Brexiteer talks about Irish politics on the BBC despite admitting he finds the subject 'confusing'

Greg Evans
Tuesday 11 February 2020 09:15
news

At the weekend, Ireland held a very tightly contested election where the two incumbent parties suffered massive losses to Sinn Fein, in a huge upset.

Both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael lost 21 seats with Sinn Fein winning 37 and the Green Party having their best ever result with 12 seats.

The result leaves Fianna Fail as the biggest party by just one seat but due to the closeness of the result, it could lead to a lengthy negotiation to see who will actually form the next Irish government.

This has obviously been a major talking point in British and Irish politics this week as with the UK now out of the European Union, it could lead to a referendum on the Irish border, something which Sinn Fein is very keen on.

The subject was discussed on Monday's edition of Politics Live on the BBC with guests including Tory MP Siobhan Baillie, Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, author and think tank founder Deborah Mattinson and pro-Brexit activist Darren Grimes.

Grimes, who became notorious during the Brexit process for his statements on Twitter and his association with a payment that his campaign group BeLeave received from Vote Leave that was soon disputed and eventually dropped by the team led by Boris Johnson, who paid a £61,000 fine as a result.

Prior to his appearance on Politics Live, Grimes had been quite vocal on Twitter about the Irish election at one point complaining that Ireland's electoral system was 'bloody confusing.'

During his appearance, he claimed that Sinn Finn cannot call a border poll on Northern Ireland because they have no mandate, despite talks of a united Ireland becoming more prevalent following the 2016 EU referendum.

However, if there the British government fails to get a deal with the EU by the end of 2020 there is a strong likelihood that a border would have to be installed in Ireland which would compromise the Good Friday Agreement, therefore giving Sinn Fein or any Irish party a mandate for a poll on the issue.

The problem here isn't entirely Grimes' fault. Anyone who is invested in politics and is a notable activist should be allowed to appear on TV and voice their opinion, whether they are agreeable or not or how relevant people deem them to be.

The biggest bone of contention that people have been picking with Grimes appearance was that despite showcasing a limited knowledge of Irish politics he was still allowed to appear on TV and talk about a very important subject.

He did have some support though, mostly from fellow Brexiteers who told 'angry Twitter' to 'naff off.'

More: Brexiteer gets history lesson after asking for 'examples of Britain treating Ireland in an appalling way'​

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