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

The Home Rule was a movement that campaigned for the self-government for Ireland within the UK

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Peter Hitchens believes that the UK Government should have given Home Rule to Ireland before 1914.

The Home Rule was a movement that campaigned for the self-government for Ireland within the UK.

A Home Rule bill was introduced to the House of Commons on three occasions, once in 1886, then again in 1893 before again in 1912.

It was eventually passed through Parliament in 1914.

Peter Hitchens talking to Mark Steyn
Peter Hitchens talking to Mark Steyn
Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill
Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill

But Mr Hitchens believes that 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 plain in his great non-selfish remaining interests statement that the people who call them loyalists in Northern Ireland increasingly find that country to which they want to be loyal doesn’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 face an awful amount of pressure from outside, I’d imagine strongly from the European Union, I know for certain from the US, to find some way of handing over."

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

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

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

“I think the mishandling of that and the terrible mishandling of the Easter rising, execution of the leaders, disastrous policies.

“The neglect of Northern Ireland during the post-war period was also a great shame.

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

“And what this agreement did is it pushed them to one side.”