UK Strikes Post-Brexit Trade Deal With EU
The United Kingdom left the European Union three years ago. Yet it still has not settled the terms of the divorce. The main sticking point is the status of Northern Ireland.
The Good Friday Agreement states that Northern Ireland may trade freely with the Republic of Ireland. This concession did not present much of a problem as long as the UK and Ireland were both EU member states. But now that the UK has left the EU, a dilemma has arisen: how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland without treating the counties of Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the United Kingdom.
To resolve this dilemma, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on February 27 to revise the Northern Ireland Protocol that sets out trade rules between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The two leaders hammered out a “decisive breakthrough” that Sunak says removes “any sense of a border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.”
Yet Sunak still has to sell this agreement to British Unionists who have come out against any measure that weakens Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom. He will likely be able to do this. The deal allows free trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK as the British Unionists want. It also allows free trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland, like the Irish Nationalists want.
The trick will be selling the deal to Brexiteers worried that Northern Ireland will become a backdoor into the EU’s single market. If the EU can trade with the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of Ireland can trade with Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland can trade with the UK; then the UK can trade freely with the EU as long as the goods flow through Northern Ireland because Sunak’s deal allows Northern Ireland to remain part of the EU’s single market.
Sunak’s new plan tries to prevent Northern Ireland from becoming an official backdoor to the EU by splitting British exports into two lanes. Goods destined only for Northern Ireland go into a Green Lane not checked by border control, while goods destined for European Union go into a Red Lane that is checked by border control. It is not the worst deal in British history, as it does keep Northern Ireland in the UK without sparking violence between British Unionists and Irish Nationalists. But it can be abused fairly easily by those wanting to smuggle EU goods into the UK and vice versa.
This fact becomes significant when you realize what Bible prophecy says about the relationship between Britain and Ireland. In his most popular book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, the late Herbert W. Armstrong noted how the patriarch Jacob prophesied what would befall the descendants of his 12 sons in the end time. Regarding his son Dan, Jacob said, “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward” (Genesis 49:17). Mr. Armstrong explained that the phrase “Dan shall be a serpent by the way” can also be rendered “Dan shall be a serpent’s trail.” This meant that the Danites would set up waymarks by which their descendants could be tracked like a scout tracks a snake through an arid region by the trail it leaves behind in the sand.
“The tribe of Dan occupied two different districts, or provinces, in the Holy Land before the Assyrian captivity,” Mr. Armstrong continued in his landmark book. “One colony lived on the seacoast of Palestine. They were principally seamen, and it is recorded Dan abode in ships (Judges 5:17). When Assyria captured Israel, these Danites struck out in their ships and sailed west through the Mediterranean and north to Ireland. Just before his death, Moses prophesied of Dan: ‘… Dan is a lion’s whelp: he shall leap from Bashan’ (Deuteronomy 33:22). Along the shores of the Mediterranean they left their trail in ‘Den,’ ‘Don,’ and ‘Din.’ Irish annals and history show that the new settlers of Ireland, at just this time, were the ‘Tuatha dé Dananns,’ which means, translated, ‘tribe of Dan.’ Sometimes the same appears simply as ‘Tuathe De,’ meaning the ‘people of God.’ And in Ireland we find they left these ‘waymarks’: Dans-Laugh, Dan-Sower, Dun-dalk, Dun-drum, Don-egal Bay, Don-egal City, Dun-gloe, Din-gle, Dunsmor (meaning ‘more Dans’).”
Therefore, the Irish are descended from Dan, like the English are descended from Joseph—whom Jacob prophesied would be a colonizing people “whose branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22).
But how will Dan’s bite cause the rider to fall backward?
In the May 1996 Philadelphia Trumpet, late Trumpet writer Ron Fraser explained that “this scriptural analogy which becomes clear as we study this ‘arrow snake’ which was once commonly sighted in the Middle East. This reptile was noted for its ability to hide in ruts and holes in the road or ‘by the way.’ It would remain concealed in such positions, then suddenly leap out and strike its prey. With horse-born wayfarers, the arrow-snake could strike with lightning swiftness at the horses hocks. The startled animal would often rear in fright, tossing its rider backwards to the road. This character trait of Dan shows their adeptness at adopting cunning and deceit as their strengths in attack. Classic guerrilla tactics!”
The strife between Ireland and England today is strife between the tribe of Dan and the tribe of Joseph. Therefore, Jacob’s prophecy at least indicates that Ireland could help the European Union conquer the United Kingdom.
A prophecy in Jeremiah 8:15-17 says, “We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble! The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein. For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord.”
More than a century before Jeremiah wrote these words, King Tiglath-Pileser iii conquered the city of Dan (the northernmost city in Israel) before the Assyrians conquered the rest of the nation. But Jeremiah was not writing about a historical conquest. He was writing about a prophetic conquest in the far future. “Prophecy declares that a German-dominated European power, under the influence of a great false church, is to dispossess Israel (significantly the U.S. and Britain) of their land and drive their population into slavery!” Mr. Fraser continued in his article. “In a previous war [World War ii], the neutral Irish government did not permit an invasion of Britain from Ireland’s shores. Will they be similarly minded next time? Or does Jeremiah’s prophecy indicate that elements of the future Nazi-dominated Euro-beast power will swoop from Dan, the island of Ireland, to swarm in a great blitzkrieg across England’s ‘green and pleasant land’?”
Sunak’s deal with the European Union may delay hostilities between British Unionists and Irish Nationalists, but the UK needs to keep its eyes open for treachery. Unless the British people repent and turn to God, the Bible shows that intense punishment is coming to their nation, and treachery from Ireland could certainly be part of this punishment.
For more information about Britain’s downfall, request a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy and read our special issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet, “The Fall of the English-Speaking Peoples.”