From the Dáil yesterday, Miriam Lord reports…
Everyone in Dáil Éireann wanted to help out with the withdrawal effort, but “we need the information”, argued Dara [Calleary].
“What’s the plan?” shouted Barry Cowen. Answer there came none.
“Hope is not a strategy,” added Calleary, clearly forgetting that there is a general election sometime soon in the offing, and hope will be springing eternal in the ranks of Fianna Fáil.
He wanted Coveney to come clean, say what’s going on and let the Irish people know the detail of the plan.
“That detail is being discussed, I presume, in Paris today, will be discussed with Chancellor Merkel on Thursday, but is not being discussed in this House.”
“It’s not,” insisted the Tánaiste. “Difficult conversations” were taking place, but that was all. They were working out a plan with the commission, which was a different thing.
Dara was not convinced.
“I presume, Tánaiste, the Taoiseach and President Macron aren’t discussing their Kylie collections.”
Maybe they were, because they weren’t discussing what Fianna Fáil is insisting is being discussed above the heads of the Irish people.
Simon was getting exasperated. How many times did he have to say it?
“The Government is not hiding anything from anybody,” he insisted. “There isn’t a plan.”
Barry Cowen looked around, shaking his head.
“There. Is. No. Plan,” repeated Barry. Oh, but he’s heard it all now.
It’s not what you usually hear from a politician in Leinster House – a frank admission they have no plan.
But the Tánaiste needed to be very clear: the Irish Government was not going to Brussels as of now with a plan. In fact, the plan is that there is no plan.
In London, the British PM appears to proceeding on similar logic, ie that it will be either the backstop or Brexit (in some significant way) is bust.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty