Support the Union of the UK and Support Gilbraltar

Scotland had planned to hold a second referendum (indeed the 1st referendum returned 55% remain with a reason cited being that devolution would endanger Scotland being part of the EU).  Northern Ireland has a fragile peace and its borders are very likely to become problematic if it leaves the EU.  Gibraltar voted 97% to stay in the EU.  They do not have an easy border with Spain now, if we leave the EU it will not get better.  Three out of five countries voted to remain in the EU.  

The UK is our heritage, our neighbours, our friends.  UKEUP does not want to see the break up of the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland has an easy border (along 200 roads) with the Republic.  There is real danger in that border becoming hard again.  Few in Northern Ireland want a return to any of the difficult period of the troubles, but exiting from the EU is going to make relationships with Ireland strained.  We will no longer be sitting round the same tables.  Ireland will have access to EU funds, Northern Ireland will not. Education cross border, working cross border, trade cross border and simply crossing the border to see a friend becomes something that will be more difficult if the UK is to have harder borders with the EU.  The Good Friday agreement has special trading relationships built into it.  It is part of the essential peace-keeping agreement in the island of Ireland.  But BREXIT means that there has to be a border, with customs post somewhere.  The EU will not want goods going into the EU that do not conform to the EU's regulations, so the border has to be hard somewhere - either between the North and South, or between NI and GB.  Both propositions have enormous internal political problems which have the potential to upend the peace that has been sought for so long in the island.  Borders cost lots of money and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU.  It is not unreasonable to say that Brexit is a most dreadful challenge to the peace in the province.

Gibraltar has been through much trauma in the recent past with Spain.  The border was even closed to foot and vehicle traffic.  Now 5,000 people from Spain go into Gibraltar each  day to work.  Close, or restrict the border and Gibraltar’s economy slumps, industry and commerce have to move out and many people lose their jobs.  Gibraltar wants to remain firmly British, but there is much fear that Brexit will cripple the economy and they may be left with Hobson’s choice – having to join Spain to keep their economy going. 

BREXIT makes the prospect of less peace in the continent, just in these two areas, more likely.  UKEUP wants to keep the hard-won peace that the EU has helped to provide.

Pierre Kirk