In the midst of this week’s load of confusion over Brexit one voice was heard to say “We are 90% agreed”! In the middle of the remaining 10% is the problem of the Irish Border. Why is there no solution to it that keeps everyone happy?
Because there isn’t one!
It was last December that a ‘fudge’ called the Irish Backstop was invented. This permitted the problem to be temporarily set aside. It said that even if no formal deal could be reached on trade and security arrangements, Northern Ireland would stay in the customs union and much of the single market, guaranteeing a friction-free border with the Republic.
Both the UK and EU signed up to this basic idea in December 2017 as part of the initial Brexit deal, but there have been disagreements since on how it would work.
The UK Prime Minister requires the support of the Northern Ireland Members to maintain her parliamentary majority. They are opposed to any deal which treats the North differently from the rest of the UK.
On the other hand, those on the right wing of her party want a complete severance from the EC. To achieve this, they have tended to ignore the North hoping it would merge with the South – something it has resisted for over 100 years. There is no doubt a united Ireland makes sense to everyone except the people who live on the island!
The Bible has some wisdom to offer. It may appeal to those who think that Brexit was ill advised from the start! This from Proverbs Chapter 26 verses 4 and 5.
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself” (Verse 4).
“Answer a fool according to his folly or he will be wise in his own eyes” (verse 5).
If you supply an answer to the foolish you will certainly get more questions or comments of the same foolish nature and you may end up like the fool.
If you do not answer the fool, he may be tempted to think that he cannot be answered.
This would encourage him to continue with his folly.
The dilemma of Brexit is that we see we the negotiators try to reason with the unreasonable. You can’t win! That’s why we have had so many resignations. They have seen the folly and resigned.
In the trial of Jesus, we see examples of both. He was in the hands of fools and he knew the Scriptures. At times he made no answer and at other times he answered that the Scripture might be fulfilled (Isaiah Chapter 53 verse 7; Psalm 41 verse 9 and St Matthew Chapter 27 verse 14).
It is good to remind ourselves that there are no borders in heaven! And in that blessed place even the fools of earth will be redeemed to the glory of God by the work and merits of Christ and that gives me a lot to rejoice in.