A small band of Tory and DUP Brexiters is determined to build a dangerous, hard border in Ireland. They must be stopped.
The erection of a hard border in Ireland will represent the physical manifestation of a failed political process — a lethal situation for Ireland.
Prime Minister May's insistence that Britain leaves the Customs Union and Single Market — propositions that were not even presented on the UK's Brexit referendum ballot — makes a hard border in Ireland inevitable, unless an EU-UK compromise is agreed.
Briefly today (Monday, Dec 4th), that compromise appeared to have been reached. Journalists from Ireland, Britain, and the EU, reported that a text had been agreed between British Prime Minister May and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that outlined the basis for avoiding regulatory divergence between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, thereby avoiding the need for a hard border in Ireland.
Then, suddenly: May pulled back from her own proposal. No deal. (At least for now.)
A hard border in Ireland is back on the agenda.
Why? The DUP, a party that won less than 30% of the votes in Northern Ireland - a region that voted to remain in the EU - and holds not a single seat in Britain, boasts that there can be no "special arrangements" for Northern Ireland that "diverge" from arrangements with Great Britain.
Reminder: The very same DUP demands a whole series of special exceptions for Northern Ireland when it suits them.
• The DUP calls loudly for Northern Ireland's corporate tax rate to diverge from Britain's. Divergence when it suits!
• The DUP demands that Northern Ireland's abortion laws diverge sharply from those in the rest of the UK, despite a majority of local elected representatives supporting a woman's right to choose. Divergence when it suits!
• The DUP want tailored VAT tourism arrangements for Northern Ireland that diverge from Great Britain. Divergence when it suits!
• On agri-business, the DUP supports yet more special arrangements for Northern Ireland versus Great Britain! Divergence when it suits!
The "principle of divergence" was conceded by the DUP long ago.
So it is absurd for this tiny party to block a fair and reasonable compromise between the UK and the EU by citing a "principle" they don't even believe in or abide by.
We the undersigned are calling on Prime Minister May to lead: Face down DUP hypocrisy and intransigence.
Warn the DUP that all their demands for special arrangements for Northern Ireland — 'divergence when it suits' — will be rejected if they do not compromise on this sensible border solution and fast.
Make it clear: A hard border in Ireland will not be accepted.
Prime Minister May, lead! Apply pressure and get this deal signed.