No deal puts peace in jeopardy

I’ve been talking to many people in Ireland while I’ve been here this summer. Many are unsurprisingly very anxious about the direct impact of a “no deal” Brexit on jobs and opportunities and the substantial threat to peace.

Never mind any of the other disturbing aspects of this week’s serious assault on democracy, “no deal” in Ireland is stubbornly misunderstood at the top of Britain’s politics.

The open border that has politically and economically underpinned the peace process now stands to be destroyed almost as a by-product of the unfolding uncertainty.

What is worse is that it appears to be British government policy to unravel it.

Many in Ireland believe that the Prime Minister neither understands nor cares about the fragile peace process, something which should disturb us all.

Fifty years to the month since “the Troubles” began, the very thing that has kept the Good Friday Agreement alive – trust – is being eroded.

Bigotry is slowly coming back to haunt daily life in Northern Ireland with an increase in paramilitary bombings and shootings.

These are alarming but the fact that the British government now stands in the way of long-term peace in Northern Ireland should concern everyone.

Of course it isn’t just the people of Northern Ireland who are affected by “no deal”.

Operation Yellowhammer has warned us about the stark threats to medicine and food supplies.

As we know from the impact studies Greens called for, in Brighton and Hove a “no deal” means thousands of job losses, a decline in productivity and an increase in the costs of imports.

Brighton and Hove knows better than many places the great price of the lack of peace in Northern Ireland – and our city has repeatedly stood for peace.

We must do everything we can to ensure the catastrophe of “no deal” is removed from the statute and peace is restored in Ireland.

Weeks before a possible “no deal” plunges residents here and across the Irish Sea into huge uncertainty, in stopping the Prime Minister’s “no deal” coup we will win back parliamentary representation. And we help to secure peace all over these islands.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty is the leader of the opposition Greens on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Angela Taylor Reply

    Good news Phelim. The British Government have already said they won’t be putting up a hard border. If the EU decide to do this with blue and gold flags everywhere then perhaps you should write to Brussels instead of a Brighton news site.

    Regardless, I suspect no one in Brussels is interested in your opinion on this. However, the good news is residents of Brighton are very interested in what action is being done to sort out graffiti issues, clean the streets, remove the tents off the seafront by you and your colleagues and get rid of the drug dealing that is taking place all over the city centre.

    As the Greens are saying this is so complicated perhaps this should be the focus of the Green and all city centre councillors as it currently looks like whatever is being done isn’t working.

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