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History never leaves Ireland alone

By Gwynne Dyer      

The Conservatives and the Unionists are back in coalition now, and another war is brewing on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. At the moment, it’s practically an invisible frontier, with no border posts or customs checks, because both the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic belong to the European Union. Brexit, however, will put an end to that, and probably to peace as well.

Prime Minister Theresa May has sworn a mighty oath that the United Kingdom will leave both the ‘single market’ and the customs union, but that will turn this ‘soft’ frontier into a ‘hard’ EU border with a non-EU country: border guards, customs checks, passports, queues and all the rest.
Photo courtesy of Flickr

LONDON, U.K.—History never leaves Ireland alone. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the lethal alliance of the Conservative Party in Britain and the Unionist Party, which represented the Protestant minority in Ireland, made it impossible for the British Parliament to pass a Home Rule Bill for Ireland. A Home Rule Bill might have let the two countries take their distance peacefully and gradually, while retaining close links—or maybe not, but it was worth a try. Instead

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