In a huge – and possibly mortal – blow for Tory hopes of delaying the collapse of their ‘weak and wobbly’ minority government, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has told Irish TV station RTE that the Irish Republic will not support any Brexit deal (encompassing, among other things, any free-trade agreement) if the UK does not ‘fully’ protect the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and the peace process in Northern Ireland:
As there is no conceivable way that the Tories can do a deal with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) without threatening the peace process by forsaking the UK government’s pledged impartiality, this amounts to a declaration that Ireland will veto any Brexit deal if a Tory-DUP deal goes ahead.
Putting Theresa May and her advisors in an impossible situation.
A legal challenge to any ‘MayDUP’ deal is already in preparation on the grounds that it would breach the GFA, but even more importantly, Sinn Fein would never tolerate such a deal and would ‘leave the GFA table’, shutting down the peace process and ending May’s hopes of any kind of Brexit deal.
This leaves May with four options:
- end negotiations with the DUP and try to govern as a minority – with an offended and vengeful DUP then in a position to bring down her government and likely to do its best to do so
- end negotiations with the DUP and hope that the LibDems are prepared to commit irretrievable political suicide in order to shore up a government that clearly has no mandate
- press ahead with the DUP deal – assuming the Tories can even close it, which is seriously in doubt – but suffer the wrath of the UK’s ‘leavers’ and condemn the UK to an almost certain ‘no-deal’ default to WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms, the worst possible result
- drive to Buckingham Palace with her own and her government’s resignation and trigger a new General Election in a desperate – Labour are currently polling well ahead of the chaotic and clearly incompetent Tories
Of these four, the last looks by far the most likely result.
Thank you Ireland, thank you Mr Simon Coveney. You are very likely saving the peace process – and helping to bring down a toxic and incompetent Tory government that has been breaking all kinds of constitutional precedents in its desperate attempt to cling to power.
But of course this massive news is, so far, entirely absent from BBC News’ rolling coverage of Brexit negotiations, with the national broadcaster instead currently talking up the prospects for a deal with no mention of Ireland’s enormous spanner in the works.
So again it’s over to the SKWAWKBOX’s readers to make sure the message gets out and accelerate the demise of the worst Prime Minister in generations.
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