Does Northern Ireland have some residual value to the United Kingdom?
After the mayhem and the policing bill of the week end then the answer might be a firm ‘no’.
However, there is one scenario where the Westminster state may find a use for the Six Counties.
One of the key statements at the start of the Irish peace process was when British Direct Ruler Sir Peter Brooke stated that Britain had no “selfish strategic or economic interest” in Northern Ireland.
Moreover he stated that the British would accept unification, if the people of the statelet so wished it.
So no strategic interest…
Ok, just checking.
With that in mind I find it interesting that there was a senior deputation to Belfast harbour Board in May 2013 by chaps from Babcock accompanied by a very senior Royal Navy Officer.
The purpose of their visit was to assess Belfast Lough as a possible new home for the UK’s nuclear missile submarines currently based on the Firth of Clyde.
Other possible new homes in Britain have proved problematic because of the narrowness of the channel and the depth of the water.
Belfast Lough is quite similar to Faslane and the deputation went away very happy.
Should Scotland vote YES in 2014 then the British will have to find a new home for their end of the world toy.
Maybe Sir Peter Brooke was fibbing.
And I name this submarine HMS Perfidious Albion…