THERESA May has been in Salzburg this week, trying to explain to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, whose father is Indian, how she can’t accept the EU’s position on the Irish border because a British prime minister could never countenance a country being partitioned in two.

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It would, according to May, be utterly unacceptable for any UK Government ever to accept that there can be an effective border between two different parts of the UK. That would be tantamount to partition, and no British government could ever tolerate that.

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It seems that she expected Varadkar to agree with her, that no British Government could ever consider partition.

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The fact that she was even prepared to make this argument merely illustrates just how out of touch and lost in a Brexit fantasy world that the British state has become. No doubt Leo Varadkar gave her a diplomatic and considered response once he’d picked his jaw up off the floor and the other EU leaders in the room had finished tittering.

The British are quite happy to partition other people’s countries, as the Irish and Indians are all too painfully aware. The partition of India at the end of British rule caused the displacement and deaths of millions in the ensuing sectarian strife. Northern Ireland was carved out of the island of Ireland explicitly in order to create the largest possible area in which the Ulster Loyalist community would command a demographic majority. The Catholic majority counties of Fermanagh and Omagh were included in the Unionist statelet because the British felt that the Protestant majorities in the rest of the North could still outweigh them. The very reason that Theresa May is now protesting that she can’t allow the partition of the British state is precisely because the British state partitioned Ireland and ushered in decades of discrimination. Hypocrisy, thy name is Britannia.

Other EU states have direct experience of British partition. The UK was also party to the partition of Germany in the wake of WW2, and still clings on to two sovereign base areas in Cyprus decades after that country achieved independence from the UK. During that nation’s time as a British crown colony, the British played the country’s Turkish and Greek communities off against each other, setting the scene for a later war and partition which still scars Cyprus today. The Spanish position is that the British annexation of Gibraltar was a partition of Spanish territory.

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None of these states is likely to have any sympathy with Theresa May’s protestations about the evils of partition because she doesn’t want to implement the EU backstop and permit Northern Ireland to remain a part of the customs union and single market. May made that rod for her own back – or rather she made one of those twirly sticks flung about during Orange parades, when she did her deal with the DUP.

You might think that – given this history of war and violence directly resulting from British partitions – the UK might have learned its lesson that partition is a very bad thing. Sadly not. During the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the British state appeared equally happy to countenance the partition of Scotland, as the threats made about hanging on to Shetland and Orkney, and even making Faslane a so-called sovereign base area so that Westminster can cling on to its nuclear viagra, made clear.

Mutterings were also made by sections of the anti-independence press that if Scotland voted Yes, then the UK could even retain those parts of Scotland which returned a No majority in the referendum. There was, of course, never any suggestion that those parts of Scotland which voted Yes in 2014 could become independent anyway.

It is patently obvious to everyone – everyone except Theresa May – that the British are in fact among the world’s leading exponents of partitioning countries. The British state is happy to propose partition of other people’s countries, just as long as that partition suits the selfish interests of the British state. Sadly for May, her attempts to partition the EU27 failed miserably, and she was humiliated and sent home to think again.

This week we discovered that the British Government has been asking the EU to phrase any agreement on the Irish border question in such a way that it will not be applicable to Scotland. These overtures have been made to Brussels without the knowledge, never mind the consent, of that Scottish Government which Theresa May assures us has been fully involved and consulted in how Brexit affects Scotland. How’s that valued and much loved partner in a family of nations working out for you all then?

May claims she wants a deal from the EU that works for the British people. What she really means is that she wants a deal that works for the Conservative Party. The British Government has no interest in doing what’s best for Scotland, for Ireland, or even for England and Wales. Its sole interest is the short-term political interests of the Conservative party, but the EU is not for budging.

The sooner Scotland can escape this dysfunction the better, and when the UK runs into the brick wall of reality in March 2019, our time will have come.