Arlene defends Brexit, trusts Theresa and appears to see no need for solidarity with the Republic.

First Minister Arlene Foster has burst into print in the Guardian to explain how Leave is compatible with Northern Ireland’s interests. If nothing else, it marks her out as the first person of any prominence to do so. If Martin McGuinness and Colum Eastwood are alarmist, she is almost complacent and takes a lot for granted. Yet read carefully  she is still asking for special treatment for Northern Ireland and assumes she’ll get it.  Her message is “stick with Theresa and she’ll see us right. We don’t  need that pesky republic.”   Let’s hope it works.

Forget the scare stories about a partial UK Brexit and a threat to the peace process in Northern Ireland. We Democratic Unionists see real benefits.

(What are they Arlene?)

 I emphasised the need for the Northern Ireland executive to be fully represented in the negotiating process. That must mean nothing less than high-level and ongoing involvement in the process.

Our key priorities include cross-border movement of people, goods and services; trading costs and business competitiveness; uncertainty on drawdown of EU funding; and support for our agri-food sector.

Clearly, just as the EU already does with its multiple land borders, I would expect Brussels to be sensible in its treatment of the Irish Republic border with the UK when we leave. Belfast, London and Dublin are all united in the view that the border must not become an impediment for us in terms of movement of people or goods. The UK government is also fully aware that there can be no question of hurdles being placed

TNo one can plausibly deny that for each part of the UK, the most important trade (never mind social and cultural) relationships are those we have with the rest of the country. This is as true of us in Northern Ireland as it is in Scotland.

The only solidarity she expresses with the Republic are vague references to “any deal should recognise the reality of Northern Ireland’s geography and of our history,” and the troika’s handling of the financial bailout. Serves you right for joining the euro, guys!.

No one in Northern Ireland can look at the Irish Republic and feel anything other than sympathy for what the EU has recently put it through.

No mention here of what the UK is putting the “Irish Republic” through.  The First Minster’s attitude augurs badly for a united Executive approach to closer engagement with the Republic on the many matters of unique common interest. She casts it as  an EU member state which happens to share a ” frontier ” ( a great border unionist word during the  Troubles)  with us in the UK.

Or perhaps  this is  just her rather dour style.

 

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  • Brendan Heading

    It is, in fact, in most of our interests that Arlene’s preferred outcome is what happens.

    The problem is that it’s not clear whether or not the UK government is capable of delivering it. In that context, for us to put all of our eggs in that particular basket is foolhardy.

  • ted hagan

    I suppose the DUP has some leverage with Theresa May. Their support at Westminster could be vital in the coming months. Same old story.

  • tanyaj

    Opposition to Brexit as ‘anti-democratic poison’? Entirely unlike the use of the petition of concern to block a majority vote for equal marriage?

  • NotNowJohnny

    “We Democratic Unionists see real benefits.”

    Can one of those democratic unionists tell us what the real benefits of Brexit are for Northern Ireland. No one else seems to know.

  • Devil Eire

    Arlene cannot transcend her culture-warrior instincts. The rest follows naturally.

  • Katyusha

    Our key priorities include cross-border movement of people, goods and services; trading costs and business competitiveness; uncertainty on drawdown of EU funding; and support for our agri-food sector.

    Belfast, London and Dublin are all united in the view that the border must not become an impediment for us in terms of movement of people or goods.

    It looks like her key priorities are all things which we had because of our EU membership. Yet she campaigned to leave. Honestly…

  • mac tire

    The arrogance in her article is being pulled apart in the comment section.

    – her reference to refighting old battles (they are having good fun about that).

    – her idea that ‘upending’ 17 million votes is horrible but no sympathy for the 16 million other votes.
    – her apparent attempt to speak for Scotland, also.
    – her ‘approach to the negotiations’ (as if she speaks for anyone but the 40-odd % who voted Leave here).

    You have to give it to the British people – they can spot a chancer when they see one. Read their derision for yourselves.

  • chrisjones2

    Shcok horror.Yet another totally new Republican poster with blocked comments on DIsqus

  • chrisjones2

    Almost no posts at all …the last beeing 1o months ago – and now suddenly up and at them to attack Arlene.Strange pattern isnt it

  • chrisjones2

    The usual nonsesne.NO matter what way this cuts NI has the potential to thrive and NI Argriculture is in a strong position

  • chrisjones2

    Being part of a free free trading economy that is the 5th biggest in the world

  • chrisjones2

    Its no secret – its there to see.You just dont like it – that is different

  • chrisjones2

    Becasue we can now do all that and more

  • chrisjones2

    Oh do grow up. Its the Guardian .I havent read it but I can write the script and what they say about her will be 10% as bad as what they say about anyone who isnt a Corbynista.

    She didnt speak for Scotland she spoke for the UK of which Scotland is part and where Nicloa lsot her referrendum

  • mac tire

    “Oh do grow up. Its the Guardian.”

    And what? Am I supposed to accept your recent The Times links as any better? You’ve missed the point: irrespective of them being Guardian commenters, they are British people, from Britain. They are ripping her article apart (you wouldn’t know since you’ve admitted you haven’t ventured that far. I did. I’m telling you what they are saying – don’t shoot me, Chris)!

    “She didnt speak for Scotland she spoke for the UK of which Scotland is part and where Nicloa lsot her referrendum.”

    I’ll quote her for you, then.

    “No one can plausibly deny that for each part of the UK, the most
    important trade (never mind social and cultural) relationships are thosewe have with the rest of the country. This is as true of us in Northern Ireland as it is in Scotland.
    There is no evidence to support the case that either Scotland or
    Northern Ireland should stay in the EU “for the sake of” trade with the rest of the EU.”

    A large majority in Scotland says different. Arlene doesn’t represent the north on Brexit, let alone Scotland.

    Those British people commenting are saying the same thing. That’s my point – which you ignore, as usual.

  • Kevin Breslin

    3 remarks…

    A tad insulting about the Republic of Ireland.

    Nothing really affirmative or optimistic about the benefits of Brexit from the DUP.

    Nothing derogatory of what the European Union has done to Northern Ireland.

    I will also highlight that Northern Ireland’s share of the UK national debt per citizen is much bigger than each citizen’s share of the GB contribution of the block grant. There are additional bilateral loans that add to these debts.

    The idea that the Republic of Ireland is the only part of this islanf in debt to people overseas would be a remarkable uncertainty.

  • Maintaining the partitionist pretence of those very foreign 26 counties is part-and-parcel of the unionist complex here. ‘Ulster Says No’ is political unionism’s baseline instinct to southern engagement.

    Arlene Foster’s rejection of the Taoiseach’s “grandstanding” Brexit forum and her apparent indifference to southern trade (“there is a lot of talk about the RoI market – the most important market is the UK”) indicates her own sneaking regard for an introverted Ulster.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I could understand the benefits if the Free P’s were in charge.

    Hubris and detachment from the material world.

  • Declan Doyle

    Arlene has proved beyond doubt that she is pretty determined to be as devisive a Unionist leader as possible to keep happy the worst elements of our society who shore up her electoral strength.

    She is the personification of that element within unionism that thrives on having their boot on the neck of at least one section of the community.

    Bitterness, hate and sectarian dysfunction with a dash of faux Christian conscience thrown in to try mask the rancid stink of rotten prejudice is fast becoming her scent of choice.

    An embarrassment to Ireland, arlene will confirm the sentiments expressed in Britain during the last westminister election that the DUP are nothing but a bunch of extremist religious nutters. God help us. She will kill Ulster

  • NotNowJohnny

    This is meaningless rhetoric. We don’t even know what trade arrangements will operate post Brexit. Neither do we know that the UK will be the 5th biggest economy in the world post brexit. This sort of statement is right up there with “we get to take our country back” and “we regain our sovereignty, mate”. And you havent actually outlined the benefits. I’ll ask the question again. Can one of those democratic unionists out there tell us what the real benefits of Brexit are for Northern Ireland. No one else seems to know.

  • NotNowJohnny

    If you listen to the DUP speak about Brexit you’ll quickly realise the lack of detail. This is because they cannot articulate a coherent position which is consistent with supporting Brexit. Lord Morrow’s recent comment is a classic example of this. The DUP’s support for Brexit is an ideological one which flies in the face of what is best for Northern Ireland. That’s why those DUPers with government hats on continue to call for all the things that EU membership already provides. Unlike the Tory party there appears to be no spilt in the DUP over Brexit. No spilt over leaving and no split over the hard v soft issue. The DUP is out there on the right with the TUV and UKIP on the question of leaving but up there with the staunchly remain parties Sinn Fein and the SNP firmly behind a soft Brexit. It’s a very odd position for a political part to take. To the right of the Tories and to the left of Labour on the very same issue.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Could you expand on your statement “ni agriculture is in a strong position”. I’m looking to get beyond rhetoric and for a bit of context and detail here. Why do you think agriculture is in a strong position and is its strong position linked in any way to the UKs membership of the EU? Will it be in a stronger position post Brexit than it is now? How can you be confident of the position when we do not know yet what trade arrangements will be agreed post Brexit nor what the UK or NI future policy on agriculture support will be? The farming unions have major concerns regarding Brexit; what can you say to them here about the impact of Brexit on agriculture that would help alleviate these concerns?

  • hgreen

    Exactly. Lectures from the DUP on democracy while at the same time using loopholes to block marriage equality.

  • hgreen

    Could you let us all know what’s acceptable to you in terms of posting frequency?

  • Dan

    Well done to Foster on this occasion.
    Refusing to indulge the Remainer whinging is a joy to behold.
    She has my full support in this.

  • chrisjones2

    Bitterness, hate and sectarian dysfunction

    ….hmmmm now where have i seen that here?

  • chrisjones2

    What she said is argued and factually correct. If i comment on say Irish Policy on Contraception I am not speaking for Ireland

    You are just desperate for a reason to attack her

    Ask yourself why?

  • chrisjones2

    I dont care but I do note when suddenly fresh identifies appear and start an immediate attack then vanish again. Its not the scok puppets thats of interest – its who is behind them and why

  • hgreen

    Having concerns about damage to the N.I. economy, breakup of the UK, a new customs border with the republic, the lack of a Brexit strategy, the rising tide of xenophobia. Is this all to be described as whinging? There are 16m people who wanted to stay and won’t be silenced.

  • chrisjones2

    The framing unions have strong concerns that the sun will rise tomorrow

  • chrisjones2

    So all pro Brexit views are now based on bigotry?

  • chrisjones2

    Well SF could gain leverage too couldnt they

  • chrisjones2

    …but you have no choice – its the only basket in town

  • hgreen

    Well based on Xenophobia anyway.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I’m trying to figure out whether you have anything of substance in your Brexit locker. You keep making bland statements and chanting meaningless rhetoric but when I press you on an issue the locker is found to be empty. This is yet another classic example where you dare not risk attempting to answer the questions lest your lack of understanding of what Brexit actually means is exposed. However you are not alone. The DUP is with you on that. Look, the people voted for Brexit, let’s just get on with it. Now that we have our country back, Britain will be great again. Four legs good, two legs bad. Four legs good, two legs bad. Four legs good, two legs bad.

  • ted hagan

    A rather cryptic response. If SF took up its seats Westminster I suppose they could, but they don’t.

  • Surveyor

    Yes Dan, no doubt she’s practicing her pantomime curtsey as we speak.

  • Dan

    Yes. It’s whinging.
    At some stage you’ll have to come to terms with the defeat in the referendum.
    Until then I suppose you’ll just have to kid yourself that the predicted doom isn’t happening.

  • Surveyor

    The pound has plunged in value and the British are offering bribes to car manufacturers so they won’t leave? Yep it sure is rosy in the land of Brexit.

  • ted hagan

    Do you ever have anything constructive to say?
    You go around like a pest sniping at comments but add absolutely nothing to a debate.

  • Brendan Heading

    We have plenty of choices, Chris.

  • Brendan Heading

    It’s made out of magical golden thread, and anyone who can’t see it is stupid

  • The Irishman

    Obviously you do care, you’ve already posted twice about it. And what’s it matter if their last post was 10 months ago? Does that in any way invalidate their opinion?

  • The Irishman

    I challenged him on this months ago… Nothing has changed.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Oh Great Brexit means we’re joining France.

    https://www.ft.com/content/7508bf1e-8a46-11e6-8cb7-e7ada1d123b1

  • Kevin Breslin

    … More?

    We’re not getting more, not even thin gruel.

  • mac tire

    “You are just desperate for a reason to attack her…”

    Chris, we are talking about Arlene Foster here. I can assure you that I have no desperation to attack her. I don’t have to as she leaves herself wide open for that most times she opens her mouth.

    “Ask yourself why?”

    Oh this one is easy – I oppose her stance on most things. I don’t think she is a good leader and she refuses to represent me and the other 56% of people who voted Remain in the referendum. But for some reason she keeps saying she won (recent election and referendum) and thus the rest of us lost.

    However, you have spent all your posts on this thread defending her.

    Ask yourself why.

  • mac tire
  • Angry Mob

    Actually most of them are to do with the EEA, not the EU which most people still can’t seem to tell the basic differences in.

  • tanyaj

    As a sock (sorry scok) puppet I’m possibly a bit elaborately embroidered – http://www.greenlassie.com will tell you far more than you want to know about who I am. The profile image might provide a small clue as well. If you’re still not convinced, Alan Meban and Brian O’Neill will testify to my corporeal existence.

  • Kevin Breslin

    So the UK is not leaving the EEA … so migration rules cannot massively change

    Not leaving the ECHR, … so rights provisions cannot really change

    Not leaving the EU Customs Union … so trade agreements cannot massively change.

    May not even be leaving the Single Market … so regulations cannot massively change.

    Even more bizarrely the UK leaves a body where it can build networks to tweak all four of the above.

    What exactly did Arlene want to change?

    All that really changes is her pal Diane will lose her job with Martina and Jim, people from overseas will lose no significant influence over UK affairs, the UK surrenders a bit of influence over affairs in continental Europe.

    Oh and that by leaving the EU, the Union flag gets taken down on buildings in nearly half the nations of Europe.

  • Katyusha
  • Jollyraj

    “She is a real danger to peace in NI.”

    I think the approved phrase is “dire threat to the peace process”

  • Devil Eire

    Yet another totally new Republican poster

    I’ve been on Slugger long enough to remember you posting your thread-polluting, keyboard-warrior drivel as cynic2.

    with blocked comments on DIsqus.

    Fixed that for you. Feel free to feast on my ‘Republican’ comment history.

  • eamoncorbett

    That goes back a long way Mark even to the point of denial of the existence of the Republic , it is endemic in the DUP and you would have to say almost mandatory . I thought Donaldson was a moderniser when he first joined but he quickly started using the dismissive rhetoric so broadly associated with that party after a while . They have quite a bit in common with SF in so far as all statements must be OKd by the party hierarchy . These guys will never change , there are no Mandelas no progressive thinkers even amongst the youth of the party and that’s what’s most depressing.

  • The 2006 St. Andrews Agreement gives me at least a sliver of hope in the DUPs capability to be practical despite all their purported intransigence. Though, I emphasise sliver.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I agree, I’m a Remainer but it is refreshing to hear someone being clear-headed about the NI aspects of this rather than flailing around like a mortally wounded octopus. The drama-queening and victim-playing from some other quarters has been stifling proper practical debate on how best to manage the post-EU situation. I disagree with Foster in that I think we have created a totally unnecessary problem by voting Brexit. But vote for it we did as a country and now we have to focus on making it work.

  • Surveyor

    What do you mean we, Kemosabe?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    We in the whole country, it was a national vote

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Where are you then? Burkina Faso?

  • hotdogx

    We won’t have to wean NI off British handouts, the Dup with their Brexit agenda will do it for us!!!

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    The UK of which Scotland is at present a part is no longer viable. When the unanimously positive vote over the whole of Scotland to remain in the EU can be threatened with reverse by the negative votes of another country, it’s a sure sign that their union is coming to an end.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    I believe it has, due to recent events, dropped to seventh.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    We might ask who you report to, while we are at it.
    So now:
    Don’t you see how stupid these sort of assertions are?

  • Dan

    The billions printed by Carney had to take its toll on sterling at some stage.
    Brexit was a convenient excuse for his scandalous mismanagement.

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