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Peter Hitchens says UK should have granted Home Rule to Ireland before 1914

Home Rule was a movement that campaigned for Irish autonomy within the United Kingdom

Peter Hitchens believes that the British government should have granted Home Rule to Ireland before 1914.

Home Rule was a movement that campaigned for Irish self-government within the United Kingdom.

A Home Rule Bill was introduced in the House of Commons three times, once in 1886, then again in 1893 and again in 1912.

It was finally passed by Parliament in 1914.

Peter Hitchens talks to Mark Steyn

Michelle O'Neill, Vice President of Sinn Fein

Michelle O’Neill, Vice President of Sinn Fein

But Mr Hitchens believes the British establishment has “long wanted to get rid of Northern Ireland”, adding that the Home Rule Bill should have been approved before 1914.

Speaking to Mark Steyn on GB News, Mr Hitchens said: ‘John Major had made it clear in his great, unselfish statement about remaining interests that people who call them loyalists in Northern Ireland increasingly find this country they want to be loyal to. I don’t want to have them.

“The British establishment has long wanted to get rid of Northern Ireland, it’s expensive, it’s complicated, it’s difficult.

“And they’re facing enormous pressure from outside, I imagine strongly from the European Union, I know for sure from the United States, to find a way to hand over the baton.”

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He continued: “What I find distressing about this is that if you talk about it with any frankness you immediately get into this horrible sectarian, one side of the other football, team stuff. United vs City football.

“Because you don’t like Sinn Fein, people think you’re part of the Orange Order.

“I actually think the British government should have granted Home Rule to Ireland before 1914.

“I think the mismanagement of that and the terrible mismanagement of the Easter Rising, the execution of leaders, disastrous policies.

“Northern Ireland’s neglect in the post-war period was also a great disgrace.

“But there have always been plenty of peaceful, law-abiding people in Northern Ireland who believe in Irish nationalism and have sought a peaceful path to some kind of sensible compromise.

“And what this deal did was it pushed them to one side.”

Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera