Britain’s stance on Brexit and the Irish border labelled “a national disgrace” in withering Guardian editorial 2 years ago

Britain’s stance on Brexit and the Irish border labelled “a national disgrace” in withering Guardian editorial

“Even if the history did not matter, that (a hard border) would be unforgivable.”

Britain’s attitude towards the issue of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations has been labelled a “shameful dereliction” and “a national disgrace” in a hard-hitting editorial in The Guardian.

The editorial comes after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was told to “shut your gob and grow up” in an article in The Sun newspaper over the weekend, in which Varadkar was described as a “buffoon”, labelled “arrogant” and told he was “increasingly out of his depth”.

At the European social summit in Sweden last week, Varadkar stated that he wanted a written guarantee of assurances that had been made that there would be no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and threatened to block negotiations if it wasn’t provided ahead of the EU Council next month.

Those assurances are repeatedly referred to as “bland assurances” in an editorial in The Guardian, which describes the notion that Brexit would have no impact on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and the legacy of the peace process as “nonsense” and says that “from start to finish, Conservative Brexiters have shown that they simply could not care less about Ireland”.

While the editorial praises the Irish government for “the reasoned and patient way it insisted these issues would have to be solved”, it blasts Prime Minister Theresa May for not making Britain’s position on the customs union clear from the outset and criticises the government’s lack of “political or moral seriousness”.

“This is a national disgrace for Britain and it is time that more people in this country said so,” the editorial states.

The editorial concludes by saying that if the British government follow their current policy, the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland would be hard and not soft and controlled rather than free.

“The consequences of this change could be deeply destructive to the peace process and secure life,” the editorial continues.

“But, even more than that, they would be a gratuitous act of hostility towards the Irish economy and people.

“Even if the history did not matter, that would be unforgivable.”

You can read the editorial in full here.