Pacta sunt servanda. Unless states keep their word, the whole international order begins to break down. Deals cannot be made with states which cannot be trusted, and even the threat of breaking a treaty seriously undermines the confidence other states have in the ‘rogue.’ This is where Britain now stands, on the outside looking in without a single friend who trusts it enough to open a door. Britain has not merely decided to leave the European Union, it has found itself locked out.
Derry-born woman Emma DeSouza has never considered herself British. She identifies as Irish, and the GFA – accepted in good faith by the people of Ireland – gives her the right to identify “as Irish or British, or both.” The GFA confirms that anyone born in the British occupied six counties has the right “to hold both British and Irish citizenship.” But recent events around Britain’s decision to leave the European Union have exposed what Republicans have always known; that Britain signed this treaty in bad faith and had no intention of honouring its terms
Where does this mindless obedience lead us? We know fine well where this behaviour leads; history teaches us all we need to know, and this is precisely why we refer to the defence of “only following orders” as the Nuremberg defence. This leads to the deprivation of civil and political rights, the creation of categories of political crimes, and to the exact same thinking that brought us the re-education camps and concentration camps of the totalitarian and authoritarian régimes of the not so distant past – and this is no facile comparison.
Theresa May has laid down an ultimatum, the date of which has now expired, and the Russians are laughing in her face. In international politics this is never a good thing. She and her resident jester Johnson now need to come good on their threats, and, while it is clear Europe will have nothing to do with this idiotic standoff, no one knows if the Americans will now actually back them up. In the end Britain is left looking more isolated and vulnerable than it was yesterday, and that too is never a good thing in international politics.
Democracy – and it is difficult to accept that in 2017 we still find ourselves having to explain this – is all about the will of the people over the ambitions of those in and behind government. The Partido Popular, the ruling party in Madrid, is a minority government that now no longer has the support of Congress for the actions it is carrying out against Catalunya. In reality what we have is a western government using military-style measures with a military police force against an apparently “illegal” act of democracy without the consent of its own parliament.
This notion of “divisive nationalists” is a staple in the repertoire of every Scottish unionist. Somehow the idea that Scotland can and perhaps should be an independent country – a state in its own right – is treated, as if by magic, to be the only politically divisive issue.
Blair’s Labour government pushed Scotland’s sea boundary with England north just before devolution. Neil Lovatt argues that the assertion that this was a water-grab is a classic piece of disinformation. Let's see.
In the real world – a place both Netanyahu and Danon are ill at ease – we have to deal with real people and their real rights and claims. In the real world gods don’t act as guarantors. Laws do. In this case we have the current position of international law and the reality of Palestine and Israel as real and existing states with rights.