A lot of things have been said about Scotland leaving the UK in order to maintain its EU membership. The obstacles are clear: Some EU countries do not want to facilitate the independece of Scotland and its integration into the EU fearing that a precedent and an incentive for other stateless nations and regions in the EU such as Flanders or Catalonia, or even the North of Italy or Córcega will be set.
However, there is no reason why the EU should reject Scotland’s EU membership as part of the Irish State, turned into some sort of Federation. The international law and politics of self-determination are too heavily focused on the status of breakaway States, but there are no objections to existing, well-established States growing in size and changing their own internal constitutional arrangements to accommodate new parts.
The Republic of Ireland would be still maintain its name as a constituent unit of its own State, but internationally there would have to be a new denomination: “The Celtic Federation”.
This plan would be make the prospect of a United Ireland far more palatable for the non-Republican sectors in Northern Ireland, as the Federation would have to reflect and respect the political, legal and cultural diversity of the different parts of its territory.
The new Federation would have many internal issues to resolve, such as levels of taxation or the currency. But this new project will be about building bridges in the British Islands and creating safe places for business and people who fear Brexit and a rampant English nationalism based on supremacist views about history. The process, the dialogue, the beauty of coming together will attract a lot of enthusiasm and hope.
Would the Government of the United Kingdom oppose this? Of course, but all the rethoric of “taking back control” can certainly back fire.
A debilitated Prime Minister battling against a much more politically aware citizenship in the contest of a negotiation with the EU itself, and its Parliament, may force the Brexit media (the real protagonist of all this) to concede that, faced with the Celtic challenge, the way forward for a prosperous, ideologically healthy and happy England is to remain in a United Europe.