Is Ireland ready to reunite? London makes concessions.

Author Alexander Tatiev
Category Columnists, People, Town
Date February 5 2024
Reading Time < 1 min.

Is Ireland ready to reunite? London makes concessions.

Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of the Irish nationalist party Sinn Féin, stated that a united Ireland is now “within touching distance” following the long-awaited agreement between the Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the UK government. The United Kingdom has agreed to amend its post-Brexit trade rules.

The new agreement will guarantee the absence of a trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which has been a reason for the DUP’s refusal to participate in the capital’s parliamentary assembly for two years. DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson emphasised that the deal will remove restrictions on the movement of goods within the UK and aims to achieve “zero checks, zero customs declarations for goods moving within the United Kingdom.”

However, the nationalist agenda continues to worry London. On one hand, the pro-British DUP is ready to pursue a Centrist policy, and on the other hand, the leader of the regional Northern Irish parliament, known as Stormont, is expected to be Michelle O’Neill from Sinn Féin. If the Catholic nationalist becomes the prime minister, it could stir a new wave of anti-British sentiments. For example, Jim Allister, the leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice party, has already accused the DUP of a “tasteless concession,” advocated for the continuation of the boycott, and received support from some conservative MPs.

The potential reopening of Stormont, scheduled for this Friday, signifies prospects for addressing urgent issues in Northern Ireland, including a financial crisis, strikes, and healthcare problems. O’Neill acknowledged that hard work lies ahead and emphasised not only collective efforts but also the need to resist London’s imposed austerity programme.

So, let’s continue to monitor the situation! With the implementation of new trade agreements, the political landscape of Northern Ireland may undergo significant changes, and the path toward a united Ireland could become a reality.

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