Radical response needed to post Brexit changes in Northern Ireland – By David McNarry

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Brexit is done and dusted with a growing number calling for ‘making the best of it’. What about rebranding ‘making the best of a new opportunity for the Northern Irish’.

Taking note of the U.K.- E.U. break up deal, sums up the impotency of an Executive frightened of itself. As a response to Brexit it isn’t good enough. The fun and games begin when unionists move without a mandate to implement the N.I. Protocol and obey E.U. rules and regulations.

Now has to be the right time to take an in depth look at all the ramifications of the N.I. Protocol. To consider with Brexit settled for the foreseeable future, would it not be in our best interests to ‘rebrand ‘ the Northern Irish political and societal landscape.

Just as the U.K. has entered into a new partnership with the E.U. how about a Northern Irish common identity internal partnership – an identity which embraces a modern togetherness approach, projecting for all a place to which belong and to equally enjoy the benefits and prosperity.

Exactly what the N.I. Protocol entails should be out there for discovery. The Northern Irish are past masters at deciding who does what and when. So too it must be the same for discovering what a rebranding formula brings to the table. Rebranding can be attained by exploring the opportunities promised out of the N.I. Protocol. It will take an honest assessment of the ‘best of both worlds‘ fanfare trumpeted as the uniqueness of the N.I. Protocol. Crucially, removing all excess baggage is part of the heavy lifting exercise in finding out the truth or exposing the chicanery.

It must be fully understood by London, Brussels and Dublin that the burden of accountability for the N.I. Protocol rests with them and is not the responsibility of the Northern Irish.

Democrats will not submit to bullying or be forced into implementing an agreement or protocol out of which they have been left out and to which have not yet consented.

The N.I. Protocol has a provision for the N.I. Assembly to vote whether to keep the protocol after three and a half years. Should it pass by a simple majority it continues thereafter for a period of another four years. If it passes by a majority cross community support then it continues for another eight years – which are good reasons for a rebranding scheme to become part and parcel of the N.I. Protocol terms and conditions. Not least, in making room for informed judgement and treating the public with respect.

Therefore implicit within the concept of rebranding there should be a general acceptance of devolving a high degree of independent trading autonomy beyond the scope contained in the N.I. Protocol. Rebranding in itself is not a patchwork panacea .To stand an even chance of success the premise sought is to open a discussion on rebranding which ensures that peace and harmony are protected. That done and taken as read, rebranding can initiate a concentrated focus on ‘what is in the best interests of the Northern Irish and for those willing to share in building a new identity around common aims and objectives’.

This betrayed Brexiteer acknowledges that there can be potential opportunities arising from local rebranding and configuring the N.I. Protocol to be controlled and turned into local advantage. To happen, the following questions are raised and deserve honest answers. – What precisely can Northern Ireland achieve as reward for voluntarily embracing the N.I. Protocol ? – What changed approach could unionists pursue which meet the test of others committed to impose the N.I. Protocol? – What will Dublin, Brussels and Washington put on record which persuades the pro union constituency here that the N.I. Protocol will not be used to provoke hostility against unionism ? What protection will London put into practice which assures unionists that the Union is safe? Are the unionist leaderships confident that they could accommodate non- first preference voting unionists in a New Northern Irish Rebranded Dispensation?

The concept of rebranding within the context of Northern Ireland adapting to work the N.I. Protocol is deserving of a serious discussion.  A process pulling together a ‘Think Tank’ to initiate a rebranding strategy proposal is likely to be welcomed by a wide range of reasonable pro- union constituents. Rebranding is an attractive attainable outcome. Finding suitable and capable people willing to produce a rebranding proposal should not be difficult.

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  1. Gearoid MacSiacais on

    David. With all due respect you need to stretch yourself and stop confining this debate to the confines of an artificial statelet. Let’s have a conversation on the island in the context of Brexit realities.

  2. Geariod, Just noticed your comment. Writing my version of ‘war and peace’ for Mr. Mallie. Think it will have to be serialised. Anyway Gearoid, for my the benefit of many like me. Please write a piece for the Mallie home page, explaining precisely the context of Brexit on the island, presumably you mean this island shared between N.I. and the RoI. BUT likely to remain constitutionally separated for a very long time. Looking forward to it Best Regards David McNarry.

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