Region Archives: EU

In a slow and secret transition within Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, still in charge, appears to be setting high targets for negotiations on the Assembly

At a Sinn Fein conference on a united Ireland in Dublin,  Gerry Adams has claimed Brexit  is a “ hostile action” that  will “destroy the Good Friday Agreement”,  although adding that  “special status” would not take Northern Ireland out of the UK. Is this to be a sticking point in any talks to restore the more…

Ireland must seek EU permission to make a draft bilateral deal with Britain

Dublin reaction to Theresa May’s big Brexit speech is understandably cautious verging on the sceptical.   Is more substantial content  to be expected when Theresa meets Enda in Dublin next week,  no doubt to discuss  her hopes that an open-ish border can be achieved  through  “frictionless “ trading monitored digitally  and immigration rules enforced mainly through more…

So what of those 27 trade deals?

Time for a little light relief. Much is made of the 27 countries queuing up to make trade deals with the UK, but as ever the devil is in the detail.  The first observation is that two or three of the countries concerned are not in a position to enter into bilaterals with the United more…

brexit-1477611_960_720

Events of 2016 will shape the challenges of 2017

To put it mildly, 2016 has been a pretty eventful year politically with Brexit, the election of Trump, a failed coup in Turkey, the downfall of Renzi as well as slightly inconclusive elections in both Ireland and Spain. As we hurtle to the close of the year, many interested or active in politics will be more…

German Police Formally Arrest Extradited Suspect in 1996 Provisional IRA Mortar Attack

Rather less widely reported than developments in certain other legacy cases was Dublin High Court recent ordering of the extradition of a suspect in the Provisional IRA mortar attack on a British army barracks near Osnabrück, Germany, in June 1996. James Anthony Oliver Albert Corry, from north Belfast, was arrested in Killorglin, Co Kerry, in October 2015, on more…

Brexit is coming

Winter is coming, so is Brexit

In a previous life, I served for two years as a member of the EU’s Committee of the Regions, a small EU institution that looks at European legislation from the point of view of local and regional government. As a member of Fine Gael, I sat on this body in the European People’s Party (EPP), more…

Brexit requires a special deal for Ireland say the Lords, and the Executive cannot stay aloof. That means you, Arlene

In the first of six reports on Brexit the House of Lords committee on the EU recommend  that the British and Irish governments should negotiate a new bilateral agreement to minimise the impact of Brexit on British-Irish and North-South relations. This will be welcomed as the  first serious attempt  by British legislators  to cut through the thicket more…

“our modern, liberal democracies are probably not under any catastrophic threat – at least not yet”

2016 will doubtless be remembered for the political earthquakes of Brexit and Trump. These somewhat unexpected victories have generated significant levels of debate fuelled by the high levels of uncertainty each has created. These uncertainties stem, in part, from the nature of both political campaigns which were mired by numerous allegations of racism, chauvinism, and more…

While the Supreme Court continues the agenda moves on. A hard Brexit looks more and more likely and the future of the Irish border is in the balance.

The Financial Times (£) says it all in the editorial quoted at some length below  – or most of it. If Theresa May had introduced a simple bill granting MPs a vote on Article 50, the November High Court case and the appeal to the Supreme Court would not have happened. What it doesn’t say more…

German Election Poster

What next after Merkel?

So far this year, we have seen both David Cameron and Matteo Renzi resign as Prime Ministers of the UK and Italy after perusing disastrous ego driven referenda. In France, François Hollande’s popularity has reached a new low and he won’t seek a second term. The last remaining major leader in the EU is longstanding more…

NI Attorney General: “Article 50 trigger – will ‘amend not a comma or a full stop of the 1998 Act’.”

As with the Belfast High Court, so with the UK Supreme Court…  NI Attorney General John Larkin has been repeating the argument.  From the BBC text coverage from the Supreme Court Northern Ireland’s attorney general, John Larkin, is continuing to make his case that none of the legislative or constitutional arrangements underpinning devolution should stand more…

“Return to your cumanns and prepare for Irish unification.”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Eilis O’Hanlon comments on the recent flurry of “displacement activity” from Sinn Féin.  From the Belfast Telegraph article So, what better way to distract the republican home crowd than with some conjurer’s cheap tricks? Don’t look at that hand, look at this one. Don’t mention my ineffectiveness on a range of more…

Goldsmith’s Gamble Fails

A penny for Zac Goldsmith’s thoughts today! The now former MP for Richmond Park in Southwest London, resigned from his seat and from the Conservative Party to force a by-election in the constituency, to show his opposition to the Government’s plan to expand Heathrow. In the by-election held yesterday, Goldsmith was beaten by Lib Dem Sarah more…