The Press

Emo­tional bonds are slip­ping away

- Brexit · European Politics · UK News · British Politics · Politics · United Kingdom · England · Scotland · Northern Ireland · Island of Ireland · Boris Johnson · Edinburgh · Cardiff · Belfast · London · Scottish National Party · European Union · Scottish Parliament

Views from around the world. These opin­ions are not nec­es­sar­ily shared by Stuff news­pa­pers.

The United King­dom faces a pro­found set of prob­lems as it grap­ples with how Brexit and the Covid-19 pan­demic un­der­mine its struc­tures of gov­ern­ment and the emo­tional sol­i­dar­i­ties and trust its union de­pends on. The dif­fer­ing re­sponses to Brexit and Covid in Eng­land, Scot­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land are com­pounded by the tur­bu­lent every­day pol­i­tics of Boris John­son’s chaotic premier­ship.

Brexit has re­cen­tralised power away from Ed­in­burgh, Cardiff and Belfast as com­pe­tences like agri­cul­ture and the en­vi­ron­ment pre­vi­ously held in Brus­sels re­turn to Lon­don. Scot­tish polling now shows a sus­tained and grow­ing ma­jor­ity sup­port­ing in­de­pen­dence. The SNP is ex­pected to win next May’s Scot­tish Par­lia­ment elec­tions and then claim a man­date for another ref­er­en­dum.

The union’s emo­tional bonds and trust are seep­ing away.

North­ern Ire­land re­mains dis­tinct as a deeply con­tested polity whose pow­er­shar­ing gov­ern­ment fits awk­wardly into UK struc­tures. But there can be no deny­ing it too is deeply af­fected by the wider dif­fi­cul­ties fac­ing union­ism in the UK as a whole. The longer they are un­re­solved the more at­trac­tive a united Ire­land within the EU could be for North­ern Ire­land’s grow­ing num­bers of float­ing vot­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand