History gives those who study it the benefit of being able to weigh the significance of simultaneous, or near simultaneous, events. Thus in the early weeks of February 2020, historians will note, that the United Kingdom departed from the European Union, Sinn Féin polled the largest number of first preference votes in the general election in the Irish Republic … and Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, authorized civil servants to spend tax-payer’s money investigating the possibility of building a bridge across the Irish Sea between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Contemporary observers will note that Sinn Féin is committed to Irish reunification, Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted by substantial majorities to remain in the EU, and the ruling party in Scotland is determined to achieve independence from the United Kingdom.
One can conclude, therefore, that the prime architect of the UK’s departure from the EU, Boris Johnson, seems to be interested in spending upwards of £20 billions of UK money on a bridge between two countries which might very well not be part of the UK by the time that said bridge is built.
If bridge-building is needed, I would respectfully suggest that it needs to be conducted between the split and broken sections of the British electorate, not over 20 miles of stormy sea strewn with unexploded World War II munitions, where the demand for travel surely cannot ever justify such an expense.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs