Home / News / Irish bemused by British politician’s call for Ireland to re-unite with UK

Irish bemused by British politician’s call for Ireland to re-unite with UK

The Irish public has been left totally bemused by the recent comments made by former British MP Nigel Lawson. Newstalk reported that he said that he hopes the Republic of Ireland ‘realises it made a mistake’ in gaining independence and becomes part of Britain once more.

The comments have created a varied response on social media with some commentators reacting angrily, others bemused and some thinking it was some sort of spoof.Nigel Lawson. Photo copyright Financial Times CC2

Lawson was one of the leading cabinet members during the rein of Margaret Thatcher. He made the comment when discussing the potential British exit from the European Union. He is a supporter of an exit and is chairman of the Vote Leave campaign.

The issue is the source of a heated debate in Britain and the country will hold a referendum in the near future. Lawson made the unexpected statement during a recent discussion.

He said the United Kingdom has a “special relationship with the Irish Republic, for obvious historical reasons, but also reasons of sentiment”.

He then added: “I would be very happy if the Republic of Ireland – I don’t think it’s going to happen – were to say we made a mistake in getting independence in 1922, and come back within the United Kingdom. That would be great.”

The Irish and British public were shocked by the comments, particularly given the timing as 2016 sees the 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising.

Here are a few of the responses on Twitter:

“I wonder if there was a time in the past when you could say of Nigel Lawson, ‘he’s a quite competent chap’. Current status: complete flake””

“I thought that Nigel Lawson stuff about Ireland ‘changing its mind’ was a spoof thing this morning… apparently not. #Bonkers”

“Some rather interesting ideas on how to commemorate the anniversary of the Easter uprising”


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  1. Dorothy Chambers

    Calm down so you can sleep at night. Never let this or any other people’s history of cruelty be forgoten. There is time and place for remembering. There is time and there should be a lot more effort to teach people who are inorant of history and cruelty. We learn not to keep alive an unforgiving spirit or to keep alive the lies, depending on which nation you belong to, but that none will learn from past wrongs if we do not write or talk of the history. I am British I personally have grown as a person partly by reading and being told of past British atrsoties. Same for racial issues and class issue. love and peace.

  2. sully'sboy

    In the USA where I live the movies and unending propaganda by the Zionist controlled mainstream media is that only Africans and Jewish people have suffered throughout history and that only their suffering counts. We have ding TV shows and dozens of movies constantly being made about African slavery and Nazi Germany but never a movie about what Oliver Cromwell did or what the Irish in Ireland endured since the 1100s. The Irish indeed endured far more evil and suffering than any people.
    Perhaps Steven Spielberg should read Peter Bereford Ellis’ book on Cromwellian times in Ireland and that is just one small part of time, but this won’t happen because the American propaganda machine indicates that only two groups of suffering is worth mentioning.
    My company commander in Somalia in 1993 gave me this email and I am glad he did but it is frustrating and I am still waiting for that movie which shows Irish women and children taken from their parents and so much more such as being sent to the plantations in the Caribbean to die under the hot sun. Less than 0.1 % of Irish Americans have an idea as to why there is a harp and a Celtic woman on the Montserrat flag.

  3. i think Ireland needs to not be with the UK. i know my Irish history, famine at the hands of the UK, women and children sold into slavery to America and the west indies by the UK. oh yes, they have the history, but do you want your children living that history again and again, i think not. if the land of my ancestors joins back with the country that caused them so much grief thru the years of my great grandfather and his family, it would be a disgrace. you got your independence and that’s the best thing to have for your people. when we kicked british ass from America and won our independence from them it was the greatest thing ever. don’t ever forget things from the past and do better for the future. you have a beautiful country, beautiful country-sides, please keep it that way, don’t go back in with the UK, you will be dishonoring your ancestors.

  4. Calm now yourselves down now , breath in 123 and out 123 , pay no heed to the man , they are only words after all , and words of an English man at that , pay no attention to them ,for you will only be wasten your breath ,

  5. Michael Casey

    With all the spin and misrepresentation done by politicians’ minders you have to wonder whether Lawson was secretly as irredeemably stupid as this when he was in charge of Britain’s money.

  6. Gary O'Glaison

    Yes we should review the decision. The decision to let Ulster opt out of the Republic that is.

  7. Lyn Bee

    Oooft no, celtic countries joining up? We’d only argue 😉

  8. AdamOR

    Lighten up folks. He was joking. Jeez.

  9. Rachel Southerland

    Stay strong Ireland, you deserve your freedom!

  10. Richard Dinsmore

    Thank God, Mr. McKee. How good to hear sanity. I’m an American of Irish extraction – used to hearing the moronic mumbling of Donald Trump. How refreshing to hear a sane voice in the Human Choir. Thank you, Sir.

  11. Philip McArdle

    Right on Irish Lady!!

  12. Crìsdean Mac Fhearghais

    ach now, 700 years of occupation, murder, famine, disenfranchisement, not being allowed to follow your religion, what’s that amongst “friends”. Now surely the Irish will come to their senses and get over all this silly independence stuff and see it has just been a lot of nonsense. It’s only been a 100 years of independence – so not too much time – sure can rejoin with UK and make up for lost time. I mean it’s not as if Great Britain has got much of an Empire left to oppress so they can concentrate all their energies on Ireland instead. Now that’s nice, knowing that you’ll have the full attention of the British state on you! Sure Ireland will want to be rushing straight back, knowing that!

  13. I think the British Empire was also brought down by the huge costs of World War II which wore out the UK financially and physically, and by pressure from the Europe-saving US which opposed Britain having an Empire. Any reuniting of Ireland with UK happened in the best way possible when both joined the EU. But, personally, now I’m desperate to see UK/England (or whatever is left of us these days) get out of the EU which isn’t what it was when we went in.

  14. Bill Devitt


  15. Irish Lady

    …”He said the United Kingdom has a “special relationship with the Irish Republic, for obvious historical reasons, but also reasons of sentiment”. Really?? Britain wasn’t feeling too sentimental when they starved half the population to death. Here’s another thought for you Mr Lawson – the great British empire is no more and it took less than ten thousand Irish men women and children to pull your empire down. Why wouldn’t you want us back.

  16. martin ryan

    Too true. it was their laws that forced farms to be broken up so much that they were too small to sustain a family except on potatoes. With the British it is always other people who make the mistakes not them.

  17. Maria crawford

    Lawson wants Ireland because we have a special relationship, what a joke. He was part of Thachers cabinet that had a shoot to kill policy. Remember Bloody Sunday.

  18. David Healy

    I’m with Jim Judd on this! (Britain to join the Irish Republic.) I’m sure the Celtic parts of the UK (Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, IOM, but maybe not the “6 Counties”) would agree.

  19. Maitiu Standun

    there was no famine, the food was being exported by the shipload to the four corners of the empire, the irish people were so trodden on, they did not even have the price of a box of matches , the slums of dublin were a disease ridden area,millions died of starvation and were buried on beaches without last rites, hundreds of thousands on coffin ships buried at sea , it was the original example of ethnic cleansing, the second example was the extermination camps in south africa , and then they have the cheek to bemoan the german consentration camps , the population of ireland was reduced from eight million to three million, no wonder there was a revolution.why in gods name would we want to go back to a uk arrangement ,


  20. Paul nann

    He’s been a mentalist for at least 10 years now. Nothing to see here.

  21. Burke Austin

    It would be much more fitting if the British Government to stand up and publicly apologize for the Genocide they inflicted upon the Irish in the years of the potato famine.

  22. DOC OConnell

    But he “thinks” it’s a great idea for the UK to leave the EU….

  23. Brian mckee

    One people, one country, ireland United and free

  24. Jim Judd

    A better idea. Why not have britain join the Irish Republic and be ruled from Dublin.

  25. OceanTiara

    Here, here.

  26. Anthony Walsh

    The only mistake was not taking the north of Ireland with us.

  27. Johnny boy

    Ireland is one☘

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