Britain's government should stop plastering the Union Jack everywhere. It looks to many like an attempt to stamp Westminster’s ownership on all corners of the nation
The bonds that hold England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland together are weaker than at any time in living memory | Leaders
. In the past year opinion polls have shifted from a small majority backing the union—broadly the pattern since a referendum rejecting independence in 2014—to a small majority backing departure.Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, has done it determinedly, by exploiting Scots’ dislike of the Brexit settlement. The ills of fishermen unable to sell their catches are blamed on Westminster. Polls suggest that, in the Scottish elections in May, the
SNPwill gain an overall majority in a system designed to avoid it.Arlene Foster, first minister of Northern Ireland and head of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has done it stupidly, by rejecting the softer Brexit proposed by Theresa May, Mr Johnson's predecessor. That would have avoided the vexed issue of how and where to create a border with the
EU. Neither Brussels, nor Dublin nor London was prepared to create a hard border on the island of Ireland, so Mr Johnson created one instead in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, weakening the union which theDUPearlier this month headtopics.com
. Resentments fester and, as the 100th anniversary of Irish independence nears, reunification has never looked closer.If the Scots, Northern Irish or even the Welsh choose to go their own way, they should be allowed to do so—but only once it is clearly their settled will. That is by no means the case yet, and this newspaper hopes it never will be.
Breaking up a country should never be done lightly, because it is a painful process—politically, economically and emotionally. Ask the Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis or the Serbs, Croats and other former citizens of Yugoslavia. Few splits happen as peaceably and easily as that of the Czechs and Slovaks. Though it seems inconceivable that the citizens of today’s
UKwould start murdering each other, that is exactly what they did during the Northern Irish Troubles that ended less than a quarter of a century ago.When not bickering about the constitutional question, theUK’s constituent parts work together fine. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ran separate covid-19 lockdowns, adjusted to local rates and sensitivities. Vaccines, where scale counts, were run nationally.
TheUK’s survival matters more broadly, too. Although its historical record is hardly unimpeachable, it is on the side of democracy, human rights and transparency in a nasty world. No doubt its constituent parts would embrace similar values, but when independent England or Scotland piped up in defence of Hong Kong, they would be easily ignored—especially if they lost their permanent seat on the headtopics.com
UNSecurity Council.The fact that the survival of the union is now in Mr Johnson’s unreliable hands will bring no comfort to anybody who hopes it has a future. Yet he is concerned enough to have created a “union unit” within Downing Street, and put it under Michael Gove, one of his cleverest colleagues and the government’s only high-profile non-English minister.
Some of what Mr Johnson is doing is sensible. He is right to insist that now is not the time for another Scottish referendum. The last one, only seven years ago, was advertised as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. It is true that Britain’s circumstances have since changed, but Brexit is very recent, and opinion about it has not had a chance to settle. There should not be another referendum until polls show a clear and sustained majority for independence. Holding frequent referendums is a recipe for instability and an eventual end to the union: at some point the trigger and the bullet will coincide.
But the government is getting much else wrong. It should stop plastering the Union Jack everywhere. To those whose identity is primarily regional, it looks like a campaign that is designed to stamp Westminster’s ownership on all corners of the nation. It should use non-English figures more, including Ruth Davidson, the popular former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. Mr Johnson also needs to stop lying. His dishonesty over the Irish Sea border, which he said would be created “over [his] dead body”, exacerbated his betrayal of the province. And he needs to improve Britain’s relations with Europe, including by aligning Britain’s food-and-agriculture standards with those of the
EU—the main source of the trade friction that has infuriated Northern Ireland’s unionists. That would make a trade deal with America harder, but no such deal is on offer now, and none ever will be if the peace in Northern Ireland is put in jeopardy.You only had two jobs headtopics.com
Mr Johnson was elected prime minister to “get Brexit done”. In carrying that out, he has endangered his country's integrity. His single most important task for the rest of his term in office is to hold the union together. If he fails, he will go down in history not as the man who freed the United Kingdom, but as the man who destroyed it.Read more: The Economist »
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All empires come to final end. Eventually England too will split and Wessex will take back its rightfully place. They do - FreeScotland ❤️Indyref2 We did brexit without any of this It’s clearly an anti-Scottish hate article Think Scotland and Northern Ireland soon be independent they totally deserve it!
No because the more you wait, the more divergence there will be & the more difficult it will be to rejoin. Eh no . Just a simple majority. Oh and make it advisory and get the Russians to help. nice And all the polls show support has dropped for independence because 40% of Scotland voted to Leave. I mean, most people voting for the SNP is a fairly good indicator
Why We are not United we are now fragmented in people and nations. Being divided and ruled by a kleptocracy. Friends, close partners, share some natural resources and some public polices or governance YES! But UK no make sense as is!
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In Spain an image is said, it is worth a thousand words. horrible That’s one off the list 💚 Making money with the help of LADSBROKE betting odds is the best, search for LADSBROKE on TELEGRAM and join. Tories do nothing for this country but divide and destroy whilst always ensuring they’re better off...lining their pockets with public money ReverseRobinHood 🤬
All part of the Johnson/Cummings masterplan. End up with independent England (with or without Wales) benefiting from the money generated in the South East - and Tory governments for ever more. Think Switzerland with nuclear warheads. I am all for letting Scotland and Wales back into the EU! Idk about England
With its Brexit, Britain will have to say goodbye to Scoland and Northern Ireland. In case of a divorce, make sure that you are all tired of wars BEFORE the divorce. Nope. If there's a time that the UK needs to be putting the flag everywhere, it's now we've left the EU. For decades there's been a drive to have people feel ashamed of the national identity.
Bollocks. It’s the UK flag, should be flown in every government building. Reasons Why Not To Invest&Visit in South Africa: 1. Racist BBBEE laws 2. Corruption 3. Crime 4. Unfriendly labour legislation 5. Expropriation without compensation 6. Failing infrastructure 7. No electricity 8 Illegal foreigners 9 City Name Changes(Port Elizabeth)
So what's wrong with some pride.The Economist never complains about excessive gay rights posters nor BLM real. “All this flag shagging is gonna end in tears” The Economist