Think tank founder criticized for suggesting Britain ‘bribe or threaten the Irish’ over backstop
While appearing on BBC’s Politics Live to discuss Brexit and the contentious Northern Irish border backstop, Alan Mendoza proposed a solution that echoes previous tactics historically favored by Britain when faced with an Irish opposition.
"You don't go to Brussels but you go instead to Dublin. You literally do a deal with the Irish, whether you bribe them or threaten them, one way or the other, to get them in the position where they drop their opposition to the backstop"— Darran Marshall (@DarranMarshall) July 12, 2019
Alan Mendoza, HenryJackson Society#Brexitpic.twitter.com/18P7XNdmLJ
“One of the best things I've seen recently is the idea that you don't go to Brussels but you go instead to Dublin, and you literally do a deal with the Irish, whether you bribe them or threaten them, one way or the other, to get them in a position where they're the ones who drop the opposition to the backstop and that enables the Europeans to do so,” said Mendoza.
“I think the amazing thing about this is, three years in, we are still no closer to actually understanding the final possibilities than we were three years ago,” he added.Also on rt.com ‘Withdrawal Agreement not open for renegotiation’: Tusk & Merkel deliver Brexit blow to Tories
Mendoza, who has a PhD in History, was heavily criticized on social media for his “astounding” ignorance regarding the historical significance of the Northern Irish border, with the Twitterati saying it was a prime example of the short memory and delusions of British colonialism. Many were simply openly baffled by the suggestions.
Irish Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin described Mendoza’s comments as a “shocking and ignorant fantasy,” adding such a proposal is “appallingly ignorant of the process we have been undertaking for the last three years” throughout the Brexit negotiations.Also on rt.com Is Brexit to blame for the uptick in Northern Ireland violence, and what is the ‘New IRA’?
Britain and Ireland have a tense and checkered past which dates back centuries. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement brought 30 years of Northern Ireland conflict to a close, a key part of which was the freedom to move between there and the Republic of Ireland without border checks, effectively removing a hard border.
The backstop was devised as part of the Brexit deal reached between the EU and Britain that no matter the outcome of Brexit, there will be no physical border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. Although May’s government agreed to it, many MPs (including in the Conservative Party) oppose the idea of a backstop, causing May’s Brexit bill to repeatedly fail to pass parliament.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!