Open Letter to Democrat Visitors to Westminster on Northern Ireland – John Redwood’s Diary

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Dear Members of Congress

You are welcome in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. You will find many MPs here grateful to the US for helping to bring peace to the island of Ireland after many years of terrorist violence. As someone who survived the bombing of Brighton, the world is a much better place for the Accord between the Nationalist and Unionist communities in Northern Ireland. The best thing is that they work together through the ballot box and in a decentralized elected assembly.

Before getting into the UK’s debate and negotiations with the EU, it would be a helpful courtesy if you read both the Good Friday Agreement, which we all support, and the Protocol to the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. This will remind them that it is the EU’s biased and harsh interpretation of the Protocol that is undermining the Good Friday Agreement. Asking the UK to agree with the EU will intensify discontent in the unionist community and make it unlikely that members of the Unionist Assembly will resume working together with nationalist parties. Unionists see the Protocol as a fundamental change in their constitutional status as part of the UK and its internal market, and illegally under the Union Act 1801 and successor laws that gave them that status. The Good Friday Agreement is based on the wise central proposition that changes can only take place if both communities, nationalist and unionist, give their consent.

Let me assure you that, as an Englishman, I wish both the nationalists and the unionists in Northern Ireland well. My English colleagues and I do not wish to keep Northern Ireland in the UK against its will. If at any point it becomes clear from opinion polls that majority opinion is shifting in Northern Ireland away from the UK, we would welcome a border poll and accept its result. Current opinion polls say around two-thirds of Northern Ireland voters want to stay in the UK.

The UK recently polled Scotland when around half of voters indicated they wanted to leave the UK. The referendum produced a 55% vote to stay. Since the majority of UK voters voted to leave the EU, the UK cannot accept EU rule over part of our country. We vote for the freedoms America enjoys to make its own laws and impose its own taxes. I’m sure you can understand that. Had he been alive in 1776, I trust he would have supported American independence.

Yours sincerely

john sequoia


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