Tag Archives | Negotiations

EU Special Status, and ignoring the Northern Ireland Assembly…

As Mick noted this morning, Micheal Martin has joined the list of party leaders calling on the Irish and British Governments to negotiate for EU special status for Northern Ireland post-Brexit. At the recent All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, there was the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said in his speech more…

There is no threat to the Union. Irish bickering north and south over the reality of Brexit has to be replaced with practical cooperation, fast.

Newton’s latest observations on the “curmudgeonly” Arlene can be counterpointed with an incredibly wise article in the Indo by Brendan Keenan, Belfast born and bred but long anchored in Dublin and with a strong sense of reality for the interests of both. Arlene’s dour comments  can be contrasted  unfavourably  with the regal visionary style of more…

The complexities of Brexit could overwhelm the British political system. For all Ireland, a bigger role needed for the GFA structures

.As the “all island ” civic forum meets in Dublin bereft of unionists, a high powered think tank The UK in a changing Europe warns: “Brexit has the potential to test the UK’s constitutional settlement, legal framework, political process and bureaucratic capacities to their limits – and possibly beyond.. And they suggest the repatriation of decision-making more…

Pressure on Theresa May is mounting.. and this is only the start..

Theresa May’s little pitch over coffee at the EU summit last night seems to have backfired.  The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph although divided over a hard and a soft Brexit  are united in reporting  that she  ” created a lot of anger.” This from the bête noire. Asked how talks had gone with Mrs May more…

Tánaiste: “It has always been the case that Ireland and the United Kingdom cooperate closely on jointly securing the external border of the CTA…”

A couple of recent written questions in the Dáil, on the future operation of the Common Travel Area and immigration controls, provided the Irish Government with an opportunity to address what are described as “a number of misleading media reports on these matters in recent days”. From the Dáil record [13 Oct] Brexit Issues 10. Deputy more…

Theresa May is risking the future of the British Union if she fails to recognise that Westminster is no longer “in control”

Scottish nationalism is on the defensive for the first time in over a decade. On the other hand, English nationalism could give it second wind if it thinks it can a score an easy victory without acknowledging its enduring power.  At this juncture, it’s  true that one  early outcome of the Brexit confusion leaning towards more…

On dealing with the past, Brokenshire should demand Executive action or withdraw the money

James Brokenshire is at least the eighth secretary of state to utter warm words about dealing with the past.   It’s almost two years since the abortive Stormont House Agreement described new structures headed by a new Historic Investigations Unit. £150 million will be made available by Westminster over the next five years to implement the more…

Ireland will have to spell out what they mean by special status for the North – assuming they know what it is.

Reactions have been predictable in Ireland to the“hard Brexit” tone of Theresa May’s brief conference speech in Sunday and her rejection of the idea of giving a Brexit veto to Scotland or Northern Ireland . The Irish government are as worried as they are ignorant of British intentions. The DUP  remain defiantly pro-Leave and opposed to 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…

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…