Region Archives: EU

Theresa May’s new assurances on the border and consultation raise more questions than provide answers

In advance of the Conservative party conference and with speculation running about a hard Brexit, Theresa May has given an interview to  BBC  Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland to try to assure  their  governments  that they won’t be ignored in formulating  the UK Brexit strategy. This is in spite of the UK government’s insistence in more…

An Irish “conversation” is one thing, but what role for Stormont in the British conversation?

The Institute for Government is a think tank that works closely with government. It reports that turf wars are already costing tens of millions. Its expert on devolution Akash Paun blogs that Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont should get their act together to pool  their influence at the centre. Following exchanges over an Irish “conversation,” more…

Unionists have to be nudged to talk, with the incentives of common citizenship and other common interests

Enda Kenny is surely right to be cautious about setting up an “all-Ireland forum” Better to have a “conversation” at least to start with in November.  Even so its ability to speak for all Ireland would be seriously weakened  by the absence of  unionists,  just as it would be counter- productive  for the unionists not more…

National Conversation: “This is why in respect of Northern Ireland we need the voice of Ireland…”

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At Leaders’ Questions in the Dail, Gerry Adams used his time to bring up the Taoiseach’s ‘plan’ to “bring forward about an all-Ireland forum”. An unfortunate term to use at the time since it was interpreted as a formal political proposition and easily repelled by the DUP. But Kenny’s response today indicates that he has been doing more…

Reflections on the British-Irish Association in Oxford

 A tale of two Unions: can circles be squared by a new devolution settlement?   This was written for the blog of the Constitution Unit of University College London. In the wake of the Brexit vote there has been much discussion about the possibility of Scotland and Northern Ireland, where there were Remain majorities in more…

Catch up on the Mount Stewart Conversations: diplomacy and Europe, then and now

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MOUNT STEWART CONVERSATIONS – a weekend of ideas, debate and stories looking at relationships with Europe from Lord Castlereagh’s involvement in the Congress of Venice right through to Brexit and the kind of diplomacy that will be required in years to come. Throw in live music, food, and the gorgeous National Trust gardens and walks, more…

If Brexit means Brexit, the UK Can’t Block an EU Army

“This is not going to happen. We are full members of the EU and we will go on resisting any attempt to set up a rival to NATO.” Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon’s response to proposals for an EU army discussed at the Bratislava summit ‘informal gathering’ of EU Heads of Government (minus Theresa May), more…

Indian Summer School: Nationalism After Brexit

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THREE rising stars of Irish politics are set to come together to discuss whether Brexit will help or hinder the future prospects for a united Ireland. Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy, Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien and the SDLP’s Claire Hanna will take part in a roundtable discussion on the impact of June’s EU more…

Eastwood ‘Northern nationalists are once more a restless people’

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Next week, we will be taking part in an event looking at Nationalism in a Brexit world. Something that caught my eye during the week were remarks by the SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood to the British/Irish Association last weekend. In his speech he spoke about the situation for Northern Ireland and Nationalism in post EU more…

“Giving meaning to Brexit”

The best article I’ve read so far on the UK government’s approach to Brexit has been written by Andrew Tyrie MP,  the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee for the think tank Open Europe. Problems for preserving an open border are clear if the UK leaves the customs union. But without doing so the UK more…

Message for the divided politicians. Read the long list. This is what really matters over Brexit.

Divisions in the Executive and the Assembly contributed to the lack of  scenario planning for the referendum outcome and are inhibiting the development of a clear Brexit strategy. These are among the conclusions in  a comprehensive briefing paper prepared for the Centre for Peace Building and Democracy ( chair Lord Alderdice) by  Queen’s academics  Professor more…

Big effort is needed to avoid polarising Brexit along Orange and Green lines

Yesterday Theresa May made it clear that while the devolved administrations will be consulted the decisions on Brexit will be taken by the UK government.  The triggering of Article 50  will not require parliamentary consent and it will happen probably in January or February next year. A Norway-type deal  looks ruled out  because it  entails more…

Ireland, the US, the EU Commission and the dilemma over how to play an #AppleTax wind fall…

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It’s awkward. Ireland’s FDI policy has been in train for nearly 70 years. It has shaped its economy not simply through cutting deals and sustaining low tax, but developing its education and outreach through its diaspora. It wasn’t just sentiment that brought big US companies ‘home’. The decision (available only by presser), by what amounts to the more…

Poor little Ireland is squeezed in the battle of the titans

The  basic foundation for the Celtic Tiger and the best hope for its revival? Or a scam that makes Ireland no better than tax haven? The day of reckoning may have arrived – subject to appeal.The Commission insists that they money must be used to pay down Irish debt anyway.  Ireland backs away from treating more…