Fintan O’Toole: Brexiteers’ absurd admiration for Michael Collins

Brexiteers ignore the most obvious effects of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921

The Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed on December 6th, 1921, would lead to civil war and help found the Irish State. Video: Enda O'Dowd and Ronan McGreevy

That the ghost of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 still haunts Irish politics is all too obvious. But it has a much stranger afterlife on the other side of the Irish Sea. 

Brexiteers are not known for their deep interest in Ireland. Yet the Treaty has an outsized presence in their political imagination. Thinking about it allows them to cosplay oppression and frame their own project as a plucky rebellion against an evil empire. It also serves, weirdly, as a justification for bad faith in international negotiations.

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