but to sign anything. Trump has also given a few indications what he would like the Brits to do. Like ditching the NHS, but at least pay more for imported US drugs/ US patented drugs.
      May has recently changed course on the EU though ( for the simple reason that many of the Brexiters promises are not deliverable, at least in the real world), to save the exit negotiations from going nowhere. With the predictable result that the UK will keep relatively close regulatory, financial and political alignement with the EU, just dressed up in different ways. Think Switzerland or Norway. Which will decrease the potential for a trade deal to Trumps liking and increase the chance that Trumps lovefests with Nigel Farage ("call me Mr.Brexit" ) will get in the way of US interests.
      That is why he wades in "bull in a china shop"-style and like in the pipeline case ultimately counterproductively.

      ?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Voland View Post



        Well, again it comes down to money. A trade deal with the UK after a "hard" break with Europe would be an easy one --- for the US. Because the Brits would have little choice but to sign anything. Trump has also given a few indications what he would like the Brits to do. Like ditching the NHS, but at least pay more for imported US drugs/ US patented drugs.
        May has recently changed course on the EU though ( for the simple reason that many of the Brexiters promises are not deliverable, at least in the real world), to save the exit negotiations from going nowhere. With the predictable result that the UK will keep relatively close regulatory, financial and political alignement with the EU, just dressed up in different ways. Think Switzerland or Norway. Which will decrease the potential for a trade deal to Trumps liking and increase the chance that Trumps lovefests with Nigel Farage ("call me Mr.Brexit" ) will get in the way of US interests.
        That is why he wades in "bull in a china shop"-style and like in the pipeline case ultimately counterproductively.
        I think it should be fairly obvious that Trump doesn't have a clue, but of course my perspective is skewed by hate.and my unrequited love for Hillary Clinton.

        ?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Voland View Post



          Well, again it comes down to money. A trade deal with the UK after a "hard" break with Europe would be an easy one --- for the US. Because the Brits would have little choice but to sign anything. Trump has also given a few indications what he would like the Brits to do. Like ditching the NHS, but at least pay more for imported US drugs/ US patented drugs.
          May has recently changed course on the EU though ( for the simple reason that many of the Brexiters promises are not deliverable, at least in the real world), to save the exit negotiations from going nowhere. With the predictable result that the UK will keep relatively close regulatory, financial and political alignement with the EU, just dressed up in different ways. Think Switzerland or Norway. Which will decrease the potential for a trade deal to Trumps liking and increase the chance that Trumps lovefests with Nigel Farage ("call me Mr.Brexit" ) will get in the way of US interests.
          That is why he wades in "bull in a china shop"-style and like in the pipeline case ultimately counterproductively.
          US interests will involve dealing with zones as well as individual states. Looking at the issue from that angle, it becomes apparent that Trump is attempting some kind of "divide and conquer" strategy. It will be disappointing; contrary to a Brexit isolating the UK and handing an easy "deal" to the US prez, it will make negotiations with the US just a background to negotiations with the EU (fe, on US drugs, your example). To the extent Trump alienates the EU on political, military or economic terms, that arguably provides some advantage for May's gov't.. fe, GB provides some economic demand -lost from an increasingly isolated US consumer. Cooperation between GB and NATO -I see no change, there might even be stronger ties. Politically -the EU needs to invest a little more doubt in the stability of the US. That change in risk assessment is -again- in GB's favor, as that country has maintained decent relations with most other nations, suffering little damage to it's own institutions as of late.

          ?


          • #6
            Originally posted by redrover View Post

            I think it should be fairly obvious that Trump doesn't have a clue, but of course my perspective is skewed by hate.and my unrequited love for Hillary Clinton.
            Good of you to finally acknowledge.

            ?


            • #7
              Originally posted by radcentr View Post
              US interests will involve dealing with zones as well as individual states. Looking at the issue from that angle, it becomes apparent that Trump is attempting some kind of "divide and conquer" strategy. It will be disappointing; contrary to a Brexit isolating the UK and handing an easy "deal" to the US prez, it will make negotiations with the US just a background to negotiations with the EU (fe, on US drugs, your example). To the extent Trump alienates the EU on political, military or economic terms, that arguably provides some advantage for May's gov't.. fe, GB provides some economic demand -lost from an increasingly isolated US consumer. Cooperation between GB and NATO -I see no change, there might even be stronger ties. Politically -the EU needs to invest a little more doubt in the stability of the US. That change in risk assessment is -again- in GB's favor, as that country has maintained decent relations with most other nations, suffering little damage to it's own institutions as of late.


              Well, the "leave" side won the Brexit referendum in 2016 by a (very) narrow margin. Wether that narrow majority still exists is ( at least according to some polls) reasonably in doubt. Mostly because "hard" Brexiters ( like Boris Johnson, that Trump endorsed for PM) have never bothered to come up with economically and politically viable visions of Brexit, except in rethoric. The intellectual concept (which is beeing generous) underpinning Brexit is a rather shadowy idea of an "anglosphere" as an political/economical entity alternative to the EU ( also sometimes, though usually sarcastically, called "Empire 2.0") that May tried to sell under the slogan "Global Britain". Predictably to no avail. All major economies have ruled out deals with the UK BEFORE it has clarified its relations with the EU . The EU has stood by its guns and no attempts to divide it have worked. Germany, that was according to Nigel Farage poised to ride to the rescue has stated time and time again that maintaining the integrity of the EU Single Market is FAR more important than cutting the UK any special deals. Major investors have increasingly bluntly threatened to pull out of the UK, such as BMW, Airbus, Toyota and others. The City of London, not likely to remain the center of Europes finance industry, is already busy relocating jobs to the continent, to places such as Paris and Frankfurt. And then of course there is the irish border problem. Currently there is no visible border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. A "hard" Brexit, breaking many or most links with Europe, would mandate a guarded "hard" border cutting the island in two, and separating irish communities. Which would not only choke commerce, tourism, and cross-border investment, but also be considered likely to re-ignite the "troubles".
              There is a solution to these problems though : Keeping close regulatory and political alignement with the EU. Switzerland and Norway demonstrate that it is possible even while beeing officially a non-member. And not having a satisfactory masterplan that keeps the economy on base, does NOT plunge Ireland in chaos (which would be blamed on the UK and affect the UK) AND delivers the alleged Brexit benefits May has embarked on a course that will almost certainly result in a Brexit in name ( mostly).
              Until relatively recently it was considered a matter of common sense that the US had every interest in ( and would, if necessary actively support) keeping the Brexit issue civil and pragmatic. Not least because plenty of US companies are using the UK as gateway to Europe and not least because the UK has most of the time acted as an advocate of US interests in Europe.
              A US president obviously more interested in sowing divisions ( as demonstratable by Trump publicly siding with the most extreme elements of Brexit) and making threats is something that we admittedly have to get used to in Europe. Ultimately though Trump is going to strengthen May by attacking her ( just as he regularly strengthens Merkel by attacking her) and that is why the "divide and conquer" thing doesnt work. He much rather unites--against US interests. (Unless one assumes that breaking with Europe was in the USs interest of course).
              Last edited by Voland; 4 weeks ago.

              ?


              • #8
                Originally posted by Voland View Post



                Well, the "leave" side won the Brexit referendum in 2016 by a (very) narrow margin. Wether that narrow majority still exists is ( at least according to some polls) reasonably in doubt. Mostly because "hard" Brexiters ( like Boris Johnson, that Trump endorsed for PM) have never bothered to come up with economically and politically viable visions of Brexit, except in rethoric. The intellectual concept (which is beeing generous) underpinning Brexit is a rather shadowy idea of an "anglosphere" as an political/economical entity alternative to the EU ( also sometimes, though usually sarcastically, called "Empire 2.0") that May tried to sell under the slogan "Global Britain". Predictably to no avail. All major economies have ruled out deals with the UK BEFORE it has clarified its relations with the EU . The EU has stood by its guns and no attempts to divide it have worked. Germany, that was according to Nigel Farage poised to ride to the rescue has stated time and time again that maintaining the integrity of the EU Single Market is FAR more important than cutting the UK any special deals. Major investors have increasingly bluntly threatened to pull out of the UK, such as BMW, Airbus, Toyota and others. The City of London, not likely to remain the center of Europes finance industry, is already busy relocating jobs to the continent, to places such as Paris and Frankfurt. And then of course there is the irish border problem. Currently there is no visible border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. A "hard" Brexit, breaking many or most links with Europe, would mandate a guarded "hard" border cutting the island in two, and separating irish communities. Which would not only choke commerce, tourism, and cross-border investment, but also be considered likely to re-ignite the "troubles".
                There is a solution to these problems though : Keeping close regulatory and political alignement with the EU. Switzerland and Norway demonstrate that it is possible even while beeing officially a non-member. And not having a satisfactory masterplan that keeps the economy on base, does NOT plunge Ireland in chaos (which would be blamed on the UK and affect the UK) AND delivers the alleged Brexit benefits May has embarked on a course that will almost certainly result in a Brexit in name ( mostly).
                Until relatively recently it was considered a matter of common sense that the US had every interest in ( and would, if necessary actively support) keeping the Brexit issue civil and pragmatic. Not least because plenty of US companies are using the UK as gateway to Europe and not least because the UK has most of the time acted as an advocate of US interests in Europe.
                A US president obviously more interested in sowing divisions ( as demonstratable by Trump publicly siding with the most extreme elements of Brexit) and making threats is something that we admittedly have to get used to in Europe. Ultimately though Trump is going to strengthen May by attacking her ( just as he regularly strengthens Merkel by attacking her) and that is why the "divide and conquer" thing doesnt work. He much rather unites--against US interests. (Unless one assumes that breaking with Europe was in the USs interest of course).
                Your summary is accurate. The one thing I took away from Brexit -in the context of states in similar position (Norway and Switzerland)- was the advantage of a "confederacy" pressure on the EU. That is, outside states that are obviously part of a region's zone, placing in doubt the argument for a central authority as the "only" alternative. Rather than abandon conflict, it remains part of Europe's structure, although this time forward it is negotiated on a business level. Much more productive than military conflict -almost institutionalized- that operated in Europe (off and on) for centuries.

                In that context, I viewed Trump's efforts to divide as laughable. The time for a US power to do that successfully has long since gone; anyway, it would have been a near-miracle for a US figure to pull that off even a century ago. Uniting worked for positive ends (fe Marshall Plan), but dividing usually played against us for negative ends (fe Wilson's debauched effort at Versailles). I believe May will handle GB's position well enough, including the difficult situation in Ireland. She might do well to simply guarantee police security of minority/majority religious factions in that island's partition, while encouraging political integration under Dublin. Actually pulling that off will require heavy lifting from Ireland's part, and no small effort from GB's military/political groups. But the "simple guarantee" is a relatively easy and correct way to start what would be a somewhat difficult process, yet one that will bear fruit in the end.

                ?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                  Your summary is accurate. The one thing I took away from Brexit -in the context of states in similar position (Norway and Switzerland)- was the advantage of a "confederacy" pressure on the EU. That is, outside states that are obviously part of a region's zone, placing in doubt the argument for a central authority as the "only" alternative. Rather than abandon conflict, it remains part of Europe's structure, although this time forward it is negotiated on a business level. Much more productive than military conflict -almost institutionalized- that operated in Europe (off and on) for centuries.

                  In that context, I viewed Trump's efforts to divide as laughable. The time for a US power to do that successfully has long since gone; anyway, it would have been a near-miracle for a US figure to pull that off even a century ago. Uniting worked for positive ends (fe Marshall Plan), but dividing usually played against us for negative ends (fe Wilson's debauched effort at Versailles). I believe May will handle GB's position well enough, including the difficult situation in Ireland. She might do well to simply guarantee police security of minority/majority religious factions in that island's partition, while encouraging political integration under Dublin. Actually pulling that off will require heavy lifting from Ireland's part, and no small effort from GB's military/political groups. But the "simple guarantee" is a relatively easy and correct way to start what would be a somewhat difficult process, yet one that will bear fruit in the end.


                  Well, Britain has always been particular with regards to Europe, and Americans often make the mistake to ignore that is more often an outlier than a trendsetter (such as on Brexit).
                  That starts with geography : Beeing an island. Having borders dictated by nature and not by wars of the past or bureaucrats drawing lines on a map. Contrast that with where I live : Our city is part of Germany, but has been part of France over long periods of time as well ( it also has a french and a german name). The border with France is around 30 km away, that with Luxembourg around 15 and that with Belgium around 45. All of these are , thanks to the EU, open and are mainly marked by signs on the highway. I live in Germany, but commuting for work as well as family visits or leisure across all borders ( my office is in Luxembourg ) is every day life).
                  Border regions where several countries meet have over centuries been scarred backwaters where noone invested but the military and the next round of armed conflict was never far away (our neighbours over in France have changed nationality four times between 1870 and 1945 to give an example.
                  Today it is the opposite. Most are booming, because borders that connect rather than separate also create enormous economic potential. Brits that havent lived on the european mainland or in Northern Ireland at least rarely understand why mainland Europeans are enthusiastic about open borders, and that is probably also why Mays governement has been rather asleep at the wheel with regards to the irish border question and why that is an ESSENTIAL component for keeping Ireland peaceful.

                  Beeing an island also leads to a detached view obviously (as in the famous bonmot : "The continent cut off by bad weather in the channel"), and "Brexit" has historical precedents. Take Henry VIII breaking with the Catholic church and appointing himself as head of the Church of England. Well, he didnt turn his broad back on Ireland as well. He believed Ireland had to be english-controlled not to leave it to France or Spain, for which the Irish paid a high price in blood and over centuries, and there is a direct line from him to the current irish border question. The roots of the Irish beeing by contrast enthusiastic Europeans lie here.
                  Britain has seen itself as a spectator of continental affairs while ruling its empire over centuries and only interfered to prevent one power getting too dominant. That is why the UK sided with Prussia and Russia against napoleonic France and with France against a resurgent Germany f.e.
                  That changed post- WW II, with the empire gone and the continental "archenemies" France and Germany managing something that british policymakers first ridiculed and then hastily tried to adapt to : First reconsiliation over WW II graves and then the building of an economic, later also a political bloc, today known as the EU. The idea of Europe uniting was traditionally regarded as a potential threat in the UK, and in this case it was increasingly clear that old-school attempts to "divide and rule" wouldnt work. Since unification wasn t imposed, but was broadly backed by democratic majorities across the countries involved. The franco-german friendship treaty of 1963 set off alarm bells in London and led to Britains first attempt to join the European economic community. At that time vetoed by french president Charles de Gaulle, as well as the second time in 1967. De Gaulle wasnt ( probably rightly) convinced about the UKs motives that Thatcher once famously described as "beeing in the room when decisions with the potential to affect Britain are made".

                  From an EU perspective now Brexit offers besides the problems also a chance. To get rid off a never fully committed, constantly grumbling member that constantly needed to be accomodated ( no country has obtained as many opt-outs and privileges inside the EU as the UK) and engage it instead in a framework that suits both sides better. Even Boris Johnson has acknowledged after all that severing ties with the continent would be "lunacy" ( even a broken clock....). And for the british political class as well as the public Brexit offers an opportunity to put the post-imperial hangover plus a good degree of historical exceptionalism to rest. For French and Germans the EU symbolizes a direct consequence of the post WW II "never again", it is way of life and also a response to nowadays world. Where even the largest european countries are small on a global scale.
                  For the UK it was largely an affair of the wallet, not the heart and a pragmatic choice in the absence of a better policy vision. Yet Donald Trump (and his attempt to "Stab May in the front" (the Guardian) is the best reason why US attempts to lure the UK away from its european neighborhood will fail. Forget about "hard Brexiters" making noise, they represent a minority.
                  For Ireland there are basically two options that would be acceptable for the EU : Either giving the North a devolved status that allows it to stay in the EU customs union. Which would mean moving the customs border in the irish sea, between the islands. Or the entire UK to stay in a customs union with the EU (probably more likely, because that is also what british business wants). One can ignore the huffing and puffing, ultimately May (or a successor) will decide between these two, probably slightly adaptable options. Everything else would saddle the UK with a predictable economic crisis on top of a new irish crisis that everyone except the hardest of hard Brexiters wants to avoid.

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                  • #10
                    Although GB has usually claimed status "independent of the continent", while getting cozy with an up-and-coming US, the game has changed as you note. The US is arguably in decline, if we are unlucky. At best, we are going to have a "yard sale" of sorts, selling off or giving away some part of our influence and wealth. A yard sale could yield excellent results, though many of my fellow citizens would not share that opinion. It all depends on what the new structure looks like. A strategy that rotates the lead nation, among a group of nations whose interests are benevolent and cover the globe, would be ideal.

                    The irony with GB and Ireland might be standing on it's head. If Ireland is the beneficiary of a consistent relationship with the EU, then it might convince GB to follow her lead to re-build that bridge to the continent.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                      Although GB has usually claimed status "independent of the continent", while getting cozy with an up-and-coming US, the game has changed as you note. The US is arguably in decline, if we are unlucky. At best, we are going to have a "yard sale" of sorts, selling off or giving away some part of our influence and wealth. A yard sale could yield excellent results, though many of my fellow citizens would not share that opinion. It all depends on what the new structure looks like. A strategy that rotates the lead nation, among a group of nations whose interests are benevolent and cover the globe, would be ideal.

                      The irony with GB and Ireland might be standing on it's head. If Ireland is the beneficiary of a consistent relationship with the EU, then it might convince GB to follow her lead to re-build that bridge to the continent.

                      That Brexit would put Ireland in an unprecedented position of power over the UK was something that the Brexiters obviously had no plan for. But they didnt have a plan for many things. And the EU has even gone further, by also formally giving Ireland a veto over the Brexit negotiations (just as Spain over the british colony Gibraltar). That means it is either a deal that Ireland can live with, or no deal. Which limits Theresa Mays options further, but will also force an actual solution to the irish border problem. Brexiters had been openly hoping that Berlin would more or less run the show, London could use trading relations as trumpcard, and then the smaller nations would be brought in line. Yet the EU has spotted that game--and spoiled it :


                      https://www.theguardian.com/politics...-talks-says-eu
                      Last edited by Voland; 3 weeks ago.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Voland View Post


                        That Brexit would put Ireland in an unprecedented position of power over the UK was something that the Brexiters obviously had no plan for. But they didnt have a plan for many things. And the EU has even gone further, by also formally giving Ireland a veto over the Brexit negotiations (just as Spain over the british colony Gibraltar). That means it is either a deal that Ireland can live with, or no deal. Which limits Theresa Mays options further, but will also force an actual solution to the irish border problem. Brexiters had been openly hoping that Berlin would more or less run the show, London could use trading relations as trumpcard, and then the smaller nations would be brought in line. Yet the EU has spotted that game--and spoiled it :


                        https://www.theguardian.com/politics...-talks-says-eu
                        That seals the conditions for May. Thanks for that link, which provides a good summary. There are two factors which should (in a decent world) push northern Ireland to follow thru on integration with the rest of the island: One is the chance to gain a mutually beneficial relationship with GB, which should be a natural ally in almost all respects. The religious baggage can be safely stored away in the attic of history, where it belongs. For starters, Ireland's constitution did away with the "special status" of the Catholic church long ago. Link:
                        https://www.irishexaminer.com/irelan...on-218651.html
                        -Which leads to the second, positive factor. It has been decades (two, exactly) since "the troubles" had thrown their last wild party. The time will soon come when that dark past is something that "grandpa knows about", but seems unthinkable to that generation in positions of power and their children. If integration seemed to be an impossible objective then, it has a completely different flavor, now.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                          That seals the conditions for May. Thanks for that link, which provides a good summary. There are two factors which should (in a decent world) push northern Ireland to follow thru on integration with the rest of the island: One is the chance to gain a mutually beneficial relationship with GB, which should be a natural ally in almost all respects. The religious baggage can be safely stored away in the attic of history, where it belongs. For starters, Ireland's constitution did away with the "special status" of the Catholic church long ago. Link:
                          https://www.irishexaminer.com/irelan...on-218651.html
                          -Which leads to the second, positive factor. It has been decades (two, exactly) since "the troubles" had thrown their last wild party. The time will soon come when that dark past is something that "grandpa knows about", but seems unthinkable to that generation in positions of power and their children. If integration seemed to be an impossible objective then, it has a completely different flavor, now.



                          It is like in many of these conflicts. Religion was one way of separating the two camps from each other, but in fact it was more of an (at times) useful vehicle for mobilization than actually the root of the squabble. Henry VIII turning his back on the catholic church provided the backround for the occupation of Ireland, to prevent it becoming a (catholic) french or spanish foothold in proximity to Englands coast. Since then the roles were clearly separated : The peasants were catholic, the ruling class members of the church of England. Yet THAT was the real conflict. The official churches not only never condoned the violence, they also actively intervened at times. The catholic bishops of Ireland condemning the IRA and issuing powerful "not in our name" statements many times over years was arguably a bigger problem for the terrorists than prosecution by the British. Also Pope John Paul II ostracized the "catholic" terrorists in ways similar than Pope Francis did with the italian Mafia : He said membership and support of that organization was mutually exclusive with beeing a catholic.
                          The "Good Friday" agreement, that is credited with ending the conflict ( for now) was that successful because it shoved the superficial religious stuff aside and focused on the underlying issues. It f.e. acknowledged that both views, supporting Northern Ireland to remain in the UK, but also supporting reunification of Ireland, were letigimate. And that while in 1998 the pro-UK ( unionist) side had the upper hand, which the republic of Ireland as signatory acknowledged, the UK would be obliged to hold a referendum on NI joining Ireland if that documentably (according to polls) changed. Since NI has clearly voted against Brexit that is also one of the concerns of Brexiters about the Good Friday agreement. It should be obvious why.
                          The agreement, underwritten and brokered also by the Clinton administration and the EU also allows double citizenship for every person born on either side of the border, it mandates powersharing between the two sides in local governements and it provides the base and provision for cooperation between the two parts of Ireland on multiple levels. Brexit throws that up in the air, but it also offers Ireland the chance to correct , if payed sensibly, what most Irish south and around half in the North view as the main historical injustice inflicted on Ireland : Its separation. And there is little that May can do about it except huffing and puffing before giving in or unleash a mess against that the botched negotiations in Brussels seem like a breath of fresh air :



                          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Friday_Agreement




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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Voland View Post




                            It is like in many of these conflicts. Religion was one way of separating the two camps from each other, but in fact it was more of an (at times) useful vehicle for mobilization than actually the root of the squabble. Henry VIII turning his back on the catholic church provided the backround for the occupation of Ireland, to prevent it becoming a (catholic) french or spanish foothold in proximity to Englands coast. Since then the roles were clearly separated : The peasants were catholic, the ruling class members of the church of England. Yet THAT was the real conflict. The official churches not only never condoned the violence, they also actively intervened at times. The catholic bishops of Ireland condemning the IRA and issuing powerful "not in our name" statements many times over years was arguably a bigger problem for the terrorists than prosecution by the British. Also Pope John Paul II ostracized the "catholic" terrorists in ways similar than Pope Francis did with the italian Mafia : He said membership and support of that organization was mutually exclusive with beeing a catholic.
                            The "Good Friday" agreement, that is credited with ending the conflict ( for now) was that successful because it shoved the superficial religious stuff aside and focused on the underlying issues. It f.e. acknowledged that both views, supporting Northern Ireland to remain in the UK, but also supporting reunification of Ireland, were letigimate. And that while in 1998 the pro-UK ( unionist) side had the upper hand, which the republic of Ireland as signatory acknowledged, the UK would be obliged to hold a referendum on NI joining Ireland if that documentably (according to polls) changed. Since NI has clearly voted against Brexit that is also one of the concerns of Brexiters about the Good Friday agreement. It should be obvious why.
                            The agreement, underwritten and brokered also by the Clinton administration and the EU also allows double citizenship for every person born on either side of the border, it mandates powersharing between the two sides in local governements and it provides the base and provision for cooperation between the two parts of Ireland on multiple levels. Brexit throws that up in the air, but it also offers Ireland the chance to correct , if payed sensibly, what most Irish south and around half in the North view as the main historical injustice inflicted on Ireland : Its separation. And there is little that May can do about it except huffing and puffing before giving in or unleash a mess against that the botched negotiations in Brussels seem like a breath of fresh air :



                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Friday_Agreement



                            Were I May (or an armchair May- I can't deny), I would put forth my sad face -privately- for what remains of English royalty and other elites: "We have to wade thru this mess due to Brexit and Ireland's better position at the moment. We'll see what we can accomplish". Publicly, the press and other segments lined up against me would go on about my relatively weak position, yet at the same time would admit that I inherited much of the situation.

                            Behind closed doors -where most negotiation leading to agreements take place- I would play a slightly different game. Ireland could effectively be a back door to EU deals, in those cases where Great Britain receives a cold shoulder. That means Ireland "gets control" of NI (according to polling trends, that will be easier done and said as time goes on). If there is no "free trade agreement" between Ireland and GB now, that could be one incentive for Ireland to accept the arrangement. As those negotiations would take some time (again, working with polling trends), there will likely be some measurable differences -economic, cultural, political- that point to Ireland's advantage for staying with the EU. I shrug my shoulders, telling my peers at the fancy events that if the Irish can do that much better within the EU, then GB obviously needs to get back in. Then I go public, touting a wrap-up of the issue with Ireland; as a practical matter they are a neighboring island with free trade and cultural ties between us, and very little on the downside. "The Troubles" are now officially over on all accounts, big photo op with Ireland's leadership, parties all around the British Isles, as the vote to integrate Ireland passes by a comfortable margin. As May, I throw out a gentle and good humored chastisement to the Brexiters. "Does this re-integration matter resemble something that the rest of us should consider?" If my nagging is rejected, I would go to the fallback position -something along the lines of Switzerland's position regarding the EU. Regardless, my position would be strengthened internally (administration expense in NI is definitely winding down), and externally. The EU has a clear message that GB might well return, and will likely align with EU objectives more often than not in either case.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                              Were I May (or an armchair May- I can't deny), I would put forth my sad face -privately- for what remains of English royalty and other elites: "We have to wade thru this mess due to Brexit and Ireland's better position at the moment. We'll see what we can accomplish". Publicly, the press and other segments lined up against me would go on about my relatively weak position, yet at the same time would admit that I inherited much of the situation.

                              Behind closed doors -where most negotiation leading to agreements take place- I would play a slightly different game. Ireland could effectively be a back door to EU deals, in those cases where Great Britain receives a cold shoulder. That means Ireland "gets control" of NI (according to polling trends, that will be easier done and said as time goes on). If there is no "free trade agreement" between Ireland and GB now, that could be one incentive for Ireland to accept the arrangement. As those negotiations would take some time (again, working with polling trends), there will likely be some measurable differences -economic, cultural, political- that point to Ireland's advantage for staying with the EU. I shrug my shoulders, telling my peers at the fancy events that if the Irish can do that much better within the EU, then GB obviously needs to get back in. Then I go public, touting a wrap-up of the issue with Ireland; as a practical matter they are a neighboring island with free trade and cultural ties between us, and very little on the downside. "The Troubles" are now officially over on all accounts, big photo op with Ireland's leadership, parties all around the British Isles, as the vote to integrate Ireland passes by a comfortable margin. As May, I throw out a gentle and good humored chastisement to the Brexiters. "Does this re-integration matter resemble something that the rest of us should consider?" If my nagging is rejected, I would go to the fallback position -something along the lines of Switzerland's position regarding the EU. Regardless, my position would be strengthened internally (administration expense in NI is definitely winding down), and externally. The EU has a clear message that GB might well return, and will likely align with EU objectives more often than not in either case.
                              Brexiters yes it's nice to see that the US is not the only country burdened with Trump styled idiots.

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