Just under a year ago, I wrote an article for this outlet, detailing a Brexit opinion from Northern Ireland. In that article I laid out the theory that a hard border was a massive detractor for the people here. This may have resulted in a high vote against it in the referendum. Since then, Brexit has moved forward, negotiations continued, and surprisingly, the famine of the 1840s was not repeated. Even better, I have been able to repeatedly cross the border without the magical Brexit wall repelling me back towards the UK. For all intents and purposes, life moves on as normal.
Or at least, it did. That was in a world pre-coronavirus. Days when I could go to the shop, have a tiny smokers cough, and not get death stares from all around me, when exercise wasn’t monitored heavily and sunbathers didn’t face criminal prosecution. But what has happened here since then is remarkable. The border, described as impossible to police by many a politician, is being policed. A simple google search will bring results of people being stopped at crossing points, checkpoints in regular use, and cooperation between the PSNI (Police Service Northern Ireland) and the Gardai (Irish Police). The border, has closed.
Now what could this possibly mean? Were Pro-EU politicians lying? No, that couldn’t possibly be it. Are Pro-EU Politicians so blinded by Brussels that they believed it couldn’t be done? The answer is that politicians needed something, anything, to throw back in the Conservatives face. Anything that can possibly halt Brexit. The border quite clearly can be policed, and clearly both sides of it are cooperating in this endeavour. So why would Brexit be any different? Oh that’s right, because anti-globalism is inherently bad and there’s no possible way it could work. Unless there’s a pandemic, and the governments just do it.
Strawberries over Health Services
What’s even weirder is, during this pandemic, where the Irish government thought it necessary to close and police the border, they allowed a company, Keelings, to fly in workers to pick strawberries, trying to pass them off as essential staff. Yes, remember that Irish citizens who are currently banned from seeing your families, strawberries are more important. The country will fall without them. If it was for the health service, I would see through it, but strawberries? Really?
As a Case Study
Coronavirus has provided an interesting Case Study for the world — virus and emergency responses being front and centre — but also in this case for Brexit. The border can be successfully monitored, measures can be put in place, and not just here. Most European countries have done the same thing. It seems to just take a few hands being forced.
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