UK Tories threaten partition for North of Ireland

The Conservative Party Brexit campaign is sliding towards a "take it or leave it" showdown with the EU amid an increasingly bloody-minded approach by British officials.

There were furious condemnations this week of Tory extremist Jacob Rees-Mogg after he said Britain could use "historic arrangements" to control the Irish population after Brexit.

"There would be our ability, as we had during the Troubles, to have people inspected," he said.

"It's not a border that everyone has to go through every day. But of course for security reasons during the Troubles, we kept a very close eye on the border to try and stop gun-running and things like that."

Sinn Fein Assembly member Mairtin O Muilleoir said "Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Tory Brexiteers have again shown contempt and a complete disregard for the people of Ireland north and south.

"Anyone labouring under the misapprehension that the Tories care a jot about the north is living in a fool's paradise."

There was no denial of the comments by Theresa May or others in the leadership of the Conservative Party. Instead, Theresa May indicated that a 'no deal' Brexit would "not be the end of the world", again infuriating nationalist politicians.

Last week, 'technical guidance' published by the British government suggested cross-Border businesses should simply contact Dublin for advice in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This is in line with warnings that the British simply intend to launch a blame game against Brussels and Dublin over the return of border checks.

Sinn Fein's northern leader Michelle O'Neill said the Tories had shown "absolute contempt and blatant disregard" for the people of the North. She called for a special London-Brussels meeting to solely deal with the North.

Former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said the British government had resiled from the 'backstop' agreement in December under which it said the North would remain within the single market and customs union in the absence of an overall deal.

"The onus therefore is on the Irish government to step up its engagement with the EU to ensure that Europe sticks to the backstop agreement and that everything is done to protect the two economies on this island and in particular the rights of EU citizens in the north," he said.