Blog: Boris’s Brexit mess handed Sinn Fein Northern Ireland on a plate – BEN HABIB – Express

Well, that is the position we now find ourselves in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein, historically the political arm of the IRA and a party which openly wishes to end the United Kingdom last week won the most seats in Northern Ireland. You could not make this stuff up. The result is seismic. And unless our Prime Minister wakes soon from his neglectful slumber, it is very likely the last chapter in the end of the United Kingdom.

Boris Johnson is to blame. Why? He has failed at every step to stand up for British citizens in Northern Ireland.

It is his Protocol (aided and abetted by Lord Frost and Michael Gove) that put a border down the Irish Sea and left Northern Ireland to the mercy of foreign laws and a foreign court – all things he swore he would not do.

On September 12 2020 he wrote in another newspaper that the Protocol presented a threat to the very fabric of the United Kingdom but then did nothing.

He has repeatedly said he would not hesitate to invoke Article 16 to suspend the Protocol and has done nothing.

Even after two British courts ruled that the Protocol breached the Act of Union, he did nothing.

All the while he has shunned unionists in Northern Ireland and their political parties. They have been left alone on the battlefield to fight for the integrity of our United Kingdom.

And that should be our Government’s job.

The Democratic Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice had no option but to fight their election on an anti-Protocol platform.

They should not have had to do so.

The Protocol and Northern Ireland’s position in the United Kingdom should never have been a subject of debate at a local election.

Sinn Fein, on the other hand, revelled in the mess and used the disarray caused by our Prime Minister’s Protocol to politically capitalise on the situation.

They fought the election claiming they would tackle the cost-of-living crisis if returned as the largest party. Stormont does not possess the requisite authority to make an impact on inflation. Nor does mandatory coalition allow them to deliver a manifesto but that did not stop them making false promises.

And just the day before the election, Brandon Lewis dropped the bombshell, contrary to previous indications, that Government would not be introducing new legislation to neuter the Protocol.

Of course, those of us close to the situation knew not to expect any sensible unilateral action to come from Government.

But his reversal must have come as a body blow to unionists who, despite being repeatedly trod on, continue to hope their love of the United Kingdom will be reciprocated by Westminster.

What next?

As I warned they would, Sinn Fein has started the drum beat for a border poll and reunification of Ireland. They were bound to do so.

They will likely wait a little longer for the Protocol to do its dirty work damaging links with Great Britain. Then they will demand a poll.

And do not think they will not be granted one or that they will certainly lose.

The numbers may be stacked against them at the moment but who could have conceived of the political wing of a terrorist group becoming the party with most seats. Nothing is now off the table.

How will our government respond? Liz Truss is muttering about taking unilateral action against the Protocol. Do not believe her. Her mutterings are designed to placate complainants just long enough for the news cycle to pass.

It is more smoke and mirrors. She will not do anything meaningful.

The problem is, Boris Johnson has no love of the union, he has no vision for it and he has no plan.

Moreover, he fears the EU.

He will shrug his shoulders and blame democracy for the outcome when blame in fact lies squarely with him, the leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.

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