The final ballots were hardly finished being counted when two big losers in the EU referendum, the SNP and Sinn Fein, began a rather transparent attempt to gain some political capital out of the result.
The SNP argued that there should be a second Independence referendum in Scotland, whilst Sinn Fein demanded a border poll in Northern Ireland.
The superficial arguments for these positions was that Northern Ireland and Scotland voted in greater numbers for Remain.
This of course ignores the fact that this was a UK wide vote, and therefore every vote counts equally towards the final result.
Sinn Fein’s most cherished possession is the Belfast Agreement. Hardly a political week goes by without Sinn Fein making some reference to ‘protecting the agreement’.
On one hand Sinn Fein extol the virtues of the agreement, but on the other they wish to completely ignore the fact that the Belfast Agreement locks Sinn Fein and Irish Nationalism in a constitutional settlement underpinned by the principle of consent.
Sinn Fein have accepted Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, yet they then point to the geographical break up of voter trends in a UK wide vote in order to claim justification for a border poll.
The fact is that the border has never been more clearly defined than today. The Irish Republican project of ‘harmonisation’, which effectively slowly removed the border in people’s minds as a result of increased North/South co-operation, is in tatters.
The border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic in the eventual conclusion of Brexit is a border between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Given the constitutional responsibilities on the British Government to treat the citizens of Northern Ireland as equal citizens of the United Kingdom, it would be unacceptable to impose a border simply between the UK and the Island of Ireland. Instead the border must reflect the internationally recognised constitutional position and separate the United Kingdom jurisdiction of Northern Ireland from the foreign Irish Republic.
The border creates a number of serious security issues for the British Government. There will undoubtedly be an increased terror threat from Irish Republican terrorists as well as an rapidly increasing threat of international terrorism emanating from within the open borders of the European Union.
Given these increased threats, especially during the period of the UK’s negotiation as we move towards an eventual exit, there is a clear need for increased border security.
The British Army are clearly best equipped to provide the required security for the UK’s border areas under an increased terrorist threat.
Whilst Irish Nationalism may be up in arms at the prospect, they must recognise their commitment under the Belfast Agreement to recognise the principle of consent and therefore accept the British Army as the legitimate state force of the United Kingdom, of which Northern Ireland is an integral part.