Stormont collapse ensures Northern Ireland cannot [further] exploit England’s Brexit difficulties…

It didn’t escape Nigel Farage or Michael Portillo’s notice last night that Michel Barnier was over pouring sweet nothings into the ears of anyone who could remotely cause Theresa May and the Tories a great deal of trouble.

It’s an acute move on the part of the EU’s chief operator negotiator to exploit the post referendum splits within the UK and a perfect opportunity for him to take notes from the Leader of the Opposition as well as the First Ministers for Scotland and Wales.

It’s a measure of how absorbed the NI media are with our collective outrage over egregious bonfires, that few, if any, serious commentators have given any attention to how not having an FM or dFM has put the part of the UK to be most affected by Brexit at a serious strategic loss.

But given just how seismic the consequences may be for Northern Ireland and the Republic absence of any public voice from such consultations is at best a self-binding into political helplessness.

After the Referendum last summer, when Gerry Adams so memorably said, “you always have to never waste a crisis” it wasn’t clear he only meant up to (but not including) the point at which his own party might have to do some heavy lifting in order to exploit “England’s difficulty”.

  • doopa

    Does NI have ‘serious commentators’?

  • Nevin
  • mickfealty

    I clipped the relevant piece Nev.

  • Nevin

    By the way, there’s almost no sound on your clip.

  • 05OCT68

    The problem is Boneys sell papers & attract viewers, the woes of Stormont are a turn off and as has happened in America most only listen to the narrative that suits them.

  • mickfealty

    Yes. Output on the computer was set too low.

  • Korhomme

    The Great Repeal Bill has gone down badly with Nicola and Carwyn; they talk of a ‘naked power grab’.

    If there was an Executive here, would Arlene and Michele have come to the same conclusion and joined them?

    The DUP are in a strange position; as Brexiters, they would surely feel themselves bound to support the Maybot’s government at Westminster while locally seeking a better deal for NI and trying to avert the power grab. How are they likely to square that particular circle?

  • Korhomme

    I listened instead to the iPlayer; if it was the same bit (near the start), Farage said that no one in the Leave campaign supported remaining in the single market. Well, Daniel Hannan did, several times, and on the record. But he was a member of ‘Vote Leave’, so not Nige’s group and so his views are presumably irrelevant.

  • Barneyt

    I’ve yet to hear a sensible argument for SF or any republican taking their seats at Westminster. Most commentators avoid the obvious such as, is it right to have a republican sign up to any monarchy in order to have a voice? The other part avoided is the almighty own goal it offers up and clearly how it would present oppprtunity for distracting attacking rhetoric in the house at the expense of the compromised republican. It’s a no brainer, unless they can offer up an alternative set of words. But…. the Irish have no voice now at a crucial time. The oath act needs a major tweak now if all views and political interests can be accommodated in the house. Anyone free to tell me what declaration a republican would have to stand by whilst somehow retaining their principles. Perhaps we regard a republican principle as dissolvable?

  • mickfealty

    Yes, Ed just couldn’t remember his name.

  • Abucs

    I think that is a very fair point. On the other hand the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy so there seems to be a stalemate there.

  • ElamLayor

    That major tweak would presumably require a vote.Are the DUP going to get rid of the oath to ‘their Queen’ in order to bring in 7 Shinners and consequently change the arithmetic in WM to their DUP/Tory disadvantage?
    Second,the precarious numbers as they are now could change overnight,bye-elections-snap general election-another referendum,leaving SF (and DUP) out of kingmaker role holding their privates!

  • Nevin

    “absence of any public voice from such consultations is at best a self-binding into political helplessness.”

    There’s just the absence of The Executive Office (TEO) voice. The DUP voice will be heard at Westminster and the SF one in the anti-Brexit anti-UK Team Ireland. The Team Ireland one will be played by EU-27 as a stick to beat the UK – and to discourage others who might contemplate departure from the EU.

  • aquifer

    And can Arlene even be sure that the payout will be allowed to go ahead?

  • Reader

    Korhomme: But he was a member of ‘Vote Leave’, so not Nige’s group and so his views are presumably irrelevant.
    Farage gets blamed for the NHS poster on the bus (which was the other team) so he’s only getting a bit of his own back.

  • Barneyt

    and there you have part of the problem. Seems like many would like SF to abstain so they can continue to make capital from their absence perhaps…in more ways that one. Perhaps SF should bite their tongue and turn up, especially if many and the mechanations are relying on them not to.

    I think the last oath act removed the oath, so in those terms its lost to the DUP anyhow? I believe it was replaced with a solelm declaration of allegiance or something along those lines.

  • Barneyt

    and in return, you make a fair point too. Given the nature of the UK and how it was formed, plus the fact they have embarked upon a programme of devolution, we perhaps already recognise the regional differences and diversity. In NI we have no such declaration, which is a “sub-parliament” within the UK so its not a far stretch to accommodate republican views in westminster.

    The wording would have to be strong in terms of adherence to rules and tradition that are in place, but with some caveat that allows for a republican stance. They of course would have to uphold all others views and intents with regard to their consitutional monarchy and what this means to them.

    Someone with better constitutional skills than myself may rightfully put me in my place on this. I suppose you are in support of their UK monarchy or you are not. Conundrum and yes a stalemate.