Region Archives: EU

#IndyRef: Dublin silent, an insouciant NI and an abrupt resumption of British constitutional history

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So this morning I joined an Irish Times Inside Politics panel to talk about the implications of a decision next week in favour of Scottish independence for Ireland and Northern Ireland… Some of the highlights include… – ‘Neo unionist’ silence of Dublin and the unspoken fear of unintended consequences, particularly within Europe… – The dream more…

Minister green lights ‘Irish Beef’ label just as southern beef farmers lunge into crisis…

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Unfortunate timing for the Agriculture Minister’s new labelling ‘concession’ for so-called ‘nomadic beef’. In Michelle O’Neill’s own terms, here’s the ‘problem’… #168316801 / gettyimages.com I am of the strong view that the term ‘nomad cattle’ has no place on this island and following discussions with industry stakeholders and Minister Coveney in the south, I am more…

Labour’s difficulty pulling ahead

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The latest opinion polls show Labour’s small lead seems fairly consistent but it remains too small for them to have any confidence in achieving a majority. Ironically despite their currently pathetic level of support the most likely scenario remains the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power. At one level this failure of the Labour more…

Ukrainian crisis: it hasn’t gone away

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The conflict in Gaza seems to have largely pushed that in Ukraine off international consciousness. The Guardian, however, reports that the Ukrainian government have been making steady gains against the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. The west has become somewhat quieter about the downing of the Malaysian airliner MH 17 over the more…

Murdo Fraser: A Federal Future? #indyref

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There is nothing new about the idea of federalism in Britain. Early last century a Cabinet sub-committee was tasked with drafting a Bill for a federal UK, in an attempt to deal with the Irish question. Federalism has long been a Liberal, then Liberal Democrat, objective. In recent months the idea has attracted more interest, more…

Martina Anderson MEP: “and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB…”

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No update yet from Sinn Féin on the meeting they chose to trail a couple of days ago between three of their MEPs, led by the Derry Northern Ireland representative, Martina Anderson, and “the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor”.  But let’s hope they were better briefed than the 15 July press release suggests, more…

Cameron’s EU defeat: maybe De Gaulle was right all along

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David Cameron’s failure to defeat the candidature of Jean-Claude Juncker has been variously described as a humiliation, a catastrophe for Britain, and an example of Cameron’s principle and European leaders cowardice. The Guardian’s Toby Helm has possibly the best analysis of what actually happened, why and how. It seems relatively few EU leaders were keen more…

D Day and Europe’s Long Peace

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Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of D Day. I am always humbled to hear the stories of those men who went ashore that day. They speak of the horror, not of any glory of war, but what that generation was forced to achieve and did so was truly heroic. The first big commemoration I remember more…

After the election… NI21…

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ni21 needs you

So, before I get to finish off with the big boys and girls of Northern Ireland (Sinn Fein and the DUP tomorrow and Thursday), lets go briefly to the smallest of all the challengers, NI21. I suppose it helps prove one of FitzJamesHorse’s most persistent contentions about NI politics, that just because the media say more…

After the election… The UKIP…

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UKIP

For all its detractors (and I don’t count myself as the greatest fan of its ‘Brixit’ policy) UKIP does something most mainstream parties in Britain are struggling with. They connect with the ordinary man (and I suspect it is mostly men, to be honest) in the street, and they speak in a language they understand. more…

After the election… Fianna Fail…

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Fianna Fail

After Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail is the longest continuously operating party in the Republic. Their long ongoing argument with big rival Fine Gael is often characterised as a continuation of civil war politics. Yet such reasoning is largely academic. These historic if unresolved issues have barely featured in southern political life in thirty years. Class more…

After the election… The Green Party…

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Green_Party_in_Northern_Ireland_logo.svg

One of the few consistent dynamics in the elections north and south was the success of the Green party. In the south the party’s Euro candidate, and former minister of environment Eamon Ryan, is probably kicking himself that he didn’t also run for a seat in Dublin city council. That a minister from the last more…

After the election… Alliance…

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Naomi Long Alliance for Eve

Forty plus years in the political middle have made the Alliance party one of the most agile (which often irritates their opponents) of Northern Ireland’s political parties. Overall not a huge amount has changed for them, although there’s something of a problem in East Belfast where the flag issue has alienated a lot of working class more…

After the election… Fine Gael…

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Fine Gael logo

So, Fine Gael. Not a great election. Probably slightly less damaging for them since the poor old Labour Party mudguard is catching most of the attention of the press in the immediate aftermath. But they know better from their own sweeping of FF council trenches in 2009 that a lot of the damage they shipped more…

#EP2014 results so far

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It seemed to take a very long time to get the first results through for the European election yesterday at the King’s Hall. Having originally arranged to help out with the BBC’s coverage from 2.15 to 4.15 pm, I was still there at 6.30 when the first preference votes were announced, and hung around for more…