The Irish Sea border is so bad for unionism that only joint authority or a united Ireland could really be worse.
If unionist leaders across a variety of groupings do not believe we should collapse the assembly as a result of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) having been abolished by the Irish Sea border then they should be straight with unionist people that we should simply accept the new border.
The danger with this is that if unionism feels it cannot oppose something which is clearly so detrimental to its interests it is surely a green light to pursue joint authority and eventual unification.
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If we cannot oppose the first how can we oppose the second or third.
I believe unionism should at least try to oppose the Irish Sea Border. Threatening to collapse the GFA institutions would have had more impact during negotiations than by opposing a border which already exists but the longer we leave it the less likely it will be to succeed.
The added complication of Covid makes all opposition difficult.
I suggest unionist ministers should write resignation letters dated midday on 12th July 2021 stating that it cannot be business as usual for the GFA structures when the agreement has been so fundamentally breached for unionists.
This would give Robin Swann time to try to have the Covid situation as under control as possible before potentially handing control to London. It will also give the two governments a window of opportunity to devise a solution which will alleviate unionist concerns.
If they haven’t removed the border by July under the pressure of petitions and lobbying they are never going to. While it is a desperate move it is the only card unionism has to play if its serious about bringing pressure to bare for the removal of an Irish Sea Border.
If unionism really doesn’t believe it can win this fight then it may as well start having discussions around what type of United Ireland it wants, repartition of the most unionist areas of Northern Ireland into Britain or financial support for the resettlement of unionists to Britain.
After all if we can’t stop this how would you stop Irish unification if the governments forced it upon us.
Mr RG McDowell, Belfast BT5
• We have received many letters against the Irish Sea border, Here are some of them:
• Letter Feb 19: The unionist leaders are weak, with the exception of Jim Allister
• Letter Feb 15: DUP should do what is right and walk from Stormont
• Jim Allister Feb 14: It may well be a choice between Stormont and the Irish Sea border, as Peter Robinson says
• David McNarry Feb 17: Unionists are demanding removal of the disastrous internal UK border
• Dermot Nesbitt Feb 17: Unionists say nothing about how the NI Protocol breaches international law
• Peter Robinson Feb 12: Unionists might face a choice between keeping Stormont or scrapping the Irish Sea border
• Ben Lowry Feb 13: Peter Robinson has long experience of the what is and isn’t feasible
• Ben Lowry in 2020: Last night unionists celebrated a move towards Irish unity
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