Wednesday 6 February 2019 by Arabin Patson

Joy on the streets of Belfast as Theresa May’s speech resolves centuries of sectarian conflict


Theresa May in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland was the scene of many impromptu celebrations as popular Prime Minister Theresa May gave her reliable word that nothing would change despite her party tossing the Good Friday Agreement under a bus for Brexit.

Liam Hennessy, of the Falls Road in Belfast, was one of many to rejoice at seeing a painfully elaborate peace accord replaced by the word of someone as trustworthy as Theresa May.

“I grew up during the Troubles in a nationalist family and it was hard to see how the endless cycle of hatred and killing would stop.

“The Good Friday Agreement seemed like a good way out at the time. Both the EU and the US acted as guarantors and all parties finally found a way to co-exist and see their identity respected.

“But now I see that was complete overkill and all that was needed was a vague promise by a Tory politician who has u-turned so much on her own ideas it’s hardly newsworthy anymore.”

In Antrim, staunch unionists also welcomed the Prime Minister’s personal guarantees of something or other. As explained pub landlord and member of the Orange Order, Simon Williams.

“I’m glad she threw out that backstop that would have separated us from the rest of the UK. Or at least that what I think she said. Or did she? Are we still doing the Brexit?”

Asked if the controversial backstop, albeit modified, was going to be part of the final Brexit agreement, a spokesperson for Number 10 dramatically pointed at something behind the assembled journalists and promptly ran away.

I think, therefore I am (not a Brexit supporter) – get the t-shirt here!

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