Opinion: What would be the attitude of the British government towards the leadership of the party “Sinn Féin” (Sinn Féin) in the elections in Ireland?
Today, Sinn Fein is the largest party in Northern Ireland that has democratic claims to the post of First Minister. Opinion polls show that Sinn Féin will also emerge as the clear winner in the next Irish general election. For the first time in the history of the state, a representative of this party can become the prime minister.
What would be the attitude of the British government to the leadership of Sinn Féin in the elections on the island of Ireland? There are two possible directions for the development of the situation. One of them is that the British government will recognize the democratic decisions of the North and South and promise to develop intergovernmental cooperation with the Irish Republicans-outsiders. The other is that it, the government, will declare that these democratic decisions are dubious and untrustworthy, and will continue to scorn the winners from the republic as terrorists and bandits who are not fit to lead the state.
Although the latter option seems fantastic, it is quite likely. As a result, the British government may take steps to return the island, which some conservatives believe belongs to the UK. After all, 100 years ago, she owned it, and still owns part of it, which means, why not completely?
Probably a stupid idea? After all, Westminster has a well-deserved reputation as the cradle of democracy in Europe in the 20th century and as a defender of modern state sovereignty, although 21st-century sovereignty is less practiced within the European Union.
In 1920, the British government, faced with the need to comply with the requirements of democratic law, agreed to the separation of “Southern Ireland”, although it retained a presence on the island throughout the period of partition and creation of Northern Ireland. At the end of World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill criticized Irish Prime Minister Éamon de Valera for Ireland’s neutrality during the war years.
In practice, neutrality meant refusing to provide safe haven to critical British convoys of US ships in Irish ports. However, Churchill did not take any action and boasted that he had not done so: “with restraint and self-control, of which there are few examples in history, His Majesty’s Government never committed violence against them …”.
Churchill is the most important reference point for Boris Johnson, a role model. If Johnson holds on as Prime Minister of the UK, will he follow Churchill’s example of the Sinn Féin party winning all over Ireland, which is perceived as a challenge, as a provocation on their part? Will he grumble and whine but end up leaving the Irish to fend for themselves? The answer is likely to be yes.
But most likely, Johnson will not last until the next general elections in Ireland and the UK, which will take place no later than early 2025. Whoever replaces him might be Michael Gove, Liz Truss, Dominic Raab, Jacob Rees-Mogg or Priti Patel. , – there may be other intentions, and it is not a fact that in their plans they take into account the history of Ireland.
If a Conservative comes to power with British imperial illusions, the chances of a British takeover of Ireland in response to a resounding Sinn Féin victory will diminish. Such a Conservative prime minister, not particularly committed to democratic principles, may well assess the size and objectives of the Irish Defense Forces and conclude that retaking Ireland would be a piece of cake. You don’t have to worry about some provisional Irish Republican Army soldiers roaming the drumlins of South Armagh and Louth, or lurking in ambush in the swamps of Tyrone and Monaghan. And, most likely, there will be no heroic resistance like the Ukrainian one. And all this is done in the name of “peace and security.”
There may be a pause for reflection due to the unfavorable reaction of the United States, but by then Donald Trump may well return to the White House, so no irritation and criticism will follow from there. Perhaps the Irish government in exile, hiding in New York, will be allowed to apply to the UN. It is likely that a draft condemning resolution will be prepared. But only for China, Russia, North Korea and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to put an end to it.
Will NATO care about the fate of a neutral Ireland that is not a member of the alliance? The North Atlantic bloc generally does not care about countries that are not part of it and take a neutral position, especially if the country in question has just been included in the key member of the alliance, the United Kingdom.
The European Union will certainly care if one of its small member states is swallowed up by a large seceding country. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement of 2021 will turn to dust, but it will only benefit the conservative Europhobes in Westminster.
As an added bonus, these Europhobes will no longer have to worry about the tedious Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol “negotiations” that have dragged on for years. They may even have the audacity to claim that the British government has abolished the border on the island of Ireland, doing what successive Irish governments have huffed and puffed but never been able to do.
We live in turbulent political times. A major member state has seen fit to leave the European Union, despite the advice of numerous experts. All over Europe, far-right parties are vying for power. Trump threatens to return to the White House. And Vladimir Putin has launched a brutal special military operation in Ukraine to take back what he believes is rightfully Mother Russia’s.
Will Britain take back Ireland in the future? Can not imagine? But that wasn’t the case either.