Tag Archives | Republic

The problems of Brexit are big enough without nurturing new grievances against the Brits

In his eloquent contributions to the Mount Stewart conversations, (warm thanks to Alan), Fintan O’Toole in terms stated as fact that the people had exercised an irreversible act of sovereignty in approving the Good Friday Agreement enshrined in international treaty. This had been violated by the “reckless” imposition of Brexit on the Northern Ireland.  The 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…

A time to press for Irish unity or a time to stay cool?

In contrast with Chris Donnelly’s reasoned case and the speculation that Fianna Fail may at last organise in the North, herewith Newton Emerson’s latest in the Irish Times The Troubles generation was marked by an almost total collapse in the unionist sense of Irishness, which is usually explained as a reaction to republican violence. However, 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…

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…

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…

An answer to Rentoul. Referendums like terrorism can shape events, but not always in the ways expected

Alerted by Mick on the thoughts on referendums by the Independent’s political commentator John Rentoul, I took in his part 2 “Should Referendums be banned?” This is a rhetorical question which is really in  support of Rentoul’s  contention  that they make very little difference to the course of political  events. His pieces prompted my following more…

The Catholic church flounders again over sexuality within

You couldn’t make it up. The decision of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin  to remove  his diocese’s ( only) three trainees from  St Patrick’s Maynooth and pack then off to the comparative safety of Rome (!),  because of a  “poisonous atmosphere” surrounding allegations about the use of a gay dating app in the College, is more…

United approach to Brexit? Well done, Arlene and Martin.

Rather out of the blue, this joint letter from Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness   to the prime minister Theresa May changes the impression of a divided Executive heading for  a fresh stand-off and is to be warmly welcomed. It is artfully couched in calling for no weakening of cross border measures to deal with crime more…

Time cannot silence the Voices of the Somme

Lurgan Volunteers with pic

At the start of July I posted on Slugger O’Toole to introduce Somme Voices, a month-long series of daily tweets in remembrance of that dreadful World War One battle. I’m returning to Slugger to bring the Somme Voices project to a close with a final poem. The reason is that I’d like to quote this more…

With Brexit fever, lies,lies and damned polls

Lucid Talk have been conducting a curious self selecting exercise in the  Belfast Telegraph and finding that, as Lucid Talk’s Bill White explains, “The poll is currently running at 75% Yes to a border poll, and 70% Yes to a United Ireland, and I don’t need to tell you that common sense, and history, tells more…

Immigration less of a problem, trade and customs more so, as Liam Fox rules out a customs Union with the EU. But Theresa and Enda think they see how to keep the border open

One of the leading authorities on EU affairs Charles Grant, the director of the centre for European Reform has issued  this warning: When it comes to economic ties, the 27 will be much tougher than many Britons expect. European leaders have an interest in ensuring that the EU maintains a close economic relationship with the more…

O’Leary’s Dalriada proposal keeps Northern Ireland and Scotland in the UK and the EU

The political scientist Professor Brendan O’Leary is one of the strongest supporters of power sharing in Northern Ireland and an deviser of political solutions to ethnic conflict throughout the world. On leave from Pennsylvania University and an old boy of St Macnissi’s Garron Tower, he has produced the Dalriada Document – inspired by the ancient more…