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The Conservative win in the UK general election is a great victory for
national democracy in these islands and for genuine internationalism
against EU supranationalism.

It means that the UK will legally leave the EU at the end of next
month, taking Northern Ireland with it. This puts “Irexit” (Ireland
Exit) firmly on the Irish historical agenda, as the coming years will
undoubtedly show.

For unless Dublin pulls back from its current love-affair with the EU,
it will effectively be cooperating in a new Partition of Ireland into
the longterm future.

The British Labour Party, which promised to implement Brexit in the
2016 referendum and in its 2017 election manifesto and then spent the
past three and a half years trying to frustrate it in the House of
Commons, deservedly got its comeuppance in this election.

The Conservative victory shows the relevance of the insight of the
leftwing historian, the late C. Desmond Greaves (1913-1988), who once
remarked that all the big policy debates in British politics take
place inside the Tory Party, with everyone else having  at most bit

This was so with the Corn Laws and Imperial Preference in the 19th
century, with the policy of appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s
and with the UK’s relations with the European Community/Union since
the 1960s.  It was the Tory Party under Edward Heath that took the UK
into the then EEC in 1973, with Enoch Powell opposing him, and it is
the Tory Party under Boris Johnson that is now taking the UK out.

Contrary to the superficial views that are widely put around, the
Brexiteers constitute the Left of the Tory Party, not its Right. The
Tory Right consists of the key representatives of British High Finance
and Big Capital as represented by the likes of the CBI, the City of
London, Goldman Sachs, the globalisers and the Euro-fanatics, whose
spokesmen inside the Tory Party were the likes of Philip Hammond,
Dominic Grieve and David Gauke. The latter two lost their seats in the

Losing Britain as an EU Member, one of the largest national economies
in the world, will be a savage blow to the EU.

It will encourage the democratic forces in every EU country that want
to leave this anti-democratic supranational entity, get back their
national democracy and independence and hasten the EU’s inevitable

Democrats across these islands will rejoice today that the so-called
“People’s Vote” campaign, led by Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson,
Tony Blair and others, who shamefully sought a second referendum
because they did
not like the result of the first, has been decisively repudiated.

In Ireland democrats will rejoice that the editorial writers of the
“Irish Times”, who propagandized for a second UK referendum and whose
eurofanaticism has destroyed the reputation for objectivity and
balance of a once great newspaper, have also been effectively

Britain’s political elite showed more self-respect and respect for its
fellow citizens than its equivalent in Ireland, who shamefully made
the Irish people vote a second time in the second Nice Treaty
referendum in 2001 and the second Lisbon Treaty referendum in 2009,
without the slightest change being made to either of these treaties.

In Ireland the Mary Lou McDonald leadership of Sinn Fein abandoned
Republicanism by embracing Euro-unionism when they opposed Brexit in
the 2016 referendum, thinking that “Remain” was going to win and that
there would be egg on the faces of their local DUP opponents.

If the Sinn Fein leaders had stuck by their traditional EU-critical
principles and continued to stand for Irish national independence
vis-à-vis the EU, there would probably have been a Northern majority
for Brexit in that referendum. In those circumstances there would have
been a whole new progressive dynamic between Sinn Fein and the DUP,
for they would each have been campaigning on the same side against the
policy of the then Cameron-led Tory Government, which was of course to

With a Northern majority for Brexit, Sinn Fein and the DUP together could then
have turned round to the Government in Dublin and the Southern
political parties and said, “Follow us and the UK out of the EU”.

That would have put the latter completely on the spot vis-à-vis public
opinion in the Republic, and the now historically inevitable Irexit
would more speedily have followed Brexit. This was a tragically lost
political opportunity, with likely longterm consequences that could
last decades.

To cover their abandonment of Republican principles and their embrace
of Euro-unionism the Sinn Fein leadership now foolishly calls for a
Border poll which, if held in present circumstances, could only
aggravate further the division and bitterness between the two Northern
communities – something the 1970/1997 IRA campaign, which Sinn Fein
supported,  undoubtedly contributed to – and open the likelihood of
significant Loyalist violence
if proceeded with.

It is to be hoped that genuine Republicans in Sinn Fein will urge that
party’s leadership to pull back from their embrace of Euro-unionism
and realize that only through forming genuine friendship and
cooperation with their Northern Unionist neighbours and fellow
countrymen, and eschewing explicit or implicit threats, can there ever
be a path to peaceful Irish reunification with consent.


Anthony Coughlan

The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre
24 Crawford Avenue
Dublin 9
Tel.: 01-8305792