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‘The Irish should know their place’: Brexit exposes Britain’s colonial mindset towards Ireland

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17.12.2018

In fact, the ‘Irish question’ is a phrase that has been bandied about by the British ruling elite for hundreds of years to refer to the political challenges posed by its colonial entanglement on the island and the ‘problem’ of Irish nationalism and republicanism. In reality then, it is not so much an ‘Irish’ question as a British one.

When the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, it brought a fragile peace to Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian conflict. That conflict had stemmed from Britain’s partition of the island nearly one-hundred years ago and the subsequent decades during which the Irish Catholic population were deprived of equal rights at the ballot box and in their daily lives. With the signing of the GFA, the Irish question was, in a sense — for both the media and political establishments — put to bed. But the Irish question has always been a light sleeper.

Brexit has catapulted the Irish problem back into the spotlight — and the ‘Irish border’ issue (a better term would be the ‘British border’ issue, since the border would not exist had Britain not imposed it in the first place) has been the biggest sticking point in negotiations. This has been much to the abject shock and horror of staunch pro-Brexit politicians in Britain, who have not wasted time in revealing a colonial mindset toward Dublin which should long ago have been consigned to history. Last week, the BBC quoted an anonymous senior Tory politician and former minister:

We simply cannot allow the Irish to treat us like this. This simply cannot stand. The Irish really should know their place.

Unsurprisingly, the astounding utterance provoked fury in Ireland — and more than a niggling sense that this kind of comment represents the opinion of not one, but many within the Tory party.

Senior Tory says the “Irish should know their place”.

No idea why the negotiations are going so badly for them 🙄........

© RT.com