By Jamie Bryson
The UUP’s plea for unionist capitulation, and collaboration in implementing the subjugation of the Union has been rejected repeatedly by the unionist electorate, and polls show that the mood of the unionist/loyalist community is a world away from that which the UUP advocates.
However, just because most of the unionist base is rightfully ignoring Beattie and Nesbitt’s almost weekly Chamberlain-like pleas for surrender, doesn’t mean their utterances should go without challenge, lest they fill a vacuum and some misguided persons are misled by their erroneous and constitutionally dangerous analysis.
Beattie begins his latest plea for parly in today’s Newsletter with the assertion that “the Windsor Framework is a compromise the UK were forced to make on a poorly negotiated Protocol”.
This is in the same breath as informing readers that protest failed, and that the Windsor Framework was going nowhere. Just like, of course, the Protocol- which he claims the UK were “forced” to change via the Framework- wasn’t going anywhere.
We then move on to an acknowledgement of “concerns” around “Article 6 of the Act of Union”. At this juncture it is worth pointing out just how much the UUP have diminished in importance the Act of Union since 1998, when Lord Trimble in trying to sell- to a (proven right to be) skeptical unionist electorate- the pernicious Belfast Agreement, based the case for pro-Agreement unionism on the (correct) proposition that “the Act of Union is the Union” and the (incorrect) claim that the principle of consent protected the Union.
Of course, despite the basis upon which pro Agreement unionism- led by the UUP- was constructed being shown to be a deception, the UUP simply want us all to close our eyes to this, and like a sycophantic puppy remaining panting at the door of Stormont, worshipping at the altar of their precious 1998 Agreement.
Thankfully, the vast majority of unionists/loyalists have woken up, the scales have fallen from the eyes, and the Belfast Agreement is seen for what it is and always was.
Returning to the Beattie article, after discussing concerns around the Act of Union (no longer, it seems, “…the Union”- lest such a constitutionally principled approach would impede the cry of surrender!), he then goes on to laud “dual market access”.
It is precisely the “dual market access” which causes the continued imposition of EU law, and thus NI being treated as the entry point into the EU, and the two-lanes which both operate as a customs border, to differing degrees, in the Irish Sea.
So ,whilst Beattie acknowledges concerns around the Act of Union, he then goes on to champion the very thing which is the core problem that causes the subjugation of Article 6.
I could refer to the joint Unionist declaration and expose further how Beattie either never understood the commitments he made, or- if he did- how far he has strayed from them, but what is the point?
Then we have the claim that in Government unionists could “challenge” the Framework. Honest to goodness, the more one reads, the worse it gets.
Let’s set it out, again, really clearly for Doug Beattie: to be in the Executive imposes a legal requirement to implement- in all its ‘glory’- the Framework. There is no scope to “challenge” it; why do the UUP keep repeating this demonstrable lie (no other word will do).
We then move on to “preparing a case for the 2024 vote”. Again, unionists expecting to meekly crawl along and take part in the Belfast Agreement and this vote, and pretend cross-community consent hasn’t been disapplied.
This is basically a plea for building a case in the hope that nationalists and their surrogates in Alliance will vote down the very Protocol which delivers them an economic United Ireland and closer alignment with the EU. Really?
Then we have again the need to “test” the Stormont brake. The working of the brake is set out in law very clearly, what more do the UUP need to understand?
Also, the ultimate authority rests not with the UK Government, but with arbitration. They’d know this if they understood Article 175 of the Withdrawal Agreement.
This is followed by reference to the TCA ‘review’. The clue is in the title Doug, it is a ‘review’ to be conducted by the UK Government (you know, the same people you say we can’t allow to run NI), not a renegotiation.
It is necessary for Beattie to put down the collective unionist stand against the subjugation of the Union, because by crossing the picket line, it is the only way the UUP can distinguish themselves.
Put simply, they put their party interest above the Union. They’d rather implement the subjugation of the Union, than stand four-square behind the rest of the Union of Unionists, saying enough is enough.
Let us call it honestly, Doug Beattie’s wing of the UUP are a threat to the Union. They are constitutionally dangerous and if anyone ever listened to them (doubtful), the damage to the Union would be irreversible.
The UUP done enough damage with their botched Agreement in 1998 which turned out to be more like a chocolate fireguard than a safeguard. Perhaps they ought to sit this one out.