Brexit EU

#Brexit: the DUP and the Risks of Not Passing Go

The DUP torpedoed today’s sensible UK-EU compromise deal on the border because, according to an Arlene Foster tweet, the party could not accept any deal which separates Northern Ireland politically from the rest of the UK. This will come as a great surprise to campaigners for marriage equality, liberalisation of the abortion laws, and comprehensive more…

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Can the DUP square all its circles before time runs out?

In the aftermath of the DUP’s slick, on message conference last month, Arlene Foster’s comments on the border and customs union were – unsurprisingly – headline news. This week, after a chaotic round of statements, leaks and interviews from the Irish and British governments, the DUP and the EU, they bear reexamining. On the border, more…

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Foster sets out the DUP view of a “Sensible Brexit”

The DUP Leader, Arlene Foster has set out her stall to members of the Lagan Valley DUP Association last night as to what she views as a “sensible Brexit.” I have highlighted some of the key passages; Some time ago I set out our Party’s desire to see not a hard Brexit or a soft more…

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Berlin and the ghosts of history…

  The other weekend, along with Angela Merkel, I was in Berlin.   Not together of course; she was there to work on forming a new government, I in pursuit of pleasure.  Berlin is a great city both for business and pleasure with its unique culture and complex history; magnetic and absorbing it just keeps pulling more…

The DUP are barking up the wrong tree

The DUP’s kneejerk reaction to the Times story that the Brexit sherpas are working on a plan to “avoid divergence” of regulations and standards on our island proves how insecure they feel the Union really is. According to the ancient rule of our politics that the insecure pay more attention to their opponents than their more…

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Relationships: The Bridge between Principles & Practicalities

“We are committed to partnership, equality and mutual respect as the basis of relationships within Northern Ireland, between North and South and between these islands” – Belfast / Good Friday Agreement 1998 Last month, I had the immense honour of speaking at the international youth conference One Young World: 1500 young leaders from 196 countries more…

“There is so little concrete information coming from both sides…”

Fascinating free-ranging conversation including our own Senator Neale Richmond (formidable performance), who has a good old barney with my oul mucker Jonathan Isaby of Brexit Central… The information vacuum is driving a lot of this controversy, but what’s fascinating is to hear the clash between how the Republic sees the EU and the more negative more…

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Sinn Fein Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh resigns from the party over ‘serious disciplinary issues’

Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, who only narrowly lost out on a Dail seat for Sinn Fein in Galway West and South Mayo, his statement reads… I, with a sizeable number of other dissatisfied members have sought to deal with all these issues through the appropriate channels – locally, regionally and nationally. We have taken them as high more…

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McCabe story exposes how public institutions still really view whistleblowers

The Sergeant Maurice McCabe case has now accounted for the extraordinary haul of two Garda Commissioners (Chief Constables if you’re reading this in Britain), two Ministers of Justice and one Secretary-General (or Permanent Secretary). McCabe reported the quashing of penalty points by senior gardaí in Cavan/Monaghan in 2007. When it landed with the Comptroller and Auditor General more…

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“For me to refuse to talk about these things when I’m asked a straight question almost suggests I’m ashamed to be a nationalist – and I’m not”

The Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley has a really interesting interview with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney which outlines his views on a border poll and a United Ireland. In the interview he says; “I would like to see a united Ireland in my lifetime – if possible, in my political lifetime,” Manley more…

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Remembering a Modest Proposer

The writer and essayist George Orwell was not a man who was generous with his praise for anything, so when he wrote in a review that ‘If I had to make a list of six books which were to be preserved when all others were destroyed, I would certainly put Gulliver’s Travels among them‘, that’s more…

Diarmaid Ferriter on Gerry Adams: “Many political careers end in failure; some just end in irony.”

It’s worth quoting at length from historian Diarmaid Ferriter in Saturday’s Irish Times on the ironic legacy Gerry Adams leaves for Sinn Féin. Fianna Fáil continued to invoke its republican “heritage” while determinedly staying the revisionist course; the same conclusions are likely to be reached about Sinn Féin under Adams. One of the reasons for more…