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A New Year brings a mix of emotions:  hope, optimism and fear for the future and nostalgia, regret and anger for the past.  For example, one can’t be too optimistic just yet about the EU Withdrawal Agreement Boris Johnson  submitted to Parliament.  If  he feels emboldened  by his new majority, for example,  and adopts  an amended version unacceptable to the EU, he will achieve his long sought  no-deal exit. Ireland’s issues would remain unresolved.    Johnson’s  imperialist advisors still  fear 2020 will begin the end of the United Kingdom.
 
2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the colonial-era garrison known as Northern Ireland.   It has survived despite  decades of bad governance, a public policy of Catholic exclusion, corruption of law, human rights violations on an industrial scale and a  State-sanctioned campaign of murdering civilians gradually uncovered in the Stevens, de Silva and  Kenova  inquiries.  N. I., in fact,  had more in common with South Africa’s apartheid regime than a democracy governed by the rule of law.  Not surprisingly, Northern Ireland voters  supported remaining  in the European Union.  Moreover, Britain’s  union/loyalist voting bloc  in the North is crumbling.  After 20 years of the Good Friday Agreement, they  may see a brighter future within a re-united Ireland and the EU.       
 
Johnson will,  of course ,craft some measures to appease  nationalist and unionist fears.  Loyalist political leaders Nigel Dodd and Arlene Foster will no doubt be added to the Queens New Year Honors List for their 20 years of obstructing peace and the GFA.  A British law banning the use of the Gaelic language in government proceedings may  be repealed.  The British Ministry of Defense will get more funds to obstruct legacy investigations and inquests and to  improve their cover-up of smuggled  arms to loyalist  thugs. Funding will most certainly  be infused into  the British Academy’s Irish unity study  to insure their report produces  the “right” conclusion on that question.
 
Whether the break with the EU takes 2 months or two years, Britain will feel negative impact on its economy.  The Prime Minister needs the help of a US trade deal.  After decades of ambivalence toward Ireland and the conflict,  America needs to make clear to the British that it favors a re-united Ireland as the surest road to peace and prosperity.  A new US-UK trade deal must  guarantee  the British   will fulfill  all the provisions of the Irish peace process  agreed to including the Stormont House Agreement and, if   Britain  unlawfully or with force of arms  obstructs the democratic  reunification  efforts, the trade deal must be nullified.  England should never again be allowed to ignore and oppose any  democratic vote of the people of Ireland as it did  with Brexit no matter how historic the Conservative  vote.
 
Michael J. Cummings, Secretary
201 W Evergreen Ave
Chestnut Hill, PA 19118
267-766-5028, 518-330-6765
 
castlecomer@gmail
 
Michael J. Cummings, a native of Springfield, Mass., is a graduate of St. Anselm’s College (B. A., 1968)  and  New York University (M. P. A., 1970) . He  established and served as  Secretary of the American Brexit Committee from 2016-2019.  He served on the  National Boards of the Irish American Unity Conference;   the Ancient Order  of Hibernians;  and the  Irish Northern Aid Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Capital District Irish National Caucus and   on the Peace and Justice Commission of the  Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.  He worked for the State of New York for 36 years.  Cummings has appeared on American, English and Irish television and radio and his commentary and letters and those of the organizations’ Presidents have

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