Coveney “There can be no British-only direct rule. That is the Irish Government’s position”

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney met representatives from the main parties at Stormont today in order to resolve the current impasse between the main parties.

His comments are noteworthy as the focus turns towards Direct Rule. From an RTE report;

Mr Coveney said there were still grounds for optimism and direct rule should still be avoided.

“There can be no British-only direct rule. That is the Irish Government’s position.”

Mr Coveney added: “It would be very difficult to even contemplate how direct rule would function in that context.”

“We don’t want to go there, it is not good for Northern Ireland, it is not good from the point of view of the government that I am a part of, it is not good from the point of view of the government in London, everybody loses in that scenario.”

He went on speaking about the topic of bringing in a mediator from outside;

“If the parties want that we will try to facilitate that but I think it is unlikely,”

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  • William Kinmont

    Seems logical but is it just a threat? Imeadiate and obvious one to DUP position but also to SF if Irish Gov has direct role protecting fairness what is SF purpose.
    How does this play out for brexit? Eu country making executive decisions in UK territory. Cat among the pigeons might shake up some progress.

  • Madamarcati

    Fine words and sane sentiments, but be assured, direct British rule has always been the longterm political plan of those supporting Brexit. A first step toward a return to British absolutism in Ireland. Watch what unfolds in the months after the Great Repeal law, with its first reading this thursday September 7th, is passed through the British parliament, thanks to the majority afforded to May’s conservatives by the Northern Irish extreme unionists, the DUP. After this historical move toward neo liberal political tyranny is succesfully achieved, British ministers will no longer need to either debate in the House or gain backbench approval for any new laws that they choose to create or enforce anywhere in the UK.
    Coveney may say that the Irish government is entirely against British direct rule in Northern Ireland but he is underestimating May and her backers if he believes that the extreme British unionists want to discuss this. Post Brexit, the reality is that the GFA is broken beyond repair and direct British rule with the DUP as the only party with political or financial clout, is all but a done deal. If, after watching these ghastly years of political gaming to grab back a purist Unionist Northern Ireland being won by the DUP and Farage, the Irish government wish for a different outcome I am afraid, tragically, what comes to mind is the the phrase: says you and whose army ?
    What an unholy mess.

  • mickfealty

    Red herring, as the very next post makes abundantly clear. Of course the Irish government will be involved, but the threat of non feasible scenarios to unionists has long since run out of steam. Perhaps it should be otherwise, but that’s not the bargain that was stuck in 1998.

  • smcgiff

    “whose army”
    That would be the EU. But, as has been said, the 1998 agreement would suggest no army is required.

  • 1729torus

    SF are strong enough that they can influence Dublin. Having Stormont atrophy actually suits SF since it would sideline Unionist politicians. Don’t forget that SF will likely have more TDs than MLAs by 2020.

  • billodrees

    The “leaked” Whitehall paper on curbing migration after 2019 indicates a Tory Anglicisation policy. It all points to a single island, Britain, view of the world.
    The Tories do not count Irish people as being English.
    The English don’t distinguish between Unionist and Nationalist: they all have the same accent.
    To achieve the Brexit outcomes they want, the Tories, with gutless passive support from Corbyn, will stick Northern Ireland into a limbo (purgatory?) of effectively being in the single market and customs union while nominally in the UK.
    The only answer to the conflict between no border in Ireland and an isolated Britain is putting the border in the Irish Sea. The Common Travel Area is not going to happen unless the Republic agrees to implement British immigration rules at Irish ports: a non starter.

    Stranraer: Passports please.

  • Gavin Crowley

    I think you should edit this before it’s ripped apart.

  • There are several hurdles to jump before the Bill becomes an Act – if it ever does.

    After the deal with the DUP, voters with Irish heritage that backed the Tories on 8 June 2017 may have second thoughts come the next election.

  • Madamarcati

    I just wish this truth would sink into the heads of many living around us in north Antrim. It would make for a kinder, safer daily environment.

  • Madamarcati

    I pray that you are proved correct on both counts.

  • Madamarcati

    As everyone reading this will now be aware, the British government has officially stated that there will be absolutely no joint political sovereignty with Dublin over Northern Ireland with the immininent return to direct Westminster rule.
    The Brexit bunch are fighting their own war against the EU and Northern Ireland is their chosen political hostage in any future negotiations.
    They care not for history, certainly not one which includes the vile cultural apartheid instigated by their British partition, and the Troubles as far as they perceive them were won triumphantly by their British SS.
    Their personal political war does not even see an Irish problem in Northern Ireland, simply a little Britain political opportunity to annoy the EU.

  • Reader

    billodrees: The Common Travel Area is not going to happen unless the Republic agrees to implement British immigration rules at Irish ports: a non starter.
    The CTA already exists and won’t need to change. The essence of the leaked Whitehall paper is that, for EU citizens, nothing happens at the border.

  • runnymede

    Coveney, who seems increasingly to resemble a Sinn Fein spokesman, is losing the plot here. Dublin doesn’t get a say in how this goes.