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This is hopefully not going to backfire, but this is my take on recent debates on incidents in Ireland and New IRA. To say it up front: To say Brexit causes X is intellectually lazy and quite flimsy, but to deny dangerous consequences of Brexit mismanagement is just as bad.
The thread relies on some assumptions I'd like to share before going ahead. 1) I don't think Brexit as such is the cause of increased risk but potential consequences may be. 2) I don't think or believe that Brexit, in whatever form and with whatever consequences justifies terror.
3) My assumption is, that no deal leads to something Republicans and Irish nationalists will convincingly frame as a hard border. If new infrastructure on the border is necessary, it is a hard border from all intends and purposes.
4) The following thread deals with a 'no deal' scenario, any available alternative (WA or Revoke) is not considered. Additionally it is assumed that HMG doesn't agree to a de facto backstop.
5) Hard border also means that NI's economy is heavily affected, especially the border regions (which are strongholds of nationalist communities).
That means 'no deal' has two consequences: 1) economic havoc, 2) a border which is socio-cultural resented. I will start from there.
Point one is that there is no causality, Just because A happens doesn't mean B must happen, it's about probabilities. If no deal happens, there is a higher risk of political violence and reemergence of the troubles.
Why so? First, regardless what UK is willing to do, Ireland will ultimately be pressured to police the border. This can be done softly but it will end up as a hard border and due to absence of needed trade facilitation, cross border trade and all Irish economy takes a hit.
That means nationalism communities face two challenges: a border which is now more visible and a shrinking income, while seeing the country (Ireland) heavily tanking. This is will cause anger.
The anger won't be directed to EU but Unionists and UK, regardless whether UK actually patrols the border. In case UK decides to go for 'washing their hands in innocents', the common response will be 'UK decided to create such a situation by making outrageous demands'.
Whether Unionist like it or not, this narrative is more convincing within nationalist communities than any alternative - why should you blame the country you intensly identify with?
Point 2: Norther Ireland is not a place of peace, but since GFA it enjoyed an improvement of the situation. The costs of opportunity rose so that terrorism and violence didn't provide 'alternatives'. In other words: De Facto Ireland seemed united and could unite anytime.
That was good enough and basically killed off recruiting ground for IRA. That doesn't mean however, that the social tensions between the different groups don't exist.
However, since Brexit there have been changes which undermined the bit of trust. For one, NI has no government and the party necessary to play ball doesn't really have a problem with home rule and little incentive to come back.
It's quite the opposite, DUP has unprecedented power in No 10. This doesn't help to win over trust of nationalist communities. Comments of NI secretaries who broadly seemed clueless weren't helpful either, it undermined respect towards UK but also between The different groups.
So the starting point of no deal is few years of erroding the difficult peace process: Mistakes have been made. Now combine this with higher unemployment and effectively lower living standards (consequence of no deal) + a more visible border.
Does this mean nationalist communities running amok? No, certainly not. It's likely going to be a gradual process: More poverty and an effective attack on ones own identity will make it easier for New IRA to recruit volunteers.
Not just b/c more people may b willing to support them but also because more people may b unwilling to actively help state to take the situation under control. U may end up in a situation where people agree on the judgment: Unionists & UK's to blame while not agreeing on methods.
This situation is dangerous, indifference is a very fertile ground for recruiting operations of terror groups. And this doesn't take into.account that in such explosive circumstances mistakes of security forces may be made too which may amplify the anger.
Long story in short: I don't know what will happen but no deal is going to increase the risk of political violence.
Should UK address that in their foreign policy: Well, yes. First IMO it's part of their political commitment of GFA which trumps any other referendum. Second, any state must react on those dangers but the question is how. Good governance normally means, you avoid those risks.
So the response 'we won't give in to terrorists and let them dictate UK's foreign policy' is utterly stupid. It's not about giving in but about prevention and protection, and this the most relevant of all tasks of any state - not implementing your favourite Brexit version.
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