What do Leo and Simon have to say about the North?

Issues Leo Varadkar Simon Coveney
United Ireland Believes in preparing for Shared Sovereignty or a United Ireland.

 

However says it needs support in both communities.

 

Opposes Border Poll now

Wants a White Paper on Irish unity drafted by November 2017.

 

Supports establishment of an All Ireland Forum in 2018.

 

Opposes Border Poll now.

North-South relations Supports good relations and commits to help restoring the Executive. Wants joint Dail Committee to examine possibilities for North-South relations.
Brexit Wants NI to remain in the Single Market.

 

Wants NI to stay in the Common Agricultural Policy, Interreg, Erasmus and other programmes.

 

Wants Free Trade Agreement between UK and EU.

Opposes a Hard Border.

 

Wants All Ireland Forum with reps from UK, EU, Ireland and NI to look at issues arising from Brexit.

Contesting Elections in NI Opposes contesting elections at the moment. Believes party should contest elections at some point in the future.
Other issues Backs an Irish Language Act in the North Commits to speaking with Unionist groups as Taoiseach.

 

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  • Roger

    Again, taking your own advice as a starting point, where in BA does it say Ireland will stop persuading for a cession? Don’t you remember the Referendum in Ireland in connection with the BA included enshrining Ireland’s commitment to pursuing, peacefully, a cession?

    The BA doesn’t say Ireland will leave the matter to UKN! Is this a sign of wishful thinking on your part?

  • Roger

    There you go with use of the word “alternative” again. No one has suggested any alternative structures.

    There will never be cross community support for a cession of UKNI either. The BA certainly doesn’t suggest pursuing that is out either.

    You can’t see the point? Or you don’t want to see it?

    I’m disappointed at your summary of what the deal was. It was no such thing. Suggest you go back and read it again.

    We don’t all agree that UKNI is precious if that means not pursuing a cession.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m not expecting it to give up on Irish unity (though I would like it to of course and think that would be a hugely positive move for the whole island). The GFA though does commit people, including the Irish government, to working through the institutions of the GFA. Is that what these guys are really proposing? Seems not completely.

    The GFA is clear that it is for the people of N Ireland to decide what country NI should be in, that the current wish is for the UK and that should be respected. Of course the ROI can persuade for a future UI but in doing so it treads a fine line now, bearing in mind its commitment to respect the wishes of the NI people on that. Push too hard and it comes very close to not respecting NI’s decision.

  • Roger

    Population of HK has increased by how much since cession? By how many times has its economy doubled? Your point?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I have read it many times – I have a very well-thumbed copy.

    The alternative structures mentioned by these FG politicians are the new all-Ireland body to deal with Brexit and whatever “joint authority” structures the first guy has in mind. None of these things have cross-community buy-in; the GFA institutions do and they are the ones we all agreed to use.

  • Cal Cryton

    And what are you going to do about it? Declare war? 😉

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Well as long as they know I only have a British Passport I don’t really care how they view me ? I am sure they will have to propose something to sort me and others out with such nationality !

  • Roger

    I’ll pass over your use of “alternative”. Suggest you look the word up.

    Cession doesn’t and never will have cross community buy in. By definition it can’t. Yet it’s an integral part of the BA.

    Noted you’ve read BA. With rose tinted reading glasses perhaps?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I have never claimed to follow ROI internal politics closely, so I have to put my hands up to ignorance there. I wish I knew everything but I don’t – and tbh it’s just not that interesting for me. I’ll generally know who the leader is there and maybe one or two others but that’s it. I’m not a politician or an expert or claiming to be, just someone interested in N Ireland.

    However, I would say if you were to do a Pointless question to 100 people from my background on naming ROI politicians, those two would get single figures at best. They are not well known generally I don’t think outside the Irish nationalist political world.

  • Roger

    Dropping the pursuit for cession might be a good thing. One could certainly make the argument. But I suppose it’s a “pre-90s” argument to use your phrase. As cession is now firmly embedded in the structures.

    The BA is clear that cession is a legitimate goal and Ireland will continue to pursue it. Ireland wrote that into its constitution when adopting the BA. I get that you don’t Ike to take an interest in affairs in Ireland but suggest you read the constitutional amendments Ireland made to implement BA.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Both SDLP and SF have signed up to the legitimacy of Northern Ireland. You can say ‘North of Ireland’ if you want but it begs the question about what your position really is on the Belfast Agreement and all that goes with it. It also makes you sound a bit doctrinaire old school nationalist. Up to you though.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Not for me to say but I think from surveys an awful lot of people don’t choose Irish as one of their main identities. I would tend to listen to and accept how people choose to define themselves in all its complexity or lack of it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I have read them, thanks. As I say I don’t expect them to stop being nationalists, I just think there’s been a convention since 1998 that the ROI does not push the issue as if it’s a priority – and that is now being challenged. I get that Brexit has discombobulated us all, fine, but there also seems to be a bit of political opportunism there, pandering to some of the unreconstructed nationalist urges still lingering in the Republic. It feels like a distinct shift in tone on the border and it is unwelcome to me at least.

    Actually Varadkar’s position isn’t so bad, as he does to be fair reference the need for consent; the other lad seems to be the one with the more strident tone really.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It would be effectively a new state though in all but name – at least, it would need to be approached that way to have any hope of forging some new shared identity.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Of course. It makes life harder. But the melodramatics and woe-is-me over it doesn’t help. We have arrangements in place to do our politics, this is precisely the time we need them. Last thing we need is wasting time reinventing the wheel on all this just now.

  • Roger

    Now now. You’re all for the letter of the law as I am. You’ll appreciate as I do that a state is a legal beast, not a state of mind. It would absolutely not be a new state. Agreed?

  • Deeman

    Have they ever met with Sinn Fein or the Saudi Arabians though?

  • Cal Cryton

    No i’m patronizing you and your attitude. You don’t get to hide behind your group.

  • Cal Cryton

    I’m not doubting you’ve been trying to ignore ROI politics all your life. That doesn’t make it any less ignorant.

  • Cal Cryton

    Problem is you can’t walk away. Unless you leave this island, which you’re welcome to 🙂

  • grumpy oul man

    Certainly the windy city would be a excellent place for a conference and maybe big Jim can be distracted for a while with a rumour about a gay badger digging dens in a sunday.

  • grumpy oul man

    Please explain this.

  • grumpy oul man

    What you mean is, that how dare they voice a opinion.

  • WiseJeffrey

    Well ok, I wasted 10 seconds of my life on it……meh

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It’s really quite easy not to be that interested in a whole host of topics. There’s a big wide world out there and only limited time. I’m quite involved / interested in politics over here so most of my energies go into that. I retain some interest in N Ireland of course as my home province but ROI politics is a bridge too far and quite dull from what I can tell. I don’t know anyone who is much interested.

  • Barneyt

    The narrow water project on the face of it seems like a decent plan but it perhaps prevents a larger scale project that has more benefit to the island as a whole. I always felt it was synbolic rather than practical. It has the potential to open up South down to other parts of the republic and in the other direction you might see more activity in the Carlingford area and perhaps Davies pub in Omeath.

    It might ease some of the congestion in Newry for those travelling from Rostrevor, Warrenpoint etc…. but when they land on the other side, what are their options? Turn right towards Newry and hope to crawl onto the Dublin road via Drumalane? Turn left and pick up the motorway at Fochaird some 15k later? Go straight on and trek over Cornamuckla mountain and Flagstaff to land in Joneboro?

    Greenore to Greencastle is the project I would go for but if they are quibbling about the 17 million needed to Narrow Water this does not stand a chance. If they are trying to ease congestion in Newy then the only solution is a link between Cloghue roundabout (former site of infamous army checkpoint) and WIN estate roundabout.

    Saying all that, I’d like to see Narrow Water developed as we’re getting nothing else.

  • Barneyt

    This is not about reasserting a claim on the six counties.Its preparing for reunification based primarily on the impact of Brexit and the possibility that many pro UK union folk might consider the once unthinkable.

    Events are occurring. I would agree that in the absence of Brexit and the impact it is and will have, they would be out of order, as Irish Unifiication is subject to the will of all in NI, and of course the ROI.

  • Barneyt

    I think the fact that you are on here conflicts with not knowing who they entirely are to some extent, notwithstanding the fact you have opened up a posting about them and their ambition.

    Your remark appears (I stress) to belittle and dismiss them as significant politicians. It scanned to me that you took some pride in not knowing who they are as it suppored some higher than thou narrative. Impressions can be wrong however and the written word can be taken in some many different ways

  • Barneyt

    I know. If they colonise Northern Ireland, where will they stop? Kenya watch out! My fear is that they’ll take our lands, install Dublin loyalists and distribute their gains amongst their own. The very idea of the ROI can intrude upon this notion is rediculous. I blame global warming. Had that seismic shift not occurred, we would still have a thriving tourist industry on the South Armagh and Fermanagh coast! When the ROI parked its ass slap bang on our lushious southern coast, much was lost. They operate as if our two countries were at one time part of the same nation and even island. Mad I say, Mad!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Not proud of it, but not ashamed of it either – my point was really that nationalists sometimes try to present ROI politics as if it’s everyone’s. It isn’t. I feel no shame in pointing out factually my lack of engagement with it and I did so to make two points: (1) from a readership point of view, you need to preface an article on this with some information on who they are; and (2) there’s an implication we should all be interested in internal ROI politics – but actually that’s much more of a nationalist thing than a unionist thing – and it’s important to show it’s OK not to be so interested too, as long as we’re respectful about it – which I think was.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I think there’s a lot of wishful thinking, if nationalism is expecting many unionists to regard membership of the EU as worth ditching their country for. You might get a few but not many. I was a big Remainer, but N Ireland leaving the UK is quite a different question from whether the UK should be in the EU or not.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Thanks for clarifying that. If those attitudes are typical of nationalism, all I can say is the Union is indeed safe 🙂

  • MainlandUlsterman

    agreed, legally it would be a takeover of N Ireland, it would be swallowed up by the Irish state. But I’d suggest, as with company takeovers, the Irish would be well advised to treat the ‘takeover’ as a legal technicality only and present things instead as a new beginning, more of a ‘merger’. There are credibility issues with that of course. But as I say, not what I would do anyway.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    The Supreme Court is the relevant ultimate authority on the law that applies to Northern Ireland.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Yes, I looked them up. Quite impressed by Varadkar, for what it’s worth I hope he wins.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    we have equality

  • ted hagan

    I suppose it’s a bit like the vast majority of British people not having a clue about who the DUP and Arlene Foster are, which is quite amusing in that context.

  • ted hagan

    Perhaps you were in a position similar to that of the vast majority of the population of Britiain, who wouldn’t have a clue who Arlene Foster and the DUP are, which is funny in itself.

  • Roger

    I suppose, to use your phraseology, Northern Ireland would be regurgitated by the United Kingdom and swallowed up by Ireland.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    eating the UK’s boke? Nice 😉

  • Roger

    with a smile on its face…

  • Barneyt

    Do you mean ditching the UK or ditching NI?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    the UK, which is our actual country (as opposed to our wee country or our wished-for country)

  • Barneyt

    fair play. I get frustrated with the interchangeable use of GB and UK and the notion that NI is a country. Its quite an anomally this union. A UK union that can be referenced as a nation and a country, yet many within it refer to their region as a country too. Whether you want it or not or support the union is want to dissolve it, it currently is what it is. A union of countries and regions technically controlled from London. Its legitimate to therefore dismiss Scotland and England as countries perhaps in favour of the one UK country?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    The UK is a country and Scotland is a country, just in different senses of the word. ‘Country’ doesn’t have a set legal meaning, it’s a much vaguer word.

    In international law you think in terms of nation states / sovereign states and then internal entities within those which are lower level (often devolved). It’s a highly significant difference in reality, but you’re right our language often masks the fact we can be talking about completely different kinds of entity legally, when we use the word ‘country’.

  • Reader

    nilehenri: north of ireland.
    Nationalists accept the existence of this political entity to the extent that they vote or even stand for election here. It seems a bit weird to balk at using its name.

  • nilehenri

    whether you agree with my political view or not, i always found that argument a bit nit-picky and dictatorial. i can call it whatever i want.
    as a poorly defined regional anomaly, i have difficulty in understanding and accepting the framework of the north. it is cumbersome, unfair and well out of date.
    unionists might be putting their faith in tory fairy-dust but real world people are hard at work addressing the more pressing issues of the day. while jeffrey cries for his flag in lisburn others will be working for the general benefit of everyone on this island regardless of religion, colour or political belief.