Open letter to the Democrat visitors to Westminster about Northern Ireland

Dear members of Congress

You are welcome in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. You will find many MPs here grateful to the USA for helping produce a peace on the island of Ireland after many years of terrorist violence. As one who survived the Brighton bombing the  world is a much better place for the Agreement between the nationalist and Unionist communities of Northern Ireland. It is best they   work through the ballot box and in a devolved elected Assembly together.

Before entering the UK debate and negotiations with the EU it would be a useful courtesy if you would read both the Good Friday Agreement which we all support, and the Protocol to the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement. This will remind you that it is the EU’s lopsided and heavy handed interpretation of the Protocol which is undermining the Good Friday Agreement. Asking the UK to go along with the EU will intensify the unhappiness of the Unionist community and make it unlikely Unionist Assembly members will resume joint working with nationalist parties. The Unionists see the Protocol as a fundamental change to their constitutional status as part of the UK and its internal market, and illegal under the Act of Union of 1801 and successor Acts  which gave them that status. The Good Friday Agreement is based on the wise central proposition that changes can only come about if both communities, nationalist and Unionist, give their consent.

Let me reassure you that as an Englishman I wish both nationalists and Unionists well in Northern Ireland. I and my fellow Englishmen and women have no wish to keep Northern Ireland in the UK against its will. If at any time it becomes  clear from opinion polls majority opinion is shifting in Northern Ireland to leaving the UK we would be happy for a border poll to be held and would accept its result. Current opinion polls say that around two thirds of Northern Irish voters wish to remain within the UK.

The UK did recently give a poll to Scotland when  around a half of voters were indicating they wanted to leave the UK. The referendum produced a 55% vote to stay. As a majority of voters in the UK voted to leave the EU the UK cannot accept rule by the EU in part of our country. We voted for the freedoms the USA enjoys to make her own laws and impose her own taxes. I am sure you can understand that. If I had been alive in 1776 I trust I would have supported American independence.

 

Yours sincerely

 

John Redwood

 

 

172 Comments

  1. Sea_Warrior
    May 14, 2022

    I would give a more Father Jack response to the ignorant meddlers.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      May 14, 2022

      +1

      And some.

      Reply
  2. Nigl
    May 14, 2022

    If you were an American politician you would only be interested in sucking up to the Irish American vote with a hatred of the U.K. going back to their ancestors forced to flee from poverty and hunger inflicted on them by British imperialism.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      May 14, 2022

      Or as Lord Frost said, apparently feeling that the US should stay out of the row.
      ‘It is our country that faced terrorism, faced the Troubles. I am old enough to remember having to check under my car every morning, as a diplomat, before I went to work,”

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        May 14, 2022

        Nigl…sorry…that wasn’t meant to be a reply to you.
        But greedy elite landowners more like?
        And great shame Ireland didn’t react to EU imperialism.
        They gave in without a whimper.

        Reply
      2. Lifelogic
        May 14, 2022

        Exactly and a very real danger that we end up with the terrorists or ex-terrorists in government in Ireland too.

        So Grant Shapps (with his 5 O Levels including a B in Woodwork and business HND from Manchester Poly) has decided to piss even more tax payers money down the drain on an allegedly “net zero” flight.

        “This trailblazing net zero emissions flight, a world first, will demonstrate the vital role that sustainable aviation fuel can play in decarbonising aviation in line with our ambitious net zero targets.” In short complete B/S Grant.

        Grant may I explain:- yes we know already we can make synthetic low carbon aviation fuel so long as we have plenty of low carbon energy or electricity to do it with. So when we sort fusion that is what will probably happen. Currently however we have no spare zero carbon energy free to do this with. Even wind and solar use loads of fossil fuels. The problem also is that this synthetic fuel will surely cost more than ten times the cost of current aviation fuel. So pointless without huge government subsidies indeed still pointless even then.

        Please Grant can you grow up and stop pissing my money down the drain on mad wasteful gimmicks that have no green or other value?

        Reply
        1. Everhopeful
          May 14, 2022

          +many
          100%
          And does their understanding of greencr*p, obviously very poor, exceed their understanding of what they are about to sign us up to with the Pandemic Treaty?
          The media is already ramping up fear of monkey-pox, licking its lips for more commie control.
          One can only assume that this regime/cartel/gang does not actually want a nation to rule…just a burnt out fag end!

          Reply
          1. Everhopeful
            May 14, 2022

            Or our MPs can ask Christine Anderson MEP about the Pandemic Treaty.
            She is a wonderfully knowledgeable woman and can see all the dangers of it.

        2. Lifelogic
          May 14, 2022

          I see that “India announces plans to double coal production by 2040 and catch up with China.”

          When is Boris going to grow up and ignore his deluded, theatre studies, green crap pushing, wife and ditch the net zero insanity that the foolish Theresa May saddled us with and the Climate Change Act that Ed (tomb stone) Miliband saddled us with?

          Reply
      3. ukretired123
        May 15, 2022

        Yes interfering (after all the bullets and bombs that befell the brave people of Northern Ireland and mainland Britain too) cannot be airbrushed away by fair weather ad hoc outside politicians who are not qualified to pass judgment or advice just as we cannot advise them 4000 miles away how they should act.
        If they recommend joining the EU we should ask them to join first as an example and see how they would like it – Not!

        Reply
    2. Mark B
      May 14, 2022

      And just before midterm elections in the US this November.

      I see my comment on Hawaii was deleted.

      Reply No it was approved. Why lie?

      Reply
      1. formula57
        May 14, 2022

        I can see Mark B’s Hawaii comment plain as day!

        @ Mark B – you know you now have to cancel yourself?

        Reply
        1. Denis Cooper
          May 14, 2022

          🙂

          Reply
      2. Mark B
        May 14, 2022

        reply to reply

        So why did it disappear ?

        Reply
    3. MFD
      May 14, 2022

      It was more their ignorance of farming and crop rotation, but then they always blame someone else- its their way!

      Reply
  3. Mark B
    May 14, 2022

    Good morning.

    PS Can we please have Hawaii back ? You know, the piece of UK Sovereign territory you stole from both us and the indigenous population.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii#History

    Reply
  4. Everhopeful
    May 14, 2022

    Yes…I remember crawling round London submitting to the humiliation of bag searches by horribly officious doormen etc. ( Very much like the covid power grab).
    Never was I more surprised than by the rehabilitation of the IRA.

    Reply
    1. turboterrier
      May 14, 2022

      Everhopeful
      Yes very true plus all the stuff that went on behind the scenes. The 24/7 Naval patrols in all weather’s stopping and searching ships of all nationalities to prevent the re-supplying the IRA with weapons and explosives the majority funded by the Irish American communities. Here we are all those years later a still nothing appears to have been learnt from the past. Why do the Americans have to get involved?

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        May 14, 2022

        ++100
        I think that the Kennedys are descended from an important ancient Irish tribe . Clinton claimed Irish ancestry and Obama is of Irish descent. Biden also believes he is Irish.
        Much sentimentality re Ireland in US and Clinton is held ( by some) to be the author of the Peace Process.
        Biden hopes to base his legacy on sorting out Ireland apparently.
        Plus US probably wants to join in the Brexit punishment beating?
        All very romantic.
        Makes one wonder why the ancestors of the 30 odd million Americans claiming Irish roots didn’t stay and fight for their food/religion/freedom/land etc.

        Reply
  5. DOM
    May 14, 2022

    The constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom cannot rest on the results of a deceitful, concocted opinion poll result. I suspect John didn’t intend to suggest that it does but it does read that way.

    It is obvious to all that President Obama and his party in the US and the EU want a united Ireland. It will happen.

    We are a weak nation because we have weak leaders and weak finances due to decades of free lunch fascism to protect the status quo. Thatcher warned of the dangers to democracy and freedom of free-lunch politics.

    In time England will become a recognised sovereign State but not by design but by default.

    Blair, Obama and Merkel are the architects of nation state destruction

    Reply
  6. Peter
    May 14, 2022

    The Americans are coming to lecture rather than listen.

    Reply
    1. Mitchel
      May 14, 2022

      Biden is making a right mess of the forthcoming Summit of the Americas with his we say you do as you are told form of democracy.His ban on Cuba,Nicaragua and Venezuela attending has been met by a boycott by Bolivia and the Mexican and Brazilian presidents.And Argentina this week has announced it will henceforth be attending the BRICS summits with a view to becoming a full member of that grouping.

      Reply
    2. turboterrier
      May 14, 2022

      Peter
      Correct. Just like they always do.

      Reply
  7. PeteB
    May 14, 2022

    Sir J, it sounds like you would like North American politicians to fully understand the local situation, history and politics before wading in with opinions. It’s a shame they do this so well across the world but not in Northern Ireland!

    Reply
  8. Nottingham Lad Himself
    May 14, 2022

    Sir John’s comments re percentages in referendums do not in any way conform with modern constitutional norms across the democratic world.

    Constitutional change normally requires supermajorities or similar, and also, where associations of nations are concerned, unanimity amongst those nations. That will not be wasted on the Americans.

    If those norms had applied here them the UK would still be in the European Union, but of course they were trampled into the dirt by the Right.

    Since they were also implied by “the Pledge” prior to the Scots’ referendum, the disgrace is all the more putrid.

    It’s hardly surprising that so many want an end to English reactionary Tory rule.

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 14, 2022

      But we were repeatedly assured by its supporters that participation in the EEC/EC/EU project did not involve constitutional change, so nor should termination of that participation. There was certainly no question of any kind of supermajority being required before we could enter, so why should there be before we could leave?

      Reply
      1. John Hatfield
        May 14, 2022

        Absolutely Dennis. We joined the EEC/EC/EU project on a lie and were subject to the increased political deception without any public consultation.

        Reply
    2. Peter2
      May 14, 2022

      What a rant NHL
      Do try to keep calm.

      Reply
    3. Roy Grainger
      May 14, 2022

      So you are claiming that a united Ireland would only be allowed if a “supermajority” of NI voted for it ? So never ? That’s contrary to the Good Friday agreement isn’t it ? Same for Scotland – a supermajority required ? So again, never ? And in future a new vote in Uk to rejoin the EU – supermajority ? So why are people even discussing it ? We’re out forever. Or do you only require a supermajority for things you personally don’t want to happen ?

      Reply
      1. Peter Parsons
        May 14, 2022

        If 51.9% is enough to leave, 51.9% is also enough to rejoin and simple voter demographics mean that such a swing will happen in less than a generation.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 14, 2022

          That’s not what NHL has demanded PP

          Reply
          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 15, 2022

            I didn’t demand anything.

            Are you imagining things?

          2. Peter2
            May 16, 2022

            No just reading what you said NHL

    4. Hat man
      May 14, 2022

      Constitutional change in e.g. France and Germany requires supermajorities of the legislature, lad, not of the voting public.

      In this country the voters were consulted directly, and they delivered their verdict. Sorry, you lost.

      Reply
    5. Richard1
      May 14, 2022

      This is exactly the kind of leftist drivel we need to avoid a Labour-SNP govt, please keep it up.

      Can you imagine if say a 60% majority had been required to leave the EU and say 59% had voted for it – what do you think the majority would then have been saying about ‘democracy’? One things for sure, if an unfair bar like that had been set far more would have voted leave. Same in any other referendum.

      Reply
      1. Peter Parsons
        May 14, 2022

        Plenty on here are prepared to defend an electoral system where much lower percentages than 41% (say, for example, 36.9% – 2015 and 35.2% – 2005) are, apparently “a majority”.

        If the will of the 36.9% or the will of the 35.2% can be imposed on the rest of us (the supermajority) who didn’t vote for it, surely the will of the 41% can be as well…

        Reply
        1. a-tracy
          May 14, 2022

          Only it wasn’t just the one vote Peter, after 2016 there were opportunities to overturn it, the Lib Dems went full out on that promise, Labour offered another vote, there was the European elections that through PR gave a huge majority to Brexit parties.

          Reply
        2. Peter2
          May 14, 2022

          Under PR the controlling party can have similar non majority figures.

          Reply
    6. Mike Wilson
      May 14, 2022

      Constitutional change normally requires supermajorities or similar

      If an element of a constitution is unwanted by a simple majority, why should that be ignored? The inference is that the status quo is so great it requires a massive majority to change it. Well the EU status qui was not great so thank heavens a referendum with a simple majority was carried out. Imagine if 60% had voted to leave but that wasn’t enough. Of course 69% would have voted to leave without all the scaremongering.

      Reply
  9. DOM
    May 14, 2022

    This country is ‘at war’ with the EU and Obama’s Anglophobia. They’ve targeted the destruction of the United Kingdom and they’ll succeed because British voters vote for it by crossing Tory, Labour and the SNP

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 14, 2022

      No, far right lunatics are at war with sanity in many countries including this one.

      It is they and they alone who are causing the breakup of a once-great country.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 14, 2022

        Who are the far right lunatics in this country at war with sanity NHL
        Another of your baseless dreadful and ridiculous smears.

        Reply
        1. Bill brown
          May 15, 2022

          Peter 2

          Argue for your points of view instead of using loaded vocabulary

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 15, 2022

            I asked a straightforward question billy.
            Why are you triggered?

  10. Len Peel
    May 14, 2022

    All these problems are the direct and fully foreseen result of the (ovenready) Brexit YOU chose. When will YOU take responsibility for YOUR choices?

    Reply
    1. formula57
      May 14, 2022

      @ Len Peel – you make a sound point but is not the call to alter the Northern Ireland Protocol the very essence of taking responsibility?

      Reply
      1. Len Peel
        May 14, 2022

        Good point sir, problem is the calls to alter offer no realistic alternatives acceptable to both sides

        Reply
    2. Mike Wilson
      May 14, 2022

      When will YOU take responsibility for YOU and YOUR ILK delaying leaving for years after the referendum causing, in the end, any bloody deal to be taken just to get the damn thing over with.

      The NI mess is YOUR fault. And the EU’s, of course.

      Reply
      1. Brearley
        May 14, 2022

        Untrue. Mrs May’s deal would have taken us out years ago, and with no GB/NI border. But the far right of the Tory party howled that down, and instead voted for the oven ready deal which let down NI so badly. And now they refuse to admit it!

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 15, 2022

          Exact.

          Reply
        2. Peter2
          May 16, 2022

          Twaddle Brearley
          You are rewriting Parliamentary history

          Reply
  11. BOF
    May 14, 2022

    Perhaps you should ask them Sir John, if they are the same US politicians that attended fund raising parties with super fund raiser Joe Biden, aka President Biden? Many millions of dollars raised to arm and train the IRA to bomb, maim and murder innocent UK citizens.

    Reply
    1. formula57
      May 14, 2022

      @ BOF – did the American public not loose their appetite for funding terrorism when they saw in the 9/11 attack what it truly was?

      Reply
      1. BOF
        May 14, 2022

        The GFA preceeded 9/11.
        Much of the Irish American community regard the IRA as kin!

        Reply
        1. No Longer Anonymous
          May 14, 2022

          BOF – Rather the ‘Brits’ not kin.

          Reply
  12. Sir Joe Soap
    May 14, 2022

    Perhaps we should invite some pro-democracy Hong Kong opposition politicians to visit and give their view of the situation?

    Reply
  13. Dave Andrews
    May 14, 2022

    Dear Congress members
    We sympathize with your aspirations to overturn UK rule in Northern Ireland. In this context we await your decision to return stolen land in North America back to the ancient tribes, plus reparations for the invasion.
    We understand this may be difficult in some circumstances, for example where you massacred the innocent civilians and wiped out particular tribes.

    Reply
    1. Pauline Baxter
      May 14, 2022

      Interesting point Dave Andrews.
      And so far as I know, when England ruled the whole of the island of Ireland, we were not that ruthless.

      Reply
      1. Bill brown
        May 15, 2022

        Pauline Baxter

        Have you never heard of the potato famine?

        Reply
  14. Donna
    May 14, 2022

    Or you could just ask them if they’d be happy for a detached part of their country, say Alaska, to be ruled by a foreign power. (Perhaps, Canada although Canada is far more benign than the EU -or used to be before Trudeau turned Fascist, anyway.)

    Perhaps they could also tell you what business it is of theirs anyway?

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      May 14, 2022

      Wholly agree with Dave and Donna. The way some of the ancient tribes were forced from their lands in both USA and Canada is abhorrent as is the way they have to live their lives now. Add Australia to that list too.

      Reply
  15. Sharon
    May 14, 2022

    So when is a group of our Labour Party or Conservative Party popping over to the US to give them advice on things? And it had to be the Democrats interfering didn’t it?

    I’m sorry, but what a cheek these Democrats have!

    Reply
    1. Pauline Baxter
      May 14, 2022

      Er yes Sharon.
      It just happens to be Democrats in power when U.S.A., via N.A.T.O., has pushed us into the war in Ukraine.

      Reply
      1. Peter Parsons
        May 14, 2022

        I think that might have more to do with the actions of Putin.

        Reply
      2. Bill brown
        May 15, 2022

        Pauline

        Nobody pushed anyone in to war except Russia

        Reply
  16. Bloke
    May 14, 2022

    The US Democrat visitors may be sniffing around hoping to assigned as official arbiter from within the shadows. Someone less biased, independent and brighter would be more suitable.

    An aborigine, the Dalai Lama or a Ukrainian refugee might be less prejudiced, shedding revealing light on what is right.

    Reply
  17. X-Tory
    May 14, 2022

    My letter would be much shorter:

    “Mind your own business. Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and the UK is an independent country. Northern Ireland has got NOTHING to do with you. Stop trying to interfere in this arrogant, offensive and unacceptable way. We don’t tell you how to run Alaska, so don’t you dare try telling us how to run Northern Ireland. Now go back to Washington.”

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 14, 2022

      “PS And we’re not too bothered about having a special trade deal with you, as it would not be worth much”

      https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/03/12/continuity-in-us-policy/#comment-1215624

      “A trade agreement with the US could increase UK GDP in the long run by around 0.07% … or 0.16% …”

      Reply
      1. Old Salt
        May 14, 2022

        Denis
        And most likely be of more benefit to them rather than us judging by the way a particular trade deal was agreed.

        Reply
      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 14, 2022

        But that wonderful trade deal with the US was trumpeted by the Leave campaigns as a reason why brexit would be no pain and only unalloyed joy, remember, Dennis?

        Remain patiently and repeatedly explained that it would not, in any way, compensate, and I’m pleased that you finally accept this.

        Reply
        1. Mike Wilson
          May 14, 2022

          I’ll be glad when the inevitable trade war with the EU happens. Bring back the Land Army.

          Reply
          1. Bill brown
            May 15, 2022

            Mike Wilson

            It would be nice to see some proof of that statement

        2. Denis Cooper
          May 14, 2022

          In 2013 it was trumpeted by David Cameron as a reason for staying in the EU.

          http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/11/30/no-deal-is-better-than-a-bad-deal-3/#comment-904260

          “For example, David Cameron in June 2013:

          https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-seeks-launch-of-trade-deal-to-turbo-charge-the-transatlantic-economy

          “PM seeks launch of trade deal to turbo-charge the transatlantic economy”

          For the UK economy his “turbo-charge” actually meant a marginal one-off GDP boost of between 0.14% and 0.35%, spread over a number of years”

          Reply
        3. Narrow Shoulders
          May 14, 2022

          Dennis has written many times about how little the FTA with the EU was worth so replacing it with something very small is indeed possible

          Reply
          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 14, 2022

            Yes, and better informed analysis says that he was utterly and woefully wrong.

          2. Peter2
            May 14, 2022

            Trade just carries on.
            Deal or no deal.
            You are utterly and woefully wrong NHL

          3. Denis Cooper
            May 15, 2022

            I certainly look forward to seeing that “better informed analysis”.

        4. X-Tory
          May 14, 2022

          Trade deals – whether FTAs or the EU Single Market – are grossly overrated. They are not really of any importance. We had a trade *deficit* with the EU (when inside the single market) and a trade *surplus* with the US (where we have no trade deal). I couldn’t give a toss about free trade deals – the statistics produced by economists about their supposed worth are utter cobblers.

          I could not tolerate the EU stealing around £10 bn of our money each year to give to our economic *competitors* in Eastern and Southern Europe. Why should we subsidise countries that are trying to harm us? Also, we had no veto over ALL decisions, so could have rules imposed on us, something which is incompatible with being a free and sovereign country. The fact that Remain fanatics cannot grasp what really mattered to Leavers is proof that they are so politically bigotted that it has turned them into mental retards.

          Reply
          1. Bloke
            May 15, 2022

            Consumer demand dictates what is bought, sold and worth producing. Their attitudes, purchasing power and choice are within the personal assessments of millions of individuals; way beyond what politicians can accurately predict. So-called Trade Deals often hamper purchases or distort true values.

      3. acorn
        May 14, 2022

        A WTO style Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, would not likely add much more to the $117 billion of Total Trade between the two countries. There are a hundred plus sectoral trade agreements that already exist; similar to the sectoral agreements Switzerland has with the EU.

        A WTO FTA would aggregate those sectoral agreements and include the rest of the respective economies in one document, that may still have some restriction in it mutually agreed. The rest of the two economies sectors not so far included, will like add $3 – 4 billion, (0.07% to 0.16% of GDP)

        Reply
    2. DavidJ
      May 15, 2022

      Indeed X

      Reply
  18. majorfrustration
    May 14, 2022

    Perhaps the next time the USA is looking for support in terms of “boots on the ground” it should first start seeking the help of the RoI

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      May 14, 2022

      Major
      Yes, yes, yes!

      Reply
  19. Wacko
    May 14, 2022

    Cringe cringe – what a snivelling creep you are ‘stand up man and show some backbone’

    You talk about “The unhappiness of the Unionist community” – but to remind you the unionist community had it all for fifty years after partition thanks largely to successive British governments feckliness and indifference – they, the unionist political class, had it all but sought only to grind down the nationalist people and you all stood idly by – and now you are still pandering to them

    Correction- the 1801 Act of Union itself was illegal in any court – it was brought about by coercion, bribery and large scale subjugation of the Irish people – you know that – everyone knows that – including the American who are coming over. So feck with them and there will be no special trade arrangement with the US – and that’s a fact – more cringe time

    Reply We have a large and successful trade with USA on WTO terms. The Democrats are said by US commentators to be heading for electoral defeat this year. Republicans in Congress are supportive of the U.K.

    Reply
    1. acorn
      May 14, 2022

      Actually, the UK does not trade merely on WTO terms with the US. For instance—the UK is the biggest non-EU trade partner—trade is regulated by over 100 sectoral agreements that go well beyond WTO provisions. (UK in a Changing Europe).

      Meanwhile, Congressman Richard Neal is reportedly planning a trip to London on a mission intended to remind the British government that the U.S. Congress has the back of the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Sea Protocol. https://www.irishecho.com/2022/5/neal-planning-london-trip You can read the brief at https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/IF11123.pdf

      Reply
    2. Denis Cooper
      May 14, 2022

      See above for the UK government’s own assessment of the low economic value of a special trade deal.

      Reply
    3. Richard1
      May 14, 2022

      Indeed there was injustice and wrongdoing in NI post partition. (As there was also in the Republic of Ireland). The Belfast agreement is there to end the violence which blighted NI and to some, extent the republic for 30 years. Which is why the protocol should not be used by the EU and Irish nationalists to try to stir up tensions and divisions as is now happening.

      It looks like the US democrats will be hammered in November anyway due to their appalling record in govt both at state and federal level.

      Reply
    4. Fedupsoutherner
      May 14, 2022

      Reply to reply. Republicans back in? I do hope so with Trump at the helm.

      Reply
  20. Len Peel
    May 14, 2022

    A word about the 1801 Act. It was overridden by the EU Withdrawal Act which, following the Protocol, splits NI from GB. You must know this, you voted for it

    reply I voted for Clause 38 of the WA to give us a sovereign override which I now wish to use. Do stop lying about my views.

    Reply
  21. Everhopeful
    May 14, 2022

    NI represents 0.5% of the pop of the EU.
    Trade between NI and Republic = 0.4% of EU trade. And the EU border checks = 20% of EU’s external border checks.
    EU’s policy of making Brexit hurt is directly undermining the Belfast Agreement and there is an increasing prospect of a return to the Troubles.
    NIP has to operate with consent of all communities in NI …it doesn’t!

    Reply
    1. Len Peel
      May 14, 2022

      It’s not the EU that chose Brexit. If it hurts, it’s those who voted for it that need to stand up and take responsibility

      Reply
      1. Denis Cooper
        May 14, 2022

        So you’re not too bothered if the EU is characterised as vindictive, behind the facade of goodwill.

        Article 8 TEU:

        https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A02016M%2FTXT-20200301

        “The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.”

        Reply
        1. Len Peel
          May 14, 2022

          Yes, the EU agreed to cooperate with the UK, generously entering into two Treaties with it, the WA (inc the Protocol) and the TCA. In return the Uk threatens to “scrap” the Protocol, again and again. There is bad faith here, but not on the EU side

          Reply
          1. Denis Cooper
            May 14, 2022

            “generously entering into two Treaties” – you make me laugh.

      2. Peter2
        May 14, 2022

        Len
        You are completely blind to the unfair ways the EU is dealing with the UK.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 14, 2022

          There is no law that says that the European Union has to behave in any particular way at all towards any Third Country – which the UK now is, thanks to your deluded and misguided vote.

          Reply Why do you hate the U.K. so much and why do you us to be a colony of the EU

          Reply
          1. Denis Cooper
            May 15, 2022

            Article 8 TEU is part of the law of your beloved EU, and the UK is a neighbouring country.

          2. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 15, 2022

            Thanks, Sir John.

            As a reply that falls into the “I’m going to water my geraniums huh!” category, I reckon.

          3. Bill brown
            May 15, 2022

            Sir JR

            This is not what NHL is saying or doing, this is your personal interpretation only

          4. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 15, 2022

            Denis, so in which court do you suppose that the UK might try to enforce that, and on what grounds would it have a right to be a party to litigation there?

          5. Peter2
            May 15, 2022

            But a correct one I reckon billy.
            PS
            What a bizarre response by NHL

        2. Brett
          May 15, 2022

          The word “unfair” does not exist in international relations. The EU is using its power to look after its members and its interests. The UK has chosen to be on the wrong end of that. It’s what you voted for, stop acting surprised the UK is now so weak without the EU on its side

          Reply
        3. Bill brown
          May 15, 2022

          Peter 2

          Can we have some real proof for this statement as we proposed the protocol

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 15, 2022

            Yes bill you can
            See article 8 of the EU treaty as Dennis has already explained excellently.

            It is about fair interpretation abd implementation of the WA treaty which is not happening.

  22. Barry
    May 14, 2022

    Since 1945, the US’s understanding of foreign disputes and its involvement in them has been far from impeccable.

    We can listen to what they have to say, but on no account should be do as we are told – especially by O’Bama.

    Reply
  23. Mike Wilson
    May 14, 2022

    I find it odd and a bit dispiriting that our once capable and independent nation now has to ask nicely to be independent.

    Reply
  24. Richard1
    May 14, 2022

    All in principle correct of course. But the problem with the hardline approach which you and others such as Lord Frost advocate is the EU will likely retaliate with a trade war, and it has become clear that the U.K. govt, at least as long as it’s led by Boris Johnson, won’t react as it would then need to.

    In the face of a trade war with the EU, U.K. interests would need to be defended by radical supply side reforms, radical trade liberalisation, tax cuts etc, in order to drive competitiveness, innovation, investment etc. but this govt is wedded it seems to high tax, high spending EU- style social democracy and dirigisme. Look what’s happening to the pound. That being the case I fear discretion is the better part of valour and it would be better to look for a fudge. Indefinite continuation of the grave periods eg.

    Reply
    1. Richard1
      May 14, 2022

      Let’s hope there’s an unofficial or secret clause in the defence treaties with Sweden and Finland under which they will veto any French & Commission-driven move to start a trade war with the U.K.. could be Boris has lined up a solution. But a solution to a trade war there needs to be, and we aren’t hearing it yet from our host here and others with the same approach.

      Reply
      1. Mike Wilson
        May 14, 2022

        Can you define what a ‘trade war’ between us and the EU would look like? Tariffs both ways? Hmmm, who would that cost more? The big German and French car manufacturers would soon whisper the facts of life to the EU Commisioners.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 14, 2022

          Nah, you said that before your daft little vote.

          Didn’t happen.

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 15, 2022

            Yet…

    2. Denis Cooper
      May 14, 2022

      The EU would be in the wrong anyway with disproportionate retaliation such as a “trade war”, but we should put them even more obviously in the wrong by speedily introducing export controls on goods heading to the Republic across the land border, as an alternative and superior method of protecting their EU Single Market.

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 14, 2022

        Oh, hasn’t your inane little brexit made life so much easier for all?

        😂😂😂

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 14, 2022

          Gosh you are getting very worked up now NHL
          Do try to keep calm.

          Reply
      2. Bill brown
        May 15, 2022

        Denis

        Do try and come up with something more relevant and realistic

        Reply
        1. Denis Cooper
          May 15, 2022

          We’ll see what Liz Truss proposes on Tuesday, if anything.

          Reply
  25. Original Richard
    May 14, 2022

    It also needs to be pointed out to the visiting Congress Democrats that in the recently held Northern Ireland Assembly elections the unionists won two more seats than the nationalists—37 seats to 35—and received a marginally higher share of the vote.

    So despite a republican/nationalist party becoming the largest party in terms of seats won there was no movement in the electorate towards the unification of Ireland.

    O/T : The Greens lost both seats they held before the election and were shut out of the Assembly for the first time since 2003. Very sensible.

    Reply
    1. turboterrier
      May 14, 2022

      Original Richard
      Greens were shut out

      May it long continue when the rest of the electorate, especially Boris wake up and realise what a big con it all is.
      At least the Irish are back on a road to somewhere regarding all this green crap whilst we are still flat out on the rod to self destruction.

      Reply
    2. hefner
      May 14, 2022

      OR, you’re absolutely right. There is no short-term risk of the NI reuniting with the RoI. As Sir John points out two thirds of the NI people would not want such reunification. Furthermore one could think that the various sides would want the agreement of the majority of people in both the whole of the UK and of people in the RoI.

      So it is difficult to understand why the DUP does not want to sit in Stormont and are making such a fuss. Could it be that they only are democrat to the D in their party’s name?

      Reply
    3. Mike Wilson
      May 14, 2022

      No need for Greens. Their job is done. The main political parties are all as green as grass.

      Reply
  26. Roy Grainger
    May 14, 2022

    UK has said they’ll never put a hard border in Ireland with border posts and checks. So that is compliant with the broader intention of the GFA. The fact that the EU are threatening to do so is hardly our problem and indicates the USA delegation is focussing on the wrong side.

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 14, 2022

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2022/04/25/trying-to-get-some-understanding-of-the-slowdown/?unapproved=1315472&moderation-hash=b093652abee3fb27fd4a6eec0c44c75c#comment-1315472

      “So who would erect that hard border?

      … the Irish government has said that it will not erect a hard border …

      … So who will do it? The leprechauns? Will Biden be telling them not to do it?”

      Reply
  27. Nottingham Lad Himself
    May 14, 2022

    “If I had been alive in 1776 I trust I would have supported American independence.” writes Sir John.

    Well, that was largely about “No taxation without representation” wasn’t it?

    Why then, did he so vehemently oppose the vote for our fellow tax-paying Europeans in this country who would be the most materially affected by the referendum result? The Scottish vote didn’t work like that, did it? And for plenty of our ex-pats who were still also liable for taxes to this country?

    Reply
    1. Denis Cooper
      May 14, 2022

      Almost all of those already resident have been very little affected.

      Reply
    2. Mike Wilson
      May 14, 2022

      If I lived in Spain – worked and paid taxes – I would hope to be able to vote in elections for municipal and national government. I Spain held a referendum on membership of the EU, which is a single constitutional issue, as a non-citizen I would not expect to have a say. Why should I?

      Reply
    3. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 14, 2022

      As the Ukrainian troops said to the captain of the Moskava from Snake Island…

      Reply
  28. Denis Cooper
    May 14, 2022

    JR, if they took up your suggestion that they read the protocol they could find it on this webpage:

    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1580206007232&uri=CELEX%3A12019W/TXT%2802%29

    starting about halfway down. The quickest way is to search for “protocol on ireland/northern ireland”.

    Before getting to the actual protocol Article 182 says, in line with the EU’s normal practice:

    “The Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, the Protocol relating to the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus, the Protocol on Gibraltar, and Annexes I to IX shall form an integral part of this Agreement.”

    They might be quite interested in some of the joint assertions in the preamble, such as:

    “RECOGNISING that it is necessary to address the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland through a unique solution … ”

    “EMPHASISING that in order to ensure democratic legitimacy, there should be a process to ensure democratic consent in Northern Ireland to the application of Union law under this Protocol”

    “UNDERLINING the Union’s and the United Kingdom’s shared aim of avoiding controls at the ports and airports of Northern Ireland, to the extent possible in accordance with applicable legislation and taking into account their respective regulatory regimes as well as the implementation thereof”

    “DETERMINED that the application of this Protocol should impact as little as possible on the everyday life of communities in both Ireland and Northern Ireland”

    And, crucially:

    “UNDERLINING their firm commitment to no customs and regulatory checks or controls and related physical infrastructure at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland”

    Not “at or near the border or indeed at any other place”, as foolishly accepted by Boris Johnson:

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-03/debates/585F872D-9372-4448-A32F-5CEC0FD49FB7/details#contribution-35ACC6F6-00F0-472C-91FB-3D9F8E60DE0B

    Reply
  29. David
    May 14, 2022

    We should revoke devolution in Scotland (especially), NI and Wales. It encourages its citizens to consider that they live in a separate country when they but live in regions of our UK country. They are no more countries than is the ancient kingdom of Wessex. Scotland, in particular, cannot be allowed to be independent no matter what its people say as it is vital to the defence of the British landmass and its remote places could be invaded. One should not say an independent Scotland would not be threatened – ask Ukraine.

    Reply
    1. Pauline Baxter
      May 14, 2022

      David.
      I also would like to revoke Blair’s devolutions.
      They were all part of Blair and Brown wanting to destroy the U.K. and turn it into ‘Regions’ of the European Superstate (E.U.).

      Reply
      1. DavidJ
        May 15, 2022

        +many

        Reply
      2. Bill brown
        May 15, 2022

        Pauline Baxter

        You really need to read some more history on the reasons for devolution.
        Read Britain Alone to understand it.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 15, 2022

          Come on bill
          Prove others wrong
          Cliche challenges…don’t move the debate forward at all.
          Isn’t that what you keep saying?

          Reply
    2. Clough
      May 14, 2022

      It would probably be threatened by England, David, if it tried to join a hostile alliance who would arm it to the teeth with lethal weapons.

      Reply
    3. X-Tory
      May 14, 2022

      England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are NOT countries. They are regions, just like Yorkshire, Cornwall and Kent. There is only ONE country: the UK. We need to scrap all devolution and go back to running the UK – which is a very small island (smaller than many US States) – in a uniform way. This fracturing and division of our country is a disaster. And we need to be very clear that anyone who wants to break up the UK is a TRAITOR. After all, wanting to destroy your own country is the very definition of treason! The SNP, Plaid Cymru and Sinn Fein are treasonous parties and the UK government should refuse to have ANY dealings with them.

      I am very disappointed that Sir John is so unbothered about the destruction of the UK that he thinks this is acceptable if a small number of UK citizens vote for it. Elections and referendums represent a snapshot of public opinion, and traitors should not be pandered to or bargained with. Did the US allow Southern states to secede? Does Spain allow Catalonia to hold an independence referendum? No and No. Politicians in other countries are not as treasonous as ours!

      Reply
      1. DavidJ
        May 15, 2022

        “scrap all devolution”. Spot on.

        Reply
      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 15, 2022

        Oh, how I wish that you’d say that in a pub on Glasgow’s south bank…

        Reply
    4. Mark B
      May 15, 2022

      Or better still, give England its own parliament and get rid of all these regional Mayors. Once we all have the same and a UK Government dealing with other matters, people will settle down.

      Reply
  30. ChrisS
    May 14, 2022

    Perhaps we could settle this by holding a border poll now in NI over a United Ireland ?

    We know that the outcome would be, only the size of the majority in favour of remaining within the UK will be in doubt but it would strengthen the case for change in the Protocol. Even Biden,for whom the reult would be at least inconvenient, could not possibly dispute the outcome.

    The attitude of Eire would be interesting as we all know that whatever the likes of that idiot Varadkar say, the Republic cannot afford to take over and run NI. I suspect they would backpedal on the idea for all they are worth, just in case the vote went the wrong way !

    Reply
    1. Benn
      May 14, 2022

      The people of ROI are not too hung up about a united ireland as they see the UK government pumping in 15 billion per annum to keep the place going – a united ireland maybe some day – but please not yet – people are not stupid – only governments are

      Reply
    2. Sir Joe Soap
      May 14, 2022

      This border poll idea is very premature. Indeed what if the Republic didn’t want NI? Perhaps a vote should be for or against independence, preceding which the EU would need to come clean about their willingness to take on the basket case. Basically, pee or get off the pot. A failed independence/EU protege referendum would annul the protocol, and leave EU to solve their own confected border dilemma. Take the fight to them.

      Reply
  31. Fedupsoutherner
    May 14, 2022

    All of this is a joke. The EU insist they won’t change anything if the UK ‘bullies’ them. Ha! That’s rich. Who is it that threatens to cut off the electricity supplies to Jersey and who is it that threaten to block all the ports if they don’t get their way? The US will bully us and threaten a no deal trade deal so I think it’s us who are being bullied because we have weak leaders who couldn’t negotiate a deal that puts their own nation first for a change. I am sick of being led by namby pambies.

    Reply
  32. Mark Thomas
    May 14, 2022

    Sir John,
    I suspect you are being overly optimistic in the hope that these Democrat members of Congress will read anything. They probably haven’t even read the bill to send forty billion dollars($40,000,000,000.00) to Ukraine with virtually no oversight.
    Joe Biden constantly claims to be Irish so anyone from his party visiting the UK/NI is almost certainly going to take the pro-nationalist anti-British line.
    With the mid-term elections in November the political landscape in the US will change dramatically and US-UK relations should improve considerably. As they say over there “the cavalry are coming”.

    Reply
    1. DavidJ
      May 15, 2022

      +1

      Reply
  33. The Prangwizard
    May 14, 2022

    A creep’s letter – sorry, a diplomat’s letter.

    Anyone who who really wanted to protect and defend our sovereignty would go no-where near writing such words. Typical weakness. The same sort of thing would go to Putin.

    Reply
  34. R.Grange
    May 14, 2022

    At least it will be good, Sir John, if you can get them to read what the GFA and the NIP actually say.

    How far they will take any notice is another matter. The response you might get from those Democrat congressmen is “Why aren’t people wearing masks here?”

    Reply
  35. Peter2
    May 14, 2022

    Would you expect to vote in elections in Europe just because you hapen to be there and working for a few months NHL?
    There are some simple rules for elections you have to be 18 or over and a citizen.
    PS
    ex pats can vote by post but there is a very sensible cut off after a number of years being away from the UK.

    Reply
    1. Peter Parsons
      May 14, 2022

      I think you’ll find that the Conservative Party are in the process of legislating that sensible cut off out of existence

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 14, 2022

        So my comment regarding NHL’s ridiculous post is still correct and current PP
        Thanks.

        Reply
    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 15, 2022

      You were allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum on exactly that basis, Peter, so why not?

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 15, 2022

        No I wasn’t because I was not a resident in Scotland
        Nor am I born in Scotland

        Reply
  36. Rhoddas
    May 14, 2022

    Biden with his deluded sense of Irishness, despite being a so-called Democrat, just wants reunification and this is overiding aim… cherry picking the arguments to suit his narrative.

    Reply
    1. Bill brown
      May 15, 2022

      Please present some proof for that statement

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 15, 2022

        Why not give us proof your views are right billy?
        That is what you ought to do.

        Reply
        1. Bill brown
          May 16, 2022

          I did not make the statement about Biden

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 16, 2022

            You post without any contrary arguments
            and just continually demand proof.
            Go on billy give us some of your own arguments.

  37. Ken
    May 14, 2022

    Wherever the US interferes in the world it ends up in wars, proxy wars! for them! the middle east, and now back to Europe, Ukraine and now they are trying to get Sweden and Finland to join NATO, which will create even more tensions on the Russian border with Europe and escalate another disaster. It won’t just be a war with Russia, China and many other countries around the world will join the Russian side they will have no other choice otherwise they will be left vulnerable to bullying by the US if Russia loses as an individual entity. So, who will be the winners and the losers??? Ordinary people worldwide will be the biggest losers, however, what the US don’t realise is that the west will lose the final battle and unfortunately the other countries of the west will suffer very heavily as well. all the major wars have been fought in Europe and the East, The US has never seen a major world war scenario on it’s own soil, it has had a civil war and a minor war with Britain. WW3 will end America!!!!!!

    Reply
  38. MFD
    May 14, 2022

    Sir John, If the PM Boris Johnson capitulates to the EU and the Irish terrorists he will have the ignominious job of removing the flag of St Patrick from the Union Flag and that will display his cowardice in the future for generations to come.

    Reply
  39. Pauline Baxter
    May 14, 2022

    I think you have done rather well with your open letter Sir John.
    You couldn’t very well say ‘Keep your noses out of our business’.
    Now let’s just get on with the job.
    Trigger article 16

    Reply
  40. agricola
    May 14, 2022

    You sum it up well. It remains for Boris to invoke Art 16, citing the negative effect the NIP is having within the United Kingdom. It would seem that an uncompromising EU, set on punishing the UK ,has to learn the hard way.

    Reply
  41. wanderer
    May 14, 2022

    I don’t believe our government is interested in exercising sovereign power, except in so far as it can please the WEF agenda. That would mean letting the EU have its way over NI and binding us back into the EU fold.

    After all, it looks like we will sign up to the WHO pandemic treaty, ceding power over pandemic policy to the WHO (such that they would decide if our towns and cities are locked down, what medical treatments we have to take, whether we have to wear masks etc.).

    The government seems intent on handing over its powers to unelected trans national or international bodies rather than allowing its citizens to chose the path they want.

    Reply
    1. DavidJ
      May 15, 2022

      Indeed, Boris has sold us out to the globalists. If only we had a robust Treason and Sedition Law.

      Reply
  42. mancunius
    May 14, 2022

    “illegal under the Act of Union of 1801 and successor Acts ”
    I agree with you, yet the Belfast Appeal Court ruled in March this year that it is not illegal: that although the NIP *does* conflict with the 1800 Acts of Union in respect of free trade between Britain and Northern Ireland, “the Withdrawal Agreement lawfully modified the Acts of Union” and that the Acts of Union have not been repealed but *one section, Article 6, now has to be read subject to the Withdrawal Agreement Act*.
    Yet Art. VI of the 1800 Act of Union explicitly states that (1) ‘All…subjects shall be on the same footing in respect of trade…’ It also bans (2) any restriction on mutual export and insists on (3) duty-free import within the countries of the Union.
    How when a constitutional article of law laying down such an absolute cornerstone condition is so directly abolished by a later law, can a UK Court decide that this is not an abolition but a ‘subjugation’, and that the protocol was the result of a “protracted, transparent, debated, informed and fully democratic process, which decided arrangements for Northern Ireland post-Brexit”. That “the terms were settled and made law after a long parliamentary process, and that it could not be suggested that parliament was unaware of the changes that might occur.”
    I’m aware you did not vote for the NIP, but why did your colleagues who did not dissent when this judgment was made in March?
    And why has nobody asked how a UK justice could possibly describe the wrangling over the NI trade border and the WA between 2016 and 2019 as ‘a transparent, debated, informed and fully democratic process’.
    (After a little research, I can think why, but it would be censured here!:-)

    Reply
  43. mancunius
    May 14, 2022

    To avoid ambiguity in the single sentence of para 3: ‘…but why did your colleagues who did [vote for it] not dissent when…’

    Reply
  44. Everhopeful
    May 14, 2022

    So proud of 100,000 visas, eh?
    While we mend and make do on 30p a day!

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 14, 2022

      +1

      Reply
  45. StephenS
    May 14, 2022

    American funding of terrorism was a disgrace. As a resident of Manchester it is hard to get over the consequences of those fund raiser dinners for Gerry Adams over the Atlantic….being purred over by the great and good of America. Well meaning idiots they remain. Biden, Pelosi and the rest should butt out.

    Reply
    1. DavidJ
      May 15, 2022

      Indeed.

      Reply
  46. Barr
    May 14, 2022

    Your letter today is directed at the Democrat visitors coming over but you will find there will also be Republicans included in the party. I feel you wouldn’t be writing about this visit at all except it must be of some considerable concern to you and the ERG group

    Reply
  47. X-Tory
    May 14, 2022

    The latest reports suggest that the bullish government briefing over the Protocol was just all a big CON, and Boris is going to make it clear that he will NOT defend the British interest. I read that: “Johnson will make it clear that the government has never suggested scrapping the protocol and that there will always need to be a treaty in place between the UK and the EU that prevents a hard border on the island of Ireland. He will also recognise the need to protect the integrity of the EU single market.”

    So the Protocol that gives a foreign power control over UK territory will not be scrapped, and the UK is going to continue to protect the interests of its enemies, rather than its own. Boris is a filthy TRAITOR. He is also a moron. There is NO need for a treaty to prevent a hard border between the North and the South of Ireland. We just don’t build one! Ireland has declared that they won’t build one either, so that’s that sorted. I will not vote Conservative again while this enemy of Britain remains leader.

    Reply
  48. DavidJ
    May 15, 2022

    We do not interfere in the politics of the US so, if they persist in interfering in ours, they should be told to Foxtrot Oscar in no uncertain terms.

    Reply
  49. Freeborn John
    May 15, 2022

    It is disturbing that Boris Johnson is apparently going to visit NI to encourage the DUP to agree to reinstating the Stormont institutions. If he thinks that Liz Truss would be too popular and endanger his Premiership should the NIP be repealed it will be nothing compared to him prevaricating yet again. The NIP must fall this week or Boris has to go.

    Reply
  50. Freeborn John
    May 15, 2022

    It is also disturbing that British politicians are using negative double-speak when talking about the Northern Ireland Protocol; telling us what they won’t do but not what they will. Like William Hague telling us he “will not test” over Lisbon, Liz Truss now says she “will not shy away” from taking on the EU. I am fed up of this language. I want to see decisive action this week to rip up the NIP or Truss and Johnson should both be out at the next election.

    Reply

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