Cillian Murphy discusses Brexit as Irish people offer one Brexiteer a history lesson on Twitter

Cillian Murphy, who currently stars in the BBC drama ‘Peaky Blinders,’ says that Ireland cannot be held “ransom” in the face of Brexit.

Read More: Direct rule would be imposed on Northern Ireland in no-deal Brexit

Murphy was speaking with Lanre Bakare of The Guardian ahead of the latest season of Peaky Blinders, in which Murphy stars as Birmingham gangster Tommy Shelby.

Murphy, a native of Co Cork, lived in London for 15 years before returning to live in Ireland in 2015. While he says his move back to Dublin wasn’t triggered by Brexit, he is now happy to be living on the “very liberal island that is an outlier.”

On the matter of Brexit, interviewer Lanre Bakare notes Murphy’s “anger” on the topic. 

Murphy says: “The Good Friday agreement was predicated on there not being a border, and to think that you can hold Ireland to ransom; you can’t…” 

“Listen," he continues after a thoughtful pause, "if you and I are in a club, and there are 28 members of the club, and I decided to leave, why would I get preferential treatment? Doesn’t make any sense.” 

“And if Ireland is a member of that club, and me leaving undermines their whole set-up and the peace they have, it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s not equitable or fair, and it’s because the whole thing was sold on a bunch of misinformation.”

Murphy adds: “It was a binary choice. There’s no nuance; you can’t put any of that into a referendum. You can say, ‘Yes, we’ll leave the EU,’ but no one knew how.”

Read More: These pictures highlight just how difficult a Brexit hard border would be

The state of Brexit

Murphy’s comments on Brexit come only weeks after Tory Party leader Boris Johnson became the new Prime Minister of the UK after Theresa May’s resignation amid the Brexit stalemate. 

As Prime Minister, Johnson has vowed to “deliver” Brexit for the United Kingdom on October 31, the newly agreed-upon exit date after two previous delays this year.

The matter of the backstop, the mechanism built into the current Withdrawal Agreement that seeks to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, remains a sticking point. Johnson wants to do away with the backstop, which he has slammed as “undemocratic," while European Union leaders insist that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be opened for renegotiation.

Prime Minister Johnson has not shied away from the prospect of exiting the EU without a deal.

Read More: Why Britain still can’t treat Ireland as an equal

No deal? So what?

Some Brexiteers, including British journalist Andrew Lilico, are playing the victim in the face of a potential no-deal Brexit.

On August 6, Lilico kicked off a Twitter storm when he tweeted:

If & when the UK does leave the EU with No Deal, that will constitute a major economic & geopolitical failure on the part of EU & Irish leaders. There's no doubt the UK wanted an FTA & to be friendly. It will eventually be seen as short-sighted madness that we were turned away.

— Andrew Lilico (@andrew_lilico) August 6, 2019

Diarmuid Scully, a doctor political science at the University of Limerick, responded:

The UK has treated Ireland appallingly throughout this process. The failure is entirely yours - own it

— Diarmuid Scully (@dscullylimerick) August 6, 2019

To which Lilico brazenly replied:

And any examples of Britain treating Ireland in an "appalling" way?

— Andrew Lilico (@andrew_lilico) August 6, 2019

Luckily for Lilico, plenty of people were happy to provide some examples:

You could start from 1167 and work forward to 2018 and Patel threatening to starve them out.

— ijh (@1stjanna) August 6, 2019


— amelia (@ameliamcd_) August 6, 2019

Oliver Cromwell pillaging of Ireland????? Trevelyan participation the great famine????? Black & Tans Burning of Cork?????? Bloody Sunday 1920, 14 people killed watching a football match. The Ulster plantation the destruction of the Irish language do you get the picture?????????

— Matt (@Matthos43) August 6, 2019

Britain expects Ireland to change it's relationship with NI with the EU to facilitate Brexit. The sheer arrogance of that is an appalling way to treat Ireland.

— Dawn Warder (@DawnWarder) August 6, 2019

— Irish Potato Famine
— Drogheda genocide
— internment
— Bloody Sunday
— Easter Rising executions
— Battle of the Boyne
— persecution of Irish Catholics in the UK
and that’s just the start

— (((Noah Sorensen))) #FBPE ️‍✡️ #YangGang (@noahlovesEU) August 7, 2019

If you’re referring to Brexit in particular, then undermining peace on the island of Ireland and sending a well performing economy into recession seems pretty appalling to me.

— Celt Abroad (@celt_abroad) August 6, 2019

The following day, Lilico followed up with this response, evidently unimpressed with the evidence:

Have a glance at this thread if you fancy seeing thousands of people who reply as if the Brexit process has been going on for hundreds of years. I know, I know - it certainly *feels* that way...
Maybe they won't make such fools of themselves next time? Can we at least hope?

— Andrew Lilico (@andrew_lilico) August 7, 2019