I watched Friday night’s BBC News in despair as Jeffrey Donaldson threatened to collapse the assembly yet again presumably because in his paranoid interpretation the Northern Ireland Protocol is the road to a united Ireland.
He ignores the opinion of most business leaders that the protocol is benefiting our economy and if we can sort out the remaining problems with the EU things will get even better.
The EU has shown a willingness to bend some of its normally inflexible rules in our favour but Sir Jeffrey’s reaction to their efforts is nothing short of ill mannered.
Even the Ulster Unionist Party is getting exasperated with his irresponsible politicking. However let’s look at the threat to the Union angle. There is only one way at the moment that we will end up in a united Ireland and that is if the majority here vote for it.
At the moment the chances of even a tiny minority of Protestants doing that is extremely remote. However the recent dictatorial approach to tackling Covid has, I know, disillusioned quite a few Catholics.
Add to this the growing realisation that life in a united Ireland would deliver quite a shock in terms of the cost of health care to name just one. In any border vote, unionists should have little difficulty in managing their own ‘Project Fear’ and winning such a vote.
Also, we should not assume that a majority in the Republic would vote for unity. Over the last couple of years I have detected a coolness among some of its citizens for a move which would impact on their lifestyles substantially as well.
Ah but, I am forgetting the republican tactic of digging an elephant pit and coaxing the DUP in particular to walk into it. The real nightmare scenario will happen when the rest of the UK, well the English and Welsh anyway, get so fed up with unionist antics that they force us out.
Remember Dominic Cummings’ reported wish that Northern Ireland “would slide into the f***ing sea”.
Jeffrey should know by now that the Conservatives are now English nationalists and care little for Northern Ireland and, more importantly, that Boris Johnson is capable of anything so long as it suits his political ambitions.
Jeffrey should realise that when you jump off a cliff, there’s no way back.
James Tinneny, Londonderry
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