Preserving Union by Perfecting Partition

The roll-out of Britain’s leaving the European Union officially began with parliament's adoption of the 2020 Trading and Cooperation Act, but other pacts dealing with financial and legal sectors may take years to resolve.

The verdict of political pundits to-date is hardly mixed with Guardian columnist William Kerrigan calling Brexit “the gold standard of self-harm.”

Most others are less charitable. Brexiteer MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has claimed leaving the EU is a triumph for British “sovereignty" but references no victories.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Nowhere is the impact of Brexit more likely to be felt than in what remains of Britain’s colonial empire, a six-county carve-out on the island of Ireland called Northern Ireland. 

In response to the overwhelming 1918 vote for Irish independence, the British Parliament chose partition in 1920 without the approval of one Irish vote. The British were the first to demonstrate "election denial" in the 20th century.

Today, a similar scenario unfolds with Britain again denying Sinn Féin election victories.

In order to maintain the "Kingdom" and to distract from Brexit failures the British again support the loyalist minority by obstructing democracy and corrupting the rule of law.

No one should get too excited about the so-called Windsor Framework. The track record of broken Irish treaties is a mix of solutions designed to fail along with carefully crafted cover-ups.

The cycle of these "historic" pacts involves the patient nurturing and misleading of media, a snail-like pace implementing obligations, endless word disputes, the claim of insufficient funds, and the conclusion, after 25 years, that the agreement is no longer “fit for purpose.” That’s the story of Britain’s undermining the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

Robert Kagan.

Robert Kagan.

Lord Frost, leader of the Brexiteer brigade, was the first to label the GFA as “no longer fit for purpose” and the British Conservatives have spent most of the past 25 years undermining its principles and related pacts.

Like that endless pursuit of the fountain of youth, Britain seeks to preserve the “union” by trying to perfect Irish partition.

The United States, along with the EU, are guarantors of the GFA but seem content to chastise rather than confront British indifference to treaty principles or obligations.

Neocon scholar and former West Point Professor Robert Kagan theorizes that “…the US and the UK must live by a double standard ---to proclaim a rules-based order but to maintain a monopoly on treaty breaking and violence to advance human progress.”

Judge for yourself if this example of British arrogance and violence advances human progress.

Parliament prepares to adopt retroactive impunity and to deny government liability for MI-5, Army, police, and double-agent complicity in the killing of more than 1000 innocent civilians in Northern Ireland, most of whom were also Irish citizens.

Most of these crimes were never given a police investigation or a coroner’s Inquest and all information requests have been denied and obstructed for decades.

This abandonment of the rule of law includes a more sinister attack on democracy. Most of these victims were friends, neighbors, relatives, voters or casual acquaintances of Sinn Féin office holders, workers and voters or "suspected" of such associations.

American and Irish citizens must object to Britain’s treacherous assault on democracy and the rule of law in search of the more perfect Irish partition.

Robert Kagan has his explanation for Britain’s behavior. Our explanation is that Britain’s rule in Ireland has never been "fit to purpose."

Michael Cummings is Secretary of the American Brexit Committee.