Tag Archives | Negotiations

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…

Former top civil servant O’Donnell has a viable vision of Remain

Former Remain supporters of the moderate tendency have gained a powerful ally in Gus O’Donnell the former UK Cabinet Secretary. The role is recognised as the fountainhead  of Making It Happen in government – or explaining to ministers why it can’t happen. It’s all the more important at such a politically volatile time.  In an more…

Why is Martin McGuinness making a stand on ” remain must remain” the obvious loser, whatever happens with Article 50?

Martin McGuinness appears to have reverted to Brexit fundamentalism in an article in the Irish Times. He  describes  a worst case scenario, “ the biggest constitutional crisis since partition…and insists  that “Remain must mean remain.” From our perspective, what is needed now is an island-wide approach to dealing with this crisis. That is why Sinn more…

Are the Dublin party leaders serious about raising Unity in the Brexit negotiations or are they playing Dail politics?

So Enda has taken the lead from Micheal who took his cue from Martin and inserted musing about a future border poll into his speech at Glenties.  For such a fateful topic  the whole sequence  has been deplorably improvised. The qualifications about lack of present evidence won’t stop the hare running now.  A border poll more…

Time for the Irish government to lay out their ideas on a “special status” for Northern Ireland

The chronic weaknesses of both governments hardly assists clear thinking over Brexit. On the other hand there seems to be a general willingness to minimise the damage e.g. over a hard border and trade. Whoever is the new British PM we cannot expect much departure from Theresa Villiers’s minimalist approach to coordination with the Republic. more…

Ireland is not abandoned. Britain does give a damn but in its own way

“The Brexiteers – (meaning the ascendant strain in the Conservative party -) don’t give a damn about Ireland” is a common reaction from Martin McGuinness to Fintan O’Toole. It’s quite an irony to hear Irish nationalists complain about nationalists of the English persuasion. But the cry is as much plaintive as enraged. After all that more…

French President Francois Hollande :”The negotiations will be conducted with the United Kingdom, not with a part of the United Kingdom”

With the UK Parliament sovereign, and Sinn Féin’s calls for a border poll dismissed as an unwelcome distraction, quite where the “very special place” Martin McGuinness thinks Northern Ireland is in isn’t entirely clear.  Nor whom he thinks he can press that “case” with in his attempt to ignore the UK-wide referendum result.  He should remember, however, that neither he more…

Boring to say so perhaps, but a stable DUP- Sinn Fein partnership matters more than hopes for the opposition or changes in voter behaviour

While we wait on developments, our thoughts might profitably turn to a  the immediate future in which the key signifier is nearly 50:50 but the electorate is becoming somewhat more diverse than that and looking for “delivery.” What sort of cross community politics may be emerging? Which will be the more important: a better DUP/SF more…

Alliance grip tightens? Or hold hands with Sugden?

Waiting for the FA Cup Final the Newsletter has made a simple inquiry to the renamed OFMDFM. Presumably they passed the information onto the office holders who will respond accordingly. My job share suggestion won’t fly apparently. Brendan Heading is not the only one interested…But how about SF  and DUP one after the other, like Israel’s more…

The failure of the DUP and Sinn Fein to agree on the big issues is giving Alliance more leverage than they could have ever dreamt of .

Listening to Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics, little Alliance seems to have the joint leaders on a hook. It appears that the main sticking point for David Ford was Foster and McGuinness’s refusal to accept reform of the blocking mechanism of the petition of concern. Ford has been campaigning for reform for a long time, most more…

Assembly brinkmanship must end soon

In the last mandate David Ford liked to boast that the Alliance party was unique because they had been finally chosen to occupy the Justice department by the whole Assembly rather than selected by the mechanism of D’Hondt.  Because of their status they are more essential to the formation of the Executive than the SDLP more…

To oppose or not oppose? Good government is the real priority

I hope wrangling over whether there should be an opposition or not doesn’t overshadow the important business of agreeing an outline programme for government.  Now is exactly the right time for all parties to pitch in on more or less equal terms with their ideas free of immediate electoral constraints. The election is over, Mike more…

And meanwhile… the Republic still has no government.

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Lest we forget, Oireachtas TV is covering the resumption of the Nomination of Taoiseach this afternoon at 2.30pm. If you are confused (and you probably should be) here’s Pat Leahy’s take on the current state of affairs… There is an ever-present fear in both the big parties that the Independent TDs are not sufficiently serious more…

Time to admit the reduced role of dealing with the past

In the Sunday Times (£) a review by the historian and failed candidate for Canadian PM Michael Ignatieff of a book  lets a little air into the deadlocked subject of Dealing with the Past, “ In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies” by David Rieff presents arguments to counter our prevailing orthodoxies of more…

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to talk terms on a minority government…

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Interesting wording from Fine Gael this pm: note the lack a mention of “partnership”… Following exploratory talks this morning, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil negotiating teams have agreed to meet early next week to discuss how a viable minority government would work. I’d mark that down as progress, not least because it now matches the more…