by Gabriele Bonafede
The United Kingdom is more and more looking like a Monty Python movie. Brexit is dividing people and regions across UK, amid a growing number of independentist, regionalist and localist parties. It was predictable, as the essence of Brexit is supporting independentism and the creation of borders.
The self-destructive might of Brexit is triggering its ultimate outcome: back to early middle ages with a parceled Britain. Northern Ireland is practically outside the custom system of UK, Scotland might come next. Wales and Cornwall might follow then, and Northern England has a growing independentist party too.
Soon, The United Kingdom might be reduced to a rump nation, such as “The United Kingdom of Mercia and Wessex”.
Welcome to Brexit Age
The list of old and new parties joining the local elections of early May is already vast. There are dozens, many of them already listed in popular webpages such as Wikipedia (here). It is impossible to describe all of them, and they are mostly with local ambitions.
But a few of them have already reached a sufficient popularity to get representatives at local and national level. And these are not only the well-established independence parties of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. New independentist parties keep forming well beyond Scottish National Party (SNP), the Plaid Cymru (the Party of Wales) or other known ones, such as the Mebyon Kernow – The Party for Cornwall.
For instance, there are the North East Party (NEP) and the Yorkshire Party (YP) too. Each of them with around 6,000 followers on twitter, and election experience. But the party getting substantial attention is the Northern Independence Party (NIP), calling for independence of Northern England, as the name suggests. That is, for an area roughly corresponding to Northumbria during the Heptarchy and the Christianisation of England (7th and 8th centuries).
A rising North Independence Party
In fact, the North Independence Party (NIP) is on the rise. Its twitter account had 5,000 followers at the end of October 2020 and reached almost 59,000 by mid-April 2021. It is attracting support from disillusioned voters and politicians in a large area usually electing MPs of Labour Party.
“A former West Yorkshire Labour MP has been chosen by a newly-formed party to stand in the Hartlepool by-election – recently reported the BBC – Thelma Walker, ex-MP for Colne Valley, has been chosen to represent the Northern Independence Party”.
Should NIP succeed in achieving independence, the UK will become a rump “United Kingdom” confined to the central and southern part of British Isles.
The NIP describes itself as a “Democratic socialist party, founded in 2020”. Its stated values are “Show solidarity – unite, support each other, work together and fight for a common cause. Be decent – treat others well, be honest and act in good faith. Help out – help each other to create a society in which everyone is treated fairly. Take part – this land is our land, to care for and protect forever”.
Good values, for sure. The NIP is socialist-oriented and has a good number of reasons to be, although not all of us might agree. However, the independence of “Northumbria” looks to be the main objective, otherwise it would have been colled “Socialist party” and not Northern Independence Party.
Welcome to Brexit Age: dividing forces are definetly working well in creating new borders and making UK implode.
Welcome to Brexit Age of medieval XXI century
Hard Brexiteers and nationalists have been calling for the reintroduction of the Imperial units of measurement. Why not an earlier system, different for each region, such as in the Middle Ages? It is possible, after all. And why not more borders within Britain?
Ukip, with its success in pushing for Brexit, became the beacon leading to obtain votes for independence – no matter the real advantage of achieving it, nor the size of a specific territory involved. Since the key to get votes has been flagging “independence” from EU, the path is clearly traced: independence for every region dreaming of it. Or, for wiser politicians, a call to stop Conservatives cabinets in implementing Brexit. Which is the real and by far largest problem of a self-destructive Brexit age.
The path ahead is clear. Independentism, regionalism and localism are risking to parcel United Kingdom down to a pulverized entity. It is like going back through centuries until the early middle age – at the times of “Seven Kingdoms”.
Upcoming local and regional elections could prove a nightmare for Conservatives and Labour Party alike. It is unlikely that independence of North England will be achieved any time soon. But it mght become much more likely once Brexit’s carnage becomes more visible and Scotland get its well deserved independence – to re-join EU, by the way.
And the first elections of Brexit Age might be an intial step toward the disintegration of UK ignited by Brexit itself: from “project fear” to project facts. Medieval facts, seasoned with plagues, poverty and epdemics.