“Our people may be British, but our cows are Irish…”

EU flag in the Guinness Book of Records_2009-04-14Who would say such an outrageous thing? Ian Paisley, of course… Jonathan Powell has some brief thoughts on the significance of the mutual membership of the EU for Ireland and the UK:

The border between Ireland and the UK just came to mean much less once we were both in the EU. This was particularly brought home to me when Ian Paisley, the fire-breathing DUP leader, came to see Tony Blair in the midst of the 2005 Foot and Mouth crisis in the UK and in an attempt to take advantage of the looser restrictions on movement of cattle in the south than in the north said, “Our people may be British but our cows are Irish”.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty