Reality says Arlene would be wise to stop sneering at the south. The Brits don’t like it

The FT (£) previews  Enda’s  all-island civil dialogue on Wednesday and is gloomy about the prospects for developing an all-Ireland position due to “ unionist truculence.”


The civic dialogue is unlikely to ease any Irish fears over the UK exit from the EU. The real question is whether Mr Kenny can ever develop an all-island position on Brexit, given the truculent unionist position. “It’s going to be very difficult to do this, because by definition it will involve two stakeholders with diametrically opposed views on Brexit,” says Aidan Regan, a political scientist at University College Dublin.


Early days. Even making allowances for party conference rhetoric, it was depressing to see Arlene scoffing at the south when their help will be welcome inside the councils of the EU. The DUP may well in practice prove less stand offish  as time wears on and they are given permission to do so by the UK government.     So little is clear yet about the UK position on access to the market and the future of the customs union, even after the Nissan deal.  And there’s a lot more than the North for the Republic and the UK to worry about  over Brexit.

Good luck to Simon Hamilton, going out and getting new business. Competition in business is not inconsistent with government cooperation as happens all over the EU.  e.g. NI Screen with the Republic’s equivalent.

Meanwhile unfortunately , from Frances   McDonnell in today’s Irish Times….

 In fact, according to a new industry survey, the number of potential foreign investors making investment enquiries has dipped sharply in the last quarter.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ latest commercial market survey shows enquiries specifically from foreign investors are continuing to fall. Feedback from local RICS members also reveals evidence that some firms currently located in Northern Ireland are looking to relocate away from the UK in response to the EU referendum vote….

Latest statistics from the HM Revenue & Customs show that, in the year up to June 2016, 52 per cent – roughly £2.1 billion – of Northern Ireland’s exports still went to the the EU.

“The Irish Republic continued to dominate Northern Ireland’s export market despite its share decreasing from 36 per cent to 32 per cent compared to the previous year,” Revenue says. “Northern Ireland has a higher proportion of export trade with the EU in comparison with the other UK countries.”